I was initially only going to do one post encompassing the Journey and the Arrival but there was just too much general bizarreness to put in one so here goes the second….
Getting a taxi to the flat was the best idea we ever had because the taxi driver helped us with our bags. I don’t think I could have carried them up any more flights of stairs. We couldn’t fit them all in the lift up to the family’s flat so we took it in turns to take them up. Pip was accompanied in the lift by the father of the family who let us into their flat.
We get into their flat and it is as beautiful as I remember except a little messier than last time I had visited! It is classically Haussmann and the addition of the harp in the corner makes it even better. I must add before I go on that the area I’m living in is the Parisian equivalent of Mayfair which sounds amazing but when you consider I’m living in the old servants’ quarters on a student budget it’s not quite the chic lifestyle it sounds!
I was finally introduced to the girls which was lovely but I think they were a little freaked out that I had Pip with me as well. I think for the younger one at least the only thing worse than having an English au pair is having two if only for a week! We had a long in depth conversation about whether we were identical or not and whether it was one egg or two which was a little surreal for my first encounter with them but nevertheless entertaining. After a little bit of faffing we went up to my flat which is unfortunately on the seventh floor with no lift. Walking up the stairs every day is making me surprisingly fit even after only a week here.
The mother of the family is a real darling she gave us a little settling in bag of goodies. It was quite an eclectic mix but quite useful as it turned out. The list is as follows
· One jar of apricot jam with my name written on the top made by the youngest (super cute)
· One cucumber (what the hell?!)
· A Camembert (which Pip hates and stank the fridge out)
· Some butter (useful)
· A baguette (but of course!)
So after the kids had helped us with the bags and we’d had a well-deserved sit down we headed out to find something to eat as we hadn’t had anything since the KitKat on the Eurostar. The first obstacle that we hit was the lack of light in the corridor. We spent a while fumbling around in the dark trying to find the light switch to no avail so decided to just risk it and trudged down the stairs in darkness….
Luckily I knew a really good tapas bar nearby so we weren’t left hungry for too long and when we returned to the flat the light had been switched on but not for the top two floors. It turns out that it had been broken for a while but has been fixed now which is a relief as I didn’t fancy returning from Freshers to a very dark staircase. I am a generally paranoid person who thinks that crazy axe murderers are following me most days so I’m glad I now have light! So that my friends was my Arrival in Paris.