We bought a bed today. Actually we bought it about a week ago and it was just delivered, with emphasis on those last two words that I’ll explain below. Since we needed an address in France to apply for a visa to live here, the easiest option was to rent for a year a fully furnished “holiday home” that would normally be used by people on vacation for a week or two and then handed back to the owners to prepare for the next round of guests. In our case, the landlords need only to check their bank account monthly to see that the rent’s been paid and in exchange we get a comfortable home where everything has already been provided. Now that we’ve bought our own house, that came with just the walls and roof, it’s time to fill it up.
The lease on the rental house doesn’t expire until the first of March, so we have a bit of time to get the new place ready; not that impatient us will take that time, but at least it’s there. We started with a bed for a couple of reasons: despite not having lots of other furniture it makes the house seem more permanent if you can sleep there and we can take advantage of having two places at the moment where friends and family can stay while visiting Carcassonne.
In an earlier post about small town shopping, you might have read about how we had become accustomed to personalized service that included free delivery and set up. Since there’s not a furniture store in town, we had to go out to one of the large shopping centers, about 15 minutes by bus, to find a bed. There was a charge to have it brought to the house and as mentioned above it was just delivered as in the boxes being placed in the bedroom and the truck then quickly driving away.
On Christmas Eve have you ever had to put a “some-assembly-required” toy together to make the next morning’s festivities even brighter? That was us earlier, surrounded by these huge boxes, and we didn’t even have any eggnog to make the process fun. At least we weren’t the ones who had to maneuver everything up the stairs. It’s no wonder that so much furniture is available here in flat packs given the small spaces that everything must fit through. While house hunting we looked at a 3-story place, less than a block from the market square, with a narrow spiral staircase going right to the top. Despite its very convenient location and beautiful historic features, we could not envision getting furnishings into the upstairs rooms.
The accompanying photo may look as if a whale skeleton has landed in our bedroom, but I can assure you that it’s actually part of a very comfortable bed. Counting all of the nuts, bolts, screws, connectors, slats, corner pieces, leg assemblies, headboard pieces, and mattress there were something like 200 parts we had to identify and then figure out where they went. Since this bed is sold all over Europe, the manufacturer used only diagrams with arrows and no words to indicate how it should be assembled. Let me just say how grateful we were that the bottle of wine that followed the completion of the bed assembly required only one quick pop and it was open. No directions required.