|Palavas beach 12 Oct 2014|
Today, it was calm, and a number of John Deere tractors were out tidying everything up. The contrast was remarkable.
We had popped down to the beach in search of a sandwich for lunch. My DB and I had spent the morning at the Foire de Montpellier, a commercial bonanza of Italian leather sofas, ceramic pans, and double glazing. Everywhere you stepped, you got accosted by a desperate sales person. The place was closed yesterday because of the weather, so they'd lost a whole day of potential sales on one of the busiest days - a disaster.
We were drawn in to one spiel at what looked like a vacuum cleaner stand. A short and sparky lady showed us this wonderful cleaner which wasn't just a hoover, but a combined steam cleaner. It hoovered up, steamed cleaned tiles, shampooed carpets and dried the lot in seconds. Lovely. We asked about the price. She said we could pay as little as 40 EUR per month. "A vie?" asked my DB? (For life?). She laughed gaily and said it was so nice to meet people with a sense of humour.
After a suspiciously long time, she finally got round to giving us the price. Don't faint (we were sitting down by this time, just in case...). It cost a snip at 2500 EUR, with a 'special' event price of 2100 EUR.
Of course, she said we could pay it off interest-free in as many months as we liked, up to 48. Can you imagine still paying for your hoover four years later? We told her it was far too expensive, so she suggested we pay less per month. It was difficult explaining that it wasn't the monthly payments that posed a problem, but the total amount which was far too expensive for such a gadget, nifty though it was.
Then she said we could take the display model for... 1700 EUR, or if we were a business, we could get a VAT-free new model for the same price. She was doing her best, but even 1700 EUR was about 1000 EUR more than we thought the hoover should cost. Getting a little desperate, she then gave us the sob story about being closed the day before, and so she couldn't make four potential sales like she did the previous year on that day.
By this time, we were getting a little weary and not a little hungry. I had had my eye on the Italian hall with the intention of nibbling my way through lunch, so we made our excuses and left. Ouf!
After a tour of the Italian hall sampling the cheese and charcuterie which was all delicious but very expensive (pork 30 EUR/kg), I was still hungry so we went to the food court which was also expensive. That was when we decided to leave and go elsewhere, and ended up in Palavas with a tasty baguette sarnie by the canal sitting in the sun (25°C).
The weather is not a little amazing this autumn!