So for those of you who have never experienced French bureaucracy, count yourselves lucky! The bank account is still not open. This has pretty much become the bane of my existence over the past few days, but I'm almost there! I am staying positive and really thanking my lucky stars that I've been spared having to apply for "la CAF" (kind of like family benefits) or any thing else of that sort.
Having said that, it really is exhausting living in a city where bikes, motorcycles, cars and even buses are trying to run you over every time you cross the road.... even if the green man says it's safe for pedestrians to cross, think again! And not only that, I've found out that you have to watch out even when you're walking on the pavement because motorbikes like to think they can drive on them too!
One little thing that I've discovered since being here is that the man who runs the fruit and veg shop opposite my flat doesn't stand in the shop when there are no customers, but if you want something, he can always be found in the café/bar on the other side of the road!
Another quirk is that going to my local mini-supermarket is just like going to a disco. I popped in today and they were playing Black Eyed Peas "The Time (Dirty Bit)" and that's pretty standard - every time I go in, they are playing something like that.... I had a little boogie walking down the aisle to a bit of Magic System the other day!
Another accomplishment (which may sound trivial to you, but is actually something I'm quite proud of) is that I have now managed to perfect the art of picking a lock! And no, I haven't locked myself out of my flat *touch wood!* It's because every time you want to enter my building, you have to fight a battle with the key and the lock. Thank God my housemate told me that there was a "petit truc avec la clé" ("a little thing about the key") or otherwise I'd have given up all hope and would probably still be sitting on the doorstep! I'm not sure if it's just the cut of my key, or if it's a problem that each new tenant goes through but it's taken me just short of two weeks to get the hang of it - on some occasions the office workers opposite, who have a perfect view of my plight, would pull up a chair and watch me attempt it!
A little challenge which I still haven't done yet is that I need to pick up a parcel that was delivered from "le gardien" ("the porter") and this morning I had a little slip in my letter box which says that he is keeping it for me and I can pick it up from him whenever I like. However, I'm not entirely sure where he lives!!
There are plenty of things I still want to buy once my bank account is open. Curbing the desire to buy those things right now regardless has not been helped by the tens of very glamorous ladies who've been walking down my area's least attractive street today. There's obviously some sort of casting for models happening because they've all got their maps out and look thoroughly lost! On the other hand, I've improved my French vocabulary by giving them directions!
And so on that note, I believe my washing should be coming to the end of its cycle in the laundrette, I also need to prepare for my first visitor who arrives tomorrow morning but overwhelmingly, I am starting to call this place home and without a doubt, Paris, I love you!