The Casual Reporter: Trent Has Stall in Brocante This Sunday

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Trent Has Stall in Brocante This Sunday

In 1995 I moved to France with roughly 400 pounds of stuff - the shipping limit set by my Disneyland Paris contract. Since I've been here I've gotten married, had two boys (now ages 9 and 11), bought a house, 7 cars (and sold 5), 6 computers, 8 printers, 5 televisions, probably a dozen VHS and DVD players, several TV's, dozens of DVD's, electronic appliances, and heaps of toys, clothes, tools, furniture and assorted useless crap. It accumulates so rapidly I built an extra shed half the size of my house to accommodate it all, only to realize I had enough stuff to fill up two sheds the same size. Or so it seems.

In the United States we have garage sales or yard sales to get rid of accumulated stuff, or maybe we take it to a swap meet. In England they have car boot sales - similar to the swap meet concept.

In France they have Brocantes, or Vide-Greniers, similar to a Swap Meet or Flea Market. An association within the village usually sets it up, printing flyers and collecting rent for space. Participating villagers drag their stuff to the brocante where other villagers hopefully browse through it and buy some of it. I've participated in these before and got rid of handfuls of stuff, but there's usually so much stuff - a village full - that it's simply overwhelming. While there are professionals who sell interesting antiques and collectibles, the regular folks will try to sell anything from rusty hardware in an old bucket to slobbered-on baby toys not touched in 10 years, complete with missing parts and broken things to almost certainly nonfunctional DVD or VHS players to unsuspecting neighbors. It seldom works. Most of the stuff packed to the brocante is packed back home at the end of the day.

I'm going to put some of my treasures up for sale this October 26 in a Brocante/Vide-Greniers (Flea Market/Attic-Emptying) in St. Germain sur Morin, in the Leader Price parking lot. I've learned over the years not to take stuff that isn't sellable so I spent today putting all the useless crap in the trash. I'll only be displaying high-quality name-brand clothing, kids' costumes, maybe some DVD's and CD's, a never-used pool heater, some other stuff, and a bucket of not-so-rusty hardware. And other really neat stuff.

What makes me tired already is that set-up time is 4am. That's 4am. Gee that's early.. or late considering I get home from work at midnight the night before. If you're in the area come on by when you roll out of bed and say hi.

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