Sunday, September 20, 2009

Moving In (Part II)

By the end of the afternoon the truck was only about half unloaded but the big and heavy stuff was out of it. What was left were boxes, boxes and more boxes: lots and lots of boxes of books, boxes of DVDs and other, smaller, miscellaneous boxes. Colman took off and drove back to his apartment on the wrinkles of the map, surprising us by insisting that it only took him an hour an a half. Jacky had had enough and stopped for the evening shortly thereafter, saying he would finish the next day.

I hobbled around the piles of boxes looking for the bag with the clean sheets that we had packed that morning in the trunk of Jacky's car...only to discover that they were still in the trunk of Jacky's car in Dieppe! Luckily the bed did have sheets on it (if not the cleanest) and we had the old ratty conforter as a cover. After all, we were none too clean ourselves after all that moving.

The kitchen stuff not having been unpacked yet, we had to go eat at the only restaurant within reasonable walking with crutches and small dogs on leash distance: a bar, café, brasserie, pizzeria, créperie, ice cream parlor, something for everyone restaurant on the esplanade by the improbable name of Octopussy. Vaguely I looked for the James Bond theme but could not find it. When we got there around 9:45 pm it was hopping; most of the tables were occupied and people were still arriving. I had a "galette" (it's the savory version of the "crépe") with ham, egg and cheese. Jacky got a pizza. It was after 11:00 pm when we got home and we had no problem falling asleep.

The next morning, we were up early and Jacky got back to work unloading the truck and I got back to work unpacking the boxes. A box marked "Winter clothes" was one of the boxes that appeared to have been nibbled at by some rodent and the impression was confirmed when I opened it: many of the clothes had been chewed at and had holes in them. Then when I opened the box holding my leather handbags and shoes and I had another surprise...most of them were seriously mildewed...I felt like crying! But one of the worst surprises were the boxes with the family photos: the photos were seriously affected by the humidity and the boxes were crushed, with dirt and leaves inside them...what a mess!

To console myself, turned to unpacking the dishes and kitchen equipment and at least everything was there and in perfect condition, ouf!

By the end of Sunday there were still a few boxes to unload but Jacky had had enough. This time, when we showed up at Octopussy at 9:45 pm, the kitchen was starting to close and all we could get were pizzas. I was getting a little tired of eating like that...

Monday morning, Jacky got up very early, finished emptying the truck, took it back to Dieppe and came back with his car. Finally I was able to change the sheets. That, along with the kitchen stuff unpacked, made me feel we were really setting up housekeeping.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Finally moved in!

Hard to believe I haven't posted since August 25th! But we have been very, very busy...

On Thursday night August 27th August Jacky rented a van and picked up the armoire we puchased at the Puces de Vanves. He then picked up Colman and I and we drove to pick up the fridge I had found on Craigslist Paris for 100 €. I was glad that Colman was there to help us load it into the van.

On Friday morning August 28th we went to our storage space in Paris and loaded the rest of the stuff into the van. Of course it took much longer than expected since I'm still on crutches and Jacky had to do it by himself. Finally on our way, we had an appointment with the real estate agent at 11:00 am to pick up the keys and for the entry inventory. At 11:00 am we were still a good hour away and we called to say we would be late but she had other appointments and could not meet us until 1:45 pm. We had time for lunch and at 1:30 sharp we were parked in front on the building waiting for her. She arrived on time and while Jacques began unloading items she walked me through the inventory and explained to me that the electricity would be redone to norm, the broken shutters would be repaired and a new shower stall would be installed.

Meanwhile, I was suspiciously eyeing all of the boxes marked "DVD" that Jacky was bringing in...

All of the small stuff having been brought up, the fun began. The armoire, while large and bulky, was not particularly heavy and Jacky and I managed to bring it up the steps, me sitting and holding in place, him pushing up. But the fridge was another story. No matter what, a regular size fridge needs two strong and healthy persons to bring it up some narrow winding stairs, even up only one story. So after much trying, groaning and effort (and seriously denting the front of the fridge), we had to leave it in the entry hallway with a small sign saying we would remove it the day after (when Colman agreed to come and give us a hand). It was getting very close to the time we absolutely had to leave to return the van on time.

We drove back to Paris at breakneck still-keeping-to-the-limit speed (not easy with a tall van on a windy day) and had to call the van rental agency because we did not think we would make it in time. We arrived a couple of minutes before they closed, returned the van and made our way back home by metro and bus, with crutches and dogs.

Saturday morning Jacky got me up early and not-so bright and drove me to Colman's house where I would accompany him to Mers-les-Bains while Jacky drove to Dieppe to pick up a truck and the rest of the stuff from the second storage space. The plan to rendez-vous at Beauvais having been  dropped since Jacky was afraid Colman would not find us. Arriving at Colman's house at about 6:00 am, Colman let me in, went back to bed and I crashed on his couch. We both got a couple of hours more sleep and left around 9:30 am for the drive to Mers.

Meanwhile, Jacky had picked up the truck and was loading it with the aid of the persons at the other storage space...more to come on this one.

We managed to both arrive in front of the apartment at about exactly the same time and after a quick tour decided that we would have lunch first and then begin to unload. We went to Mon P'tit Bar where Colman ordered steak and Jacky and I sole, as usual. Afterwards, when we returned to the apartment the fun began. The refrigerator went up the steps without excessive struggling now that there were had two strong men to do it.

Then Jacky and Colman attempted to turn on the water and kept making trips to the basement and turning valves but nothing was happening. It was getting critical as we had no water for the toilet. Finally we had to ask the real estate agent to come by and show was all too simple: they had been turning on the gas instead of the water! Ouuf!

As the boxes were unloaded from the truck, I began to notice that they were in pitiful shape, dilapidated, torn, crushed, mildewed, dusty, dirty and even...nibbled at by some rodent! I began to fear the worst...

(to be continued)