When I moved back to Civray, I mistakenly thought the ad for my house meant it was 5 minutes outside of Civray, not 5 minutes outside of a village that is a 10 minute drive from Civray. While the commute to work is fantastic still, I really preferred living somewhere walking distance from all of the shops and restaurants of Civray.
To better acquaint myself with my new village, I took a walk in the opposite direction towards the town. It is quite common to see people walking into town, so I wasn’t out of place on the country roads. It is incredible to see the old buildings that are here, like this old farming structure that appears to possibly be in use today?
As it turns out, my current village does not have trash pick up at your house, you have to take it to the communal drop off, which is here. The yellow bins are for recycling . . . and by the end of the week, the black bins are QUITE full. The whole trash thing was the moment when I determined that my permanent residence would be IN Civray and not a neighboring community! Hauling my trash to a central repository is just a big NO for me.
I did manage to find the infamous “dépôt de pain,” which serves as the local bakery since there isn’t one. I’ve read that the pastries are so good they sell out in the morning, but you can reserve one for pick-up on your way to work, which might be my plan for the next few months! Fresh pastry always beats day-old pastry! I also like the idea here that a standard store wasn’t feasible, but adding a little building onto a large empty parking lot suited the size of the town and made for a convenient location.
During my walk into town, in search of the one restaurant that was listed (never found it and may not exist now), I saw that a “brocante” was in Civray on one of the signs and, let’s face it, there’s really NOTHING happening on Sundays in rural France normally. I headed on down and my American co-worker joined me. It was a fun few hours looking at antiques, decorative items and junk that people were trying to sell, plus some rather nice collections of antiques for viewing.
While enjoying a coffee after, the mayor of Civray dropped by our table since he’s aware of the invading Americans working in his region. We had a nice chat and, despite not normally giving the bisou (cheek kiss) to strangers, we kissed the mayor! The older French ladies were quite shocked! I’m not sure they were as shocked as us Americans were at this antique French lighter though – yes, the flame comes out exactly where it appears it does, along with little red blinking lights on the ta-tas.
If you were ever curious what happens on a Sunday in a sleepy French country town, here’s a peak at the collections that were on display. First, some older clothing with some truly impressive headgear!
And a lovely display of antique hats! There were many other collections, in addition to the brocante area where you could buy things.
My co-worker is also convinced that I’m going to have good luck in France because she’s been looking for this antique cat box she saw in a perfume store (which she showed me the day before), then I found one at the brocante! I told her I’m more convinced that perhaps I’ve brought HER good luck by coming to France. 🙂
I believe the best part of these little village events is the chance to greet your neighbors and have a quick chat. It seemed many people were socializing, not just shopping. When we took a quick walk around the rest of Civray, I was very happy to find a kebab shop that is open Sundays for dinner (!) and to learn that the beer bar is not only open on Sunday evenings, but open until 2 du matin (!!!) (aka AM) on Friday and Saturday – could it be that Civray actually has a weekend nightlife?!? We’ve decided that a mission to the beer bar is in order!
The day before all of these local adventures, I went up to Poitiers to do a little shopping because I was in serious need of a fall/spring coat. I found one that I loved, but one thing that I had read online (and witnessed for myself) is that French women show much less cleavage, but a visible bra is not an issue – like “black bra under a white shirt” visible. What I was NOT aware of was that “headlights” are potentially also a “thing.” It appears they may not only be acceptable, but desirable enough that you can purchase a bra that will provide them for you! I’m really not quite sure what to think here!
Lastly, I return to my love of chèvre. This is a cheese so versatile that it featured prominently in both my dinner AND my dessert. First, a chèvre lasagna (with eggplant and pesto) that was quite good and then chèvre with fruit, nuts, salt, pepper and honey for dessert . . . I know, it sounds weird to an American palette, but it was DEVINE. I really cannot get enough of French cuisine! Even better, I can somehow eat like this over here and actually lose weight.
And while I really only went to buy a coat and new jeans, I ended up with a new skirt and sweater . . . and a matching scarf, of course! It’s almost impossible not to find gorgeous, well-cut clothing here. If I can limit myself to one new outfit per month, I think I can avoid going broke!