France – The Low Down Adventure
Since our first sourcing trip to Colombia to our 60th trip to Czech Republic, it’s been nonstop bootyclappin’ and endless hi-fivin’ ‘cause we always manage to bring home the goods – rad lo-fi office supplies. But Ireland? She was not down to get down with us. Three days into our Ireland trip we could tell it wasn’t gonna happen. CAN’T BELIEVE IRELAND WAS OUR FIRST OFFICIAL BUST?! So what next? Bookin’ a flight to the South of France.
Almost two years ago, I met Yvonne during our sourcing trip to Morocco. She managed the riad we stayed at in Marrakech. On my last night, Yvonne invited me to dinner and we totally hit if off. It’s always sad sayin’ bye to new friends but if felt different with Yvonne. She invited me to her home in the South of France and I promised that a visit would happen. For our 61st sourcing trip, that’s what happened.
Yvonne lives in a tiny village that dates back to 589. We talkin’ TINY. One bakery, one post office, one cemetery, and one massive winery. I fell in love with it from the moment I arrived. Didn’t matter that it was late at night, that the thick darkness was cut only by the stars above. It felt like home.
The next morning when we set off, the warm fuzzies I felt the night before made sense… the South of France is desert country. It’s low canyons and hills, it’s endless fields of grape, it’s dry yet rich. It’s likes Eastern Washington but not. The landscape is different yet so familiar. I love me a white sand beach and the sound of the ocean but something about the desert always draws me in (ummm, see Chile, Morocco, Washington…).
Was it madness to leave Dublin to hunt down office supplies in a region sprinkled with towns, villages, and hamlets? Yes. But I’m a risk-taker – and Yvonne and her son Meical had a lead! Meical used to buy school supplies from a friend in a nearby hamlet. They were hopeful that Gilles might have some office supplies still stored in his garage.
We arrived and rang a buzzer. Gilles swung open the garage doors. I melted the moment I peered over his shoulders. You know how you’re watchin’ a superhero movie and they flip a switch and suddenly their secret room appears? Well that’s exactly the kinda moment I had, but instead of tricked-out weapons and cars, the massive garage was filled with office supplies! A M'THR F'KIN dream come true – superhero style!
We scored French vintage goods all the while learnin’ French history. Gilles home was like a museum – no joke, his collection of antique books, furniture, art, and more rivals the collections of many museums I’ve visited in the world.
My love for office supplies, for the country I was exploring, for my new and old friends – it had my head spinnin’ and my heart racin’. How does one recover from a trip so good, so M'THR F'KIN amazing? Not really sure but it mos def starts with a glass of French wine!