Demolition Man (Oh and Woman)

Since Dude and I are still in the process of waiting to get the roof redone and new stucco put on the exterior walls, we decided to go outside and demo the shed. Now, I was kind of into this little shed when we bought the house. I figured it might be nice to put gardening tools, wood for a fire, or maybe a place for an extra car.

As time has gone on, Dude and I made the decision to get rid of it. This is mostly because it has been in the way when we try to pull the car out of the garage or into the garage. The back part of the shed had a pillar that is just a tad far out which makes getting the car in or out somewhat difficult.  I still had my doubts about getting rid of it but after a great deal of thought we went with my uncle’s old stand-by term “When it doubt, throw it out”.

This decision was made in the beginning of November so I waltzed myself over to the town Maire to put in a request to have “les montres” pick-up at my house. Les monstres are for the huge items that you can’t set out with normal everyday trash so you have to go and ask for a special pick up and then the city comes by and takes it away for you. Since we have this service in The States I figured we were all good.

So in the beginning of November I made my request. The lady at the Maire said that the pick up only happens once a month and she told me that the next pick-up was schedule for the beginning of December. I gave her a list of what we were going to set out and was on my way.

Since we had sometime before the pick-up, Dude and I didn’t destroy the shed right away. We figured we would do it the weekend before and that would avoid us having a bunch of crap lying around our yard. By crap I mean, roof tiles, wood, cardboard, rebar, cement, and a bunch of rocks and other junk.

Here is a picture of what the shed used to look like.

Now you will have to sing the “Jeopardy” theme song in your head while mimicking the wait we had for the following three weeks until pick-up……..all good? All done singing??


Now we come to the beginning of December. Dude and I got down to business and made Mince meat outta that shed. It did take the better part of the weekend, but that’s because Dude wanted to start the project later in the day and go into the evening. Folks, it gets cold here when the sun goes down in the winter and the weekend we decided to do this, it was also windy. Cold provincial wind. Not really feelin’ the love about 6pm at night!

So right around that time, I bailed on him cuz I was just too plain cold. I went inside to cook dinner and sit right next to the heater. With only one man on the job it took a bit longer, but that’s life.

The next day we were able to finish it up and made some piles around the yard to get ready to take everything out to the drive way by mid-week for the pick-up.

Even even dug up some old bones. Cool, huh?

Here is what our yard looked like by the end of the second day.

The area where the shed once stood actually looks pretty good, and now it even seems that we have a bigger yard. Still haven’t decided on what to do with this area now, but I guess that will be a spring/summer project.

The next day I went over to the Maire to be sure that the special pick-up was really going to take place before I threw all our junk out onto the street the night before. When I got there I spoke to a different lady (of course) and she assured me that the pick-up was on schedule for this week and my request was put in. I reiterated to her exactly what I needed to have picked-up (and what was also written down on my request form). Well no sooner had I started telling her my items then she started shaking her head NO. I was like, “Excuse me?? I came here a month ago and the lady behind the counter wrote my request and items down and she didn’t have a problem then”. Well this lady tells me that the lady I dealt with was a substitute for the day and she should have had me come back instead of taking my application because they only come and pick up things from inside your house like beds, refrigerators, couches (you get the picture). Really?? And how is that my fault??

Of course, the Maire is not going to budge on this issue so I went home totally pissed cuz now I had all this crap in my yard ready to be hauled away and no one was coming to get it! Lucky for me I checked before setting it all out or I would have had a real big surprise on the day of pick-up and all that stuff would have still been there. I would have had to haul it all back into my yard!

Now the whole reason for this special pick-up is because Dude and I don’t have a truck or a trailer to go and do it ourselves (right now all we have is Benoit and he’s no good for stuff like that) so this was the next best thing and it was FREE!!!. There was no way I was gonna pas up free in this country.

So now Dude and I had to go waste 100€ on a rental truck and do it ourselves. Sheesh if I would have known that, we could have done this month’s ago when we had rented a truck to haul away a bunch of trash and did it all at the same time to save money! Gosh, the French bureaucracy sure pisses me off sometimes.

So, Dude and I start trying to find rental deals online and we found a Europcar near us that had a big truck to rent. Their site said that if you book your reservation online you get an “online deal” so we thought what the hay, go for it, even though they don’t tell you what kind of deal you’re actually getting.

The day to pick up the rental came and off we went. We had stipulated that we wanted the car at 10am so we could be sure to make several trips to the dump that day. No, I didn’t tell Europcar about the dump, I’m just telling you guys. Heck no would I say that to them, they’d probably charge me double. They just thought we were moving furniture.

We got to the rental place at 10am on the dot and guess what?? There was a sign on the door that said that they had left on an errand and wouldn’t be back until 11:45!!! Are you kidding me?? I swear these people will do anything to mess up your day. What! Does, like, only one person work in the stupid office! Well we weren’t about to go home so we looked around and saw that there was a Renault dealership across the round-about and decided to see if we could get an oil change on the car. The Renault shop said “Minute Renault” with no appointment necessary so maybe we could get her done. I left my business card on the Europcar office door with a note to have someone call cuz we had a reservation and they weren’t there. I really did write that.

Then we drove on over to Renault and after telling the guy across the counter that I only wanted an oil change and new filter and NOTHING more, he proceeds to tell me that it would be 109€. For an oil change?? You have got to be kidding me! What the heck is wrong with these people??!! A dang oil change and filter should be, like, 35€, MAX! What a rip off. How do these French people afford this kind of stuff? Where the heck is Jiffy Lube when you need them? I told the guy to forget it and that price was just too expensive. Then we left.

Lucky for us, right about then Europcar calls and says they’re back. Well, that was sure nice of them. I want to know why when we arrived back at their office there were two girls there. What’s up with both of them leaving to do the errand and close the office? Lame.

The next thing was even more fun for me. See, we found out that because we had rented the truck online and on a weekday that we saved a whole 11€ from the last time we rented which was on a weekend with no reservation. Now, I ask you, how is that supposed to get me to dance the jig?? A freakin’ whole 11€??!! I can’t even get a McDo meal for two with that. Here we go again trying to save money in this country and not ever able to! Just so you know Dude and I are looking into buying an old beat up truck or a trailer. We’re done with this ridiculous game playing they got going on here. Stupid 11€ discount. What the heck?! If I went right back over to Renault to have them change the oil now I could feel soooo much better knowing that I just save 11€ over at Europcar! Sheesh! There’s a whole lot of stupid going on in this here place.

After getting all our ducks in a row on the rental and feeling really ripped of for the day, we headed home to go load up on junk and make our rounds to the local dump. It was now almost 12:30pm and we had been at the rental car place 10am. Ahhh! Two and one half hours wasted on nothing. I actually got more pissed than that, but I’m a bit over it now.

The good part of the day came at this point. Dude and I actually got rid of all of our stuff in just three trips! That was pretty cool.

Trip #1



It did take the rest of the day and we slid in the gate of the dump on our third trip just before closing, but we did it and we were successful. The only funny thing that happened to us at the dump was that the guys that work there came up to us on our last trip to see if we were a company or not. I guess the same Europcar van showing up three times in one day is kind of a tip off. I told them no, we were not a business but that I had bought a nearly 300 year old house and was renovating. He gave me that look like, oh-I get it, and let us go on with our merry selves. I think if you are a business maybe they make you pay to dump your stuff. Not sure.

Home we went and finally happy that our crappy start to the day didn’t end up the same way. I think I’ve mentioned it before, but I actually like going to the dump here. It isn’t icky like in The States. The one we have by us is all for recycled stuff and they have it all laid out nice and neat and it’s new. Also, it’s something you can just go and do yourself.

Well, one of our many projects has been completed. It sure does feels good when you can finally say that.

About backyardprovence

I was finally able to realized my dream of living in France when I moved here in 2010. I love to read,I love history and road trips. I want to be doing anything outside in the fresh air. I want to have an entire room devoted to a personal library.

Posted on December 27, 2011, in The House of the Farmer and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Well I am very happy to hear you got your project done and everything to the dump with just one day of rental for the truck. In Sablet, they won’t even do special pick ups of stuff from the house, maybe because the street is so narrow. So we had to get a truck and haul everything to the déchetterie. We went to the wrong one for Sablet but they let us drop off because we used our new to the area and didn’t know line…again.

    • Hi Michel-Lucky for you they let you slid. That was nice. Don’t take this wrong, but I am happy that it isn’t just me that has to rent a truck to haul away trash! I gotta fix that situation. I just wish cars and trailers weren’t so expensive here.

  2. Pourquoi tenez-vous à rester en France puisque les gens vous semblent si désagréables et que tout est mieux aux USA?

    • Bonjour Anne,

      Je suis ici parce que je travaille pour une société en France. C’est le choix de moi.

      Je ne dis pas que tous les choses en Amérique est meilleures qui ici. Mais il y a des choses que je trouve qui sont dans un niveau plus bas. Moi, je trouve que le service clientèle n’existe pas ici. Le client est roi c’est faux même si j’entends cette phrase partout ici. Elle est absolument fausse. Si je tombe dans le bon ici, je suis tellement surprise ! Aussi, les prix pour les biens et les services sont vachement énorme en France (2x et dans quelques instances 3x plus more la même en Amérique ou UK) mais je trouve plus souvent qu’autrement que les matériaux n’ont pas de bonne qualité. Si les magasins veulent charger des prix maximum c’est okay, mais je veux les matériaux qui sont parait. Cela est la raison qui les gens du Royaume Unis retournent tous le temps pour acheter les trucs ! C’est moins cher là-bas.

      Si j’étais en Amérique et j’allais au magasin matériaux Amérique pour repairer ou améliore ma maison Amérique je pourrais trouve tous les matériaux nécessaire pour la rénovation dans le même jour ou au moins du jour suivant. Donc, pourquoi quand je suis en France et je vais au magasin matériaux Français pour repairer et améliore ma maison France, je ne peux pas trouve tous les matériaux nécessaire. En fait, il me prends 4 ou 5 trajet dans plusieurs magasins et pendant plusieurs semaine avant je peux arriver a finir un projet ? J’en ai marre tous le temps a cause de ca. Il me coute toujours très cher pour ca. Le temps plus le diesel pour ma voiture plus les matériaux très cher qui ne sont pas très accessible !

      Mais par contre, si je voudrais faire un projet de tuiles, béton, cément tous ca. Je pourrais très facilement. J’adore la France dans cette façon parce que tous les matériaux comme ca sont très facile a trouver et sont très facile a faire et sont moins cher ici qu’Amérique.

      Aussi l’admin de France est une catastrophe. Même les français en pensent. Je sais bien parce qu’ils me disent tous le temps. Quand je le mentionne, ils ont tous roulent leurs yeux et jeter leurs mains en l’air en disant « C’est le pire ». Tous les même choses qui m’énervent, sont parait pour les français. Ils parlent souvent de ca. Ils sont tous déteste les prix, le service cliente et l’admin Français. En fait, ils se plaignent plus que moi! Je sais bien parce que je travaille avec que les français. Mais, par contre, je préfère d’être en France pour la poste et tous les choses admin pour ma voiture. Je n’avais aucun problème en France avec la poste ou pour obtenir ma carte gris, mon assurance tous ca pour ma voiture. Je les adore en France. Les deux mêmes secteurs en Amérique sont le pire !

      Il y a d’autres choses en France que j’adore. Je suis ici pour l’histoire, les repas, la beauté, le système sociale (oui, le système sociale j’ai dit ca), la liberté. Le grève français m’énerve moins en moins parc qu’en Amérique les gens ne peuvent pas faire le grève. En France la liberté existe encore. J’aime ca.

      A l’instant ma vie en France est vraiment difficile parce que je dois travailler dans tous les secteurs qui sont les pires. Quand je fini ma maison et l’admin me donne tous mes papier légale, la vie sera mieux.

      Si j’étais inquiet seulement de biens et services alors je serais resté en Amérique parce qu’ils ne sont pas ici. Je suis ici pour d’autres choses et j’espère que quand ma maison est fini, je pourrais les trouver.

  3. To me this post is a perfect example of life in France: you start the day thinking the country’s cool and it’s great to live here, then throughout the day it reveals itself to be a total illogical sh*t show, then eventually things chill out and you’re content again, thankful for all the good stuff France has to offer. Classic!

    Congrats on getting the shed down; I’m sure that extra space will come in handy (especially next time someone refuses to pick up a pile of you stuff!). Best of luck with the next project on the list.

    • Hey Corey-your comment had me laughing several times today. Dude says the same thing about the start and finish of a day here (only he was less comical about it). He always tells me that he wakes up happy and then by the end of the day he gets sad cuz he can’t manage to finish a dang thing here. Life is more grand in France when you don’t have projects to do. Totally words to live by. It’s always great on the day of outings and picnics and sitting around at lunch and people watching, but look out if you need to actually get something done. It ain’t happening in any time frame I’m familiar with. I swear I’m looking you up whenever I get to Paris. We all have to get together and chat. We would have such a great time. Your comments are always so hilarious!

      • Thanks! Yes, do look me up if you and your fam are ever in Paris. I met my first fellow France blogger a couple of months ago, and it turned out to be a really cool experience. If you want, I can do some toilet seat scouting beforehand to find one that meets your standards.

        And just for the record — I’ve never had the impression that you hate France or French people; you’re only writing about the difficult adjustments we all make when jumping into a brand new culture/language/mindset. It’s obvious to me, along with 99% of your readers, that you wouldn’t be busting your hump and spilling so much blood sweat and tears over this project if you weren’t in love with, and respectful of, this country. In fact, I’d say the one theme that pervades more than anything throughout your posts is optimism. And finally, let’s face it, the monopoly on bashing France is owned by the French people themselves — it’s a national pastime for pete’s sake. If anything, a bit of ol’ fashioned bitching and moaning just makes us all a little more culturally integrated 😉

  4. Re your comment on travelingsardineclass, is Branch Mill Road familiar? 🙂

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