Tuesday, January 14, 2014

I'm Not Complaining

We love Paris and our apartment is perfect!!!!  Well, really close to perfect, but we are in Europe, after all.

There are things which you would not put up with back at home which just seem so quaint and funny over here that your initial reaction is "c'est la vie" and you move on and live with it.  For me, that works for about the first half day.  I am blinded by the Paris sights and lights, the boulevards and the croissants.

At some point, though, when I bump my head against a door or wall because the bathroom was designed for an acrobatic dwarf with at least one missing limb, I start to think "What the f$#@ were they thinking?"

Our apartment in Paris has two bathrooms, one with a sink, shower and a toilet and the other with a sink and a shower.  The latter is kind of a "half bath", but the wrong half so far as we're concerned.  Over the years, when Karen and I have gone out for delightful evenings, sharing sparkling waters, wine, coffee and other liquids, and then return to our home, I cannot recall a single instance of us both going:  "I get to shower first!"  "No, I have to shower, RIGHT NOW!!"

Our bathroom, the complete one, is fairly large by Paris standards, but that doesn't mean that normal humans can comfortably survive there.  The toilet, like all European toilets, has the two-flush option, the first setting being "just enough to get it wet, but not actually send it anywhere" and the second setting being, "enough to swirl it around a bit".  I have found that, through erosion, stuff will eventually disappear from the bowl.

The bathroom also has one of those incredibly small trash cans with a foot pedal which are designed to tip over if you actually step on the pedal.  They are almost large enough to take a couple of Kleenex (TM) tissues, but not many.

The safe works, which is a plus, but they put it on the floor of the hall closet, apparently as a further deterrent to potential burglars "Mon Dieu!!  I cannot reach dis!!!!"

We have a clothes washing machine in our Paris apartment!!  It is a specially-designed French machine, which services both as a washer and a dryer, to save space and maximize utility.  It is in the kitchen.  It can take 2 to three pairs of socks (depending on foot size) and at least a couple of pairs of light underwear (no boxers) and swish them around in water with soap for a bit.  Then, once the washing is complete, you set the machine to dry, allow it to run for an hour or two and, when you weary of that, you just lay your wet clothes around the apartment and they eventually dry.  Voila!

Our favorite part of the apartment is the elevator.  We suspected it might be a problem when the apartment instructions said that "no more than one person with one suitcase at a time should go on the elevator".  Karen and I were thinking this was one of those conundrums like "there are three missionaries and three cannibals who must cross the river and the canoe only holds two people".  It turns out that we were mistaken, the elevator was just about big enough to hold one suitcase, without a chaperone.  The suitcases being well-traveled, we thought they might be mature enough to find their own way home.

We eventually were able to get ourselves and our suitcases, without losing anything to cannibals, up to the apartment.

Our apartment is on the fifth or six floor, depending on whether it's American- or Euro-speak.  In Europe, they call the first floor "0" and don't actually start counting until you've worked your way up a flight of stairs.  When you are on an elevator, it's just a matter of pushing the right button, but when you are doing your own walking and the person with you says, "it's just on the second floor", once we've hiked up one flight, Karen and I are done but the other person is still trekking on!!!

We haven't actually walked the six flights of stairs to or from our apartment.  I'm sure they are lovely, but we have been stuffing ourselves together into the elevator (wondering, just how much is 225 kilograms?), holding any bags we might have above our heads and listening to the elevator groan and complain it's way up or down (Karen swears she can hear the elevator complaining about heavy Americans).

But, really, this place is perfect and I'm not complaining.  Just wondering occasionally, "What the f$#@ were they thinking?"

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