Someone Calling Our Name...
Now for a little background. For no reason in particular, other than me being frugal, I thought renting an apartment, rather than a hotel room, would be the way to go. Remember, I had heard horror stories about how expensive it was to eat in Paris. I envisioned me cooking dinner for us in the evenings...
I hate to cook, so what in the world was I thinking? Also, from my couch in Florida, I pictured it being easy to run to a grocery store, and stock our tiny kitchen. That was a pipe dream. The grocery stores in Paris...well...more on that later.
So, an apartment it would be. I found this apartment rental company on the Internet, quite by accident. It ended up being the greatest find of my life (besides Scott~).
So...there we stood, in front of the building with our bags. I knew the code to get in the big entry door, and that was about it. We also knew someone was supposed to meet us that morning, to show us the ropes.
There she appeared, as if out of the mist. It was incredible. The most gorgeous woman you’ve ever seen, calling out our name as she came up the street.
How did she know? I guess we were the only lost looking people with suitcases.
Her name was Isis. She was beautiful, sweet, and spoke impeccable English. We went into the apartment building, through the entry, up the tiny elevator to the 4th floor, and into the apartment.
The maid was still there, cleaning up, so Isis directed us to the balcony, where we sat looking out at the church, eating the croissants she had brought for us. She also brought us a bottle of wine, and flowers in a vase for our tiny dining table. How sweet! How French!
For the next 30 minutes or so, Isis took us through a huge, heavy, 5 inch thick notebook. She was talking a mile a minute. I was trying to listen, but by now, we had been up over 24 hours, and I found it hard to concentrate. It was about 9am Paris time. She went over the metro, the buses, the train, the museums, restaurants, the laptop and Internet, the kitchen appliances, the washer/dryer, the phone, everything you ever wanted to know about Paris and the apartment in 30 minutes flat. It was completely overwhelming, but at least we had the “notebook” for future reference.
Now, she was leaving out our door, after a lengthy orientation about the keys, the locks, and the importance of not leaving the key in the door (it was all very confusing and complicated, although the words, “If we have to take the door down, it will cost you $350,” got my attention). She gave us her cell phone number, but in my heart, I knew I wouldn’t call her and bother her. We would have to muddle through on our own...
and muddle we did...every step of the way.
So now...she was gone. We closed the door, and just stared at each other in silence. We were totally alone, in a huge building, full of Parisians, not tourists. There would be no one to ask if we had a question. No front desk. No room service. No concierge. We’ve stayed in some really nice hotels over the years, where they practically tuck you in at night.
This was going to be so different. No mints on the pillow. No turn down service.
It was me and Scott against the world...a world where we didn’t speak the language, understand the rules, or even know how to order a meal. This was going to be good...or bad...it could go either way. That thought was certainly looming in the back of our mind as we stood there. We were sort of shell shocked from all we had been through since we landed. We were overloaded with information, but at least we were here, in our apartment. It was clean, pretty, cozy, romantic, the whole deal.
SO, can you guess what we did first??????