Thursday, October 22, 2009

Trip Recap, part 2

What was I saying again?  Oh yeah, I never argue with free.

One's senses always seem to be heightened when one takes to the streets of a new city.  Cities smell different.  They look different. They feel different.  Dragging my suitcase over to the world's smallest apartment, I keep noticing how weird everything was.  I blame part of that on sleep deprivation.  So, over to the apartment, from one tiny elevator to another tiny elevator, past a smoking dog.

I am not claustrophobic, but this free apartment is insanity.  Now, if someone gave me title to this apartment for all time, for me to use whenever I dropped into Paris, I might say no.  Free accommodations are fantastic, and I never say no to free, but next time I just might.

Once the bed was unfolded, the entire room was filled, save a small alleyway around the perimeter.  Now, you might think that would be OK, but the roof had a serious pitch on the east side, upon which I bashed my head several times.  Of course, I am well accustomed to head bashing, and have reduced my brain cell count by a factor of ten over the years, so I ought to be used to this, but it turned old very quickly.

To stand at the sink (yes, there was a sink in this room) meant that one had to tilt one's head a good thirty degrees to port and stand as far west as possible.  Below the sink were an assortment of pots and pans, but bending over proved problematic.  Next to the pots was a small bar fridge.  Above the fridge sat a two burner hot plate, but I feared actually using it without a good deal of scrutiny because I felt that the sloping ceiling, skimming the tops of the pots, would burst into flames at any second.

Believe it or not, they managed to fit a shower stall in the room, right at the entrance.  Aside from when I was sleeping, this was the most comfortable spot in the room, but I did keep smashing my arms against the enclosure and usually managed to accidentally turn the water off a few times during each shower.  So, we had a room not much bigger than a double bed, a sink with bar fridge and shower stall.  Oh, and there was no bathroom: the whole place was a shower room, really, what with the steam flowing out of the shower stall.  I just had to hang up my shirts and let them steam.

So, to use the facilities, one had to trip down the hall (bonjour here, bonjour there, along the way) until one came to a toilet room.  Now, if I stood in front of the toilet to micturate, the entire quadrangle became intimately acquainted with my anatomy.  There are no secrets in Paris, I guess.  If one had to sit, they quadrangle people got a view of the back of your head.  No big deal there.

There was no sink in the toiletroom, but there was a sink that looked positively Roman outside, or you could walk back to your room, tilt your head 30 degrees to the port side, and wash your hands there, but jumping into the shower was actually easier.  If you hung your towel and clothes correctly, you could get a good motion going and be fully clothed with just a few twists and turns and grunts and almost no bruises.


Kate said...

I hear you about the smoking dog. As an American, I always feel a bit of pride when I'm overseas and see so many people smoking. Sure, the Europeans brought tobacco back years before we even had our own country, but we sure did a bang-up job of marketing it to everyone.

I stayed in a hotel in Leningrad with the communal bathroom with no privacy, no toilet paper, no sink, had to pass roomful of drunks... I think I would've peed in the shower. (There was no shower in the Leningrad hotel. 8 days.)

tweetey30 said...

I am happy to hear from you but not so happy to hear you are having troubles with sleeping accomadations.. Hope next time its better..

SME said...

Wow, this sounds like a 1930s slapstick travel comedy waiting to happen...