French Sabbatical

My family's year in France…

Day 88 (26 September 2010) – Maybe I’m Older Than I Think?

Meet Melinda and Andy. That’s Melinda on the left, Andy on the right. As you can see, Melinda has quite the design flair, perhaps a certain elegance. Andy is not at all flashy, clearly plain but useful.

These are our “chariots,” or what we thought were called “chariots” until last night. They are used here in France by shoppers, mostly those who walk to and from the grocery store. You take your chariot to the store, check it somewhere while you shop, and when finished fill it with your purchased groceries. Then you head back home, pulling it behind you. We bought “Andy” soon after arriving in Nantes at one of those Fred Meyer-like stores. “Melinda” was purchased a week or two later at Ikea. I think you are getting the picture.

So last night we had dinner with our next door neighbors, Philippe and Cécile and their four children. The evening began with snacks and drinks in their living room, complete with conversation in both French and English. We learned, through a lot of laughter, that these “chariots” are used more by the elderly than anyone else, which got me feeling a bit, shall we say, more mature. Being “young” or at least “young at heart,” our neighbors couldn’t remember the name for what we had been calling our “chariots” but pointed out that a chariot is really a shopping cart. They tactfully pointed out that what we had is not something used by those our age and then proceeded to offer to drive us to the grocery store or even loan us their car. It was very sweet and kind.

After snacks and drinks last night, Philippe and Cécile treated us to a game of bowling at a nearby alley and then Chinese food at a nearby restaurant. This is another example of the kindness we’ve been shown since arriving in France.

Meanwhile, I still like my “chariot” and trips on the tram with it. Now I’ll better understand any muffled laughter I might hear. Maybe this qualifies me for membership in AARP and a discount at the movies?

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September 26, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

6 Comments »

  1. Chariot? I think Lil’ Rascal is more fitting!

    Comment by brenda | September 26, 2010 | Reply

  2. Afraid AARP is not quite ready for you.

    Comment by Granny | September 27, 2010 | Reply

  3. Shucks, Andy … my roomies ‘n i (in our early twenties) used sucha conveyance (not so stylish tho’ – both us and our ‘chariot’) way back in the middle of the last century to tote our groceries through Boston’s Back Bay …

    Comment by Eve | October 4, 2010 | Reply

  4. Ready for FARP maybe?

    Comment by P.Hill | October 11, 2010 | Reply

  5. […] Ella to Leclerc, the huge grocery store at the end of our neighborhood tram line. We took the caddy, of course, and made her pull it. We showed her how you have to use a coin (or a fake coin) to get […]

    Pingback by Day 362 (27 June 2011) – “French Culture Class” w/Ella « French Sabbatical | June 27, 2011 | Reply

  6. […] everyone else, you really need to go read this post from September 26, 2010, the 88th day of our […]

    Pingback by A Caddy in America! « Chat With Andy | March 24, 2012 | Reply


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