A bumpy start

17Mar11

My trip got off to a bumpy start yesterday morning. I strained my back trying to close my suitcase. I cut two fingers on a zipper. I chipped a tooth while threading a needle. And then I fell on the ice as I was taking out the garbage.

But none of that matters now. I’m in Paris. WAHOO!

I’ve been to Paris six or seven times before. Esteban and I have a timeshare, so we usually trade into an apartment in a lovely little suburb on the city’s eastern border.

But this time I wanted to experience the city — I wanted to live like a Parisienne. So I took the bold step of signing my name to a lease in a foreign country and I rented an apartment right across the river from Notre Dame.

My first reality check came as I schlepped my overstuffed bag up three flights of rickety spiral stairs. The second came when my rental agent opened the door to the apartment. It barely resembled the spacious, airy studio I’d seen online. Damn you, wide-angle lenses!

And the third reality check came when I started looking for a place to put my clothes: There’s only one closet, about a foot and a half wide. My Ralph Lauren tweed jacket is now spooning with a Dust Devil.

I was further dismayed to discover that the phone, wi-fi and cable come in a sort of “choose any two” package: When I arrived, only the TV and internet worked, so they sent a repair person with a new phone. Now the phone and TV work — but, alas, no more internet.

Oh … and what can I say about the laundry facilities? This is apparently what the rental agency meant when they said “dryer included:”

At first I was disappointed, and I found myself wishing I’d just stuck with the timeshare. But then I realized that I was missing the point: I’d wanted to have a more authentic experience of Paris, and this is it. Plus, it really is in a great location …

To combat the jet lag, I went for a long walk in the afternoon. The sky was a heavy gray, but I didn’t care. I was excited to tour a private museum devoted to Chopin — and to munch on my first crêpe sucrée. Here are a few of the things I saw along the way.


Votive candles at Notre Dame cathedral

Drizzle on the Pont au Change

Lots of locks of love

Life is beautiful … and so are you.

L’accordeoniste Italien

… better rethink the name

My first Eiffel Tower sighting: Barely visible in the drizzle.

That’s all for today. Until tomorrow …



5 Responses to “A bumpy start”

  1. 1 dancingbeastie

    Glad you made it! Living in a shoebox is just authentic city life, I guess. Wonderful photos – I especially like the ghostly Eiffel Tower, like a shadow thrown by the steeple in front.
    Bonnes vacances!

    • 2 hmunro

      Thank you, dancingbeastie! I loved your description of the “ghostly” Eiffel Tower—that’s exactly how it feels sometimes. You can always sense its presence, but you can’t always see it … which is magical.

  2. 3 InsideJourneys

    Aaaah, the joys of travel! Somehow a small apartment is a small apartment. But a small apartment in Paris? Wow, that’s a whole other deal – Enjoy!
    And keep sharing your stunning photos.

  3. 4 InsideJourneys

    Meant to delete the ‘somehow’ – sorry!

    • 5 hmunro

      No worries! Your comments are always appreciated—especially when they pertain to small apartments in Paris! (BTW … The small apartment is quickly growing on me, if only because of its location: It’s central to *everything.*) And no need to request more photos: I suspect that by the end of this trip you’ll be writing to say, “enough already with the photos!” Ha. 🙂


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