R and I had a rough morning. We’ve been told since arriving here that the *only* way to get an apartment in Paris is to wake up at the crack of dawn on Thursday mornings when the new edition of Particulier à Particullier hits the newsstands. Every person we’ve asked has told us not to worry about annoying people – that you have to call them at 6 a.m. or you will never get an apartment.
Today we set the alarm for 5:30 and were waiting at the newsstand as it opened. When we requested the P à P, the papers hadn’t even been unwrapped from their protective plastic yet. I held our place in a phone booth, télécarte at the ready, while Rachael flipped through the P à P to find promising ads.
The first two numbers we called went straight to machine.
At the third, a cranky woman informed me that 6 a.m. was too early for phone calls, and the apartment had already been rented. Now there’s no way the apartment could have been taken (the newsstands were barely open!), so she must have just been upset to have been called so early.
We also reached two more machines, and a somewhat friendlier man told us to call him back at 9 a.m., not at six. Now we were just kind of upset, having woken up before the sun to follow the advice of about eight native Parisians and had nothing to show for it. So far if we have wanted to accomplish anything in this city, the first two contradicting sets of directions we receive are generally incorrect. We are learning everything by trial and error – so far mostly error, but we’re begininning to figure out what needs to be done.
The best thing to do in times of stress is to relax, so that’s what R and I have been doing. Getting nowhere in our apartment search? Take a break and walk along the Seine to the jardin des Tuileries. I took this picture on our walk yesterday.
*By the way, if you click on the pictures you can see them in extremely large format.