I explained what I needed and the young monsieur dug around in the back until he found one that fit.
"Oh, that looks a little big for my microwave."
"Don't worry, Madame, if you get this home and it doesn't fit, call me with the actual numbers off the microwave and I'll get you the proper part. You can exchange it."
Not good. I may not EVER get another car for said exchange.
"Okay, how much."
"34 Euros."(this translates to roughly $45)
After I picked my jaw up off the counter, I reacted in completely french fashion without a thought. (I'm getting there)
"C'est pas vrai! C'est pas possible! Non....c'est pas possible!!!!" (I also threw in some classic French facial expressions for good measure)
"Yes, madame, that is the price."
"That's more than the price of an entire microwave in the states! And I found the damned thing in the garbage can! I can't pay that price to repair something I found in the garbage can. It's just not possible"
At least this got a laugh. It did not get me a glass turnplate for my microwave.
Off to the giant-sized used furniture store. I'm looking for some old frames. I arrived at 12:10. The pull-down, metal security door was a quarter of the way down for some reason but I ventured in, hoping to find some good stuff, cheap.
"I'm sorry madame but we're closed. We open again at 2:30."
I checked the hours on the door. They close at 12:30 for a two hour lunch.
"But it's only 12:10."
"I'm sorry, but we're preparing to close. Come back at 2:30."
Off to BUT, a store that sells home items. I need a wall shelf.
Metal doors all the way down...locked up tighter than a bank on Sunday. Hours on the door? Closed for lunch from 12:30 to 2:30. It's now.... 12:15. Please keep in mind that Plan de Compagne is one of the largest commercial districts in the country. These are REALLY BIG stores. And this 2-hour PLUS lunch thing is all fine and dandy until...it affects me!
I did find another store open and did a little tour, but I needed to get a move-on in order to get to the calanque, have my fun, and get out of Marseille before rush hour. I do not like driving in Marseille. I've been lost here before. This is the second largest city in France, with a population of almost 1 1/2 million people....a super-sized city built centuries ago. And with the construction that is going on, it's a big mess, especially for the unfamiliar.
So with my mapquest directions in hand, I headed in. As I arrived at my first, and most important turn, I realized it was blocked...for construction. I kept going hoping to find another way, as traffic got heavier, streets got narrower, and all order of any kind did a time warp back to the 17th century. After a harrowing trip through the city, trying to read, drive, and fend off the honks and gestures that seemed to be coming at me from all directions, I saw a sign directing me to Aix en Provence. And I took it. I chickened out! I bailed! I'm ashamed! But this is not a job for a person alone. It's just not. My hiking boots began to silently weep on the floor next to me. This is where I was going to go... the calanque Sourmiou. I imagine it's very beautiful.
Okay, I'll save the trip by going to Ikea. I still need a shelf. Just follow the signs to Vitrolle. Except there are no signs to Vitrolle. I tried to take a short cut, which after driving down two streets the wrong way (more gestures and horn honking) and spilling my water all over my lap because there are no cup holders, I arrived in...Aix en Provence. Where we do not have an Ikea. Double Merde! Not to have the entire trip go completely down the drain, I headed back south to Ikea. And I did find the shelf that they've been out of for 9 months. I did! And I did have my parking place when I returned. I did not have a bottle of wine at the house when I got home! C'est pas vrai! C'est pas possible!