Take it or leave it

A Peter Pan costume, size eight years, an Art Deco sugar bowl, the latest Philippe Djian novel, a soup tureen with a lid, a musical mobile, two pairs of pajamasthis list à la Prévert is not some curious inventory. On the contrary, it reflects a very real phenomenon, one that is riding high on a powerful current, an earthy power that casts aside all doubt. The elegant French seaside town of Bidart, with its painted villas and monumental views, has decided to promote kindheartedness, following in the footsteps of the LETS (local exchange trading systems) that are sprouting up all over France, where neighbors can exchange services and goods without the need for money. In Bidart, the association SELgarrekin has gone even further by exploring the very idea of giving: exchanging things without any money changing hands. Two “gratuiteries,” open to all, have been created there, a stone’s throw from an old washhouse. The small one is open daily, the large one, at set times. There is only one rule: whether taking or giving, things must be kept tidy. So people help themselves or donate things, leave empty-handed or arms full, with the refreshing feeling that they are changing the world.

Petite Gratuiterie

Ouverte tous les jours de 9h à 18h.

Grande Gratuiterie

Ouverte les mercredis et vendredis de 14h à 18h, et tous les premiers samedis du mois, de 10h à 16h. Parking du Lavoir, Bidart.

www.facebook.com/selgarrekin.bidart

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