Friday, March 15, 2013

Je suis arrivée

This apartment, Romantique Montmartre, has been the easiest rental that I have ever done. I have rented houses in France privately through the owner and apartments through agencies but this one has worked like clockwork. The attentive owners of the Lime Tree Hotel in London called me a taxi.  The driver wound his way through rush hour traffic to get me to the Eurostar at St Pancras.  Taxi drivers here are very  helpful and most grateful for any tip.  I think that the "service inclus" in most European countries means that tourism/service people do not receive much in the way of gratuities. As a solo woman with luggage, I rely on the kindness of strangers a lot.

There are no porters at St. Pancras. Last year, I managed much heavier bags myself but I am still unsure on my feet after having fallen Wednesday. The wheeling of suitcases is fine but lifting them onto the train is impossible for me right now. A nice French man lifted the case for me. The Eurostar is efficient and prompt.  I arrived in Paris' Gare du Nord, a five minute taxi ride away from my new pied à terre  where I was met by the greeter at the security gate outside the apartment. There is a courtyard but I have not had time to take photos. The apartment is beautiful. In a small space, there is everything that I could need, even facecloths. Telephone calls to Canada are free so I was able to call my mother and husband. The cleaning person will even visit me twice during my 3 week stay.  Last year, I rented for 5 months and had to pay for the cleaning although clean bedding and towels were delivered upon request.

I undertook a short walk to get some food but I am still feeling a bit weak. I bought some bread, goat cheese, olives and wine for a light dinner. I am a "Free Woman in Paris."  In France, I can't even watch the Youtube of Joanie Mitchell because there copyright is much more strictly enforced than in Canada.

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