Day Two: Corinne, Our New Place, Sleepwalking

DSCN4019Corinne was there with her father, waiting for us. Corinne is maybe in her early fifties, speaks a lot more English than I do French, and was so gracious in welcoming us to her apartment.

Corinne and her husband live outside Paris, so unlike some AirBNB situations, we had this place entirely to ourselves. I’m not sure if it was at one time Corinne’s home. We really didn’t talk about that. At some point this is a business arrangement.

Corinne wanted to make sure we knew where all the switches for things were and how everything worked. The flat has a mostly full kitchen (an LG combination microwave / regular oven covers that particular base) and a washer/dryer combination. She instructed us on how to use them all, but sad to say, we were both about one-third awake from the journey and not running on all cylinders. And as for me, I have the memory of a gnat about some things, so I’m afraid her careful instructions were lost on us, something we’d realize was a big fail when we started to use these things and saw all of the French directions! Some things, like the Nespresso cappuccino/coffee maker, were easy to figure out. Learning how to operate the LG Washer/Dryer is a work in progress, as is the microwave/regular combo oven.

As a finishing touch, Corinne welcomed us with a wonderful bottle of French wine and two fresh croissants from (we think) Rue Cler, the great market just a few blocks away. After she left, this would be the first food we would enjoy in this new place and new country.

The apartment is WONDERFUL. I think the amount we’re paying for a month adds up to what would buy us a less than great room in a cheap Paris hotel. Only instead of a room and a bathroom and a walk to slow elevators down to the street, we have a great room that is about 25-30 feet and has a kitchen, dining area for six, and a living area with comfy couch. Windows in front overlook the street (In the US, the second floor is the second floor. In France, the second floor is thought of as the first floor). In the back of the great room, another window overlooks a courtyard area. Nothing fancy down there, but this way we’re getting light from two directions. So the great room, with two bedrooms and two baths (though one toilet between them) made for an amazing amount of space and a really nicely furnished and outfitted place to live.DSCN4020

The other feature of day two, already alluded to, was the semi-conscious state we were already in. Trips from Denver to Paris take a long time, we travel across eight time zones, and neither of us sleeps particularly well on the red eyes we take over.

The rule of thumb, we were taught a long time ago, is to try to stay awake after the journey. Try to live day one as though you were a native. I call it gutting it out. And we did cheat. As soon as Corinne and her Father were off to a performance at Opera Bastille, we sacked out for a couple hours.  Hungry at long last, we headed out to a restaurant that Mary Ann read about which featured a really wonderful version of the famous French Onion Soup (called here, naturally, simply ‘Onion Soup’). Afterward, a long detour let us explore our neighborhood some more. Then we dragged ourselves home and headed off for another fairly sleepless (!) night. This jet lag thing is something I fear I’ll never get used to.

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