Having written at least three “catchup” posts which are in various stages of completion, maybe this one will be published before it self-destructs.
Remember when I said one of the reasons for moving to another country, out of my comfort zone, was to learn to be patient? Well, my patience is stretched to the limits everyday. Never ask for something unless you really know you want it.
Starting with move-in day, photos are far better than words. However, let me set the stage.
The apartment is in a 15th century building almost in the center of the historic district of Uzes. As most residences here, the ground floor doesn’t count so the floors start on two (etage 2). My apartment is on etage 3.
That’s the front door. The living area is on the equivalent of floors 4, 5 and 6 — up a spiral, stone staircase that narrows as it gets to the top.
All in all, there are 55 steps from the ground floor.
Now imagine “two men and a truck” carrying two 7′ x 5′ armoires; two 4’x3′ Victorian chests (one with a marble top — detachable, thank goodness!); a 36″ round table; and four chairs up the steps and spiral staircase. The good news? The armoires could be disassembled.
What’s so hard about this?
Through here? No problem
Wait, there’s more
Now imagine another “two men and a truck” crew arriving with a king-size bed mattress.
A feat of imagination, ingenuity, and brawn.
One of the men, after the third climb to the top, nicknamed the apartment “the ascension.”
A bed is a bed
Who would think something as simple as choosing a bed could be so complicated?
I’m used to three basic sizes of beds– twin, double and king. Simple.
Not in France. Bed sizes widths are 80cm, 90cm, 100cm, 120cm … to 260cm. Bed lengths go from 90cm to 200 cm and everything in between.
I literally stood in the bedding area of Carrefour (the French “Target”) for almost an hour trying to figure out what size linen to buy. Even after serious consideration, I made two trips back to make exchanges.
Then there are pillow sizes. Fogettaboutit!
So, how is my French coming along?
I know some of the basics that help me get by on an average day. I am, however, plowing through the first session of the Rosetta Stone French course as diligently as I can.
It’s not easy teaching an old dog. Be patient.