Got a note from a friend asking, "Did ya move?" and I'm pleased to say that we did on December 28th.
I thought about posting about it before but the trauma was so great I needed a few weeks to recover.
We are still adjusting to living in a house and not in an apartment. The other day I walked out onto the back porch and saw that the garbage can was filled to overflowing and realized that there was no longer a nice gardien (apartment manager) to take it out to the street for me. If I wanted it taken care of I was going to have to go out and do it myself. But I didn't know how. And you can stop laughing right now because it turned out to be not as straightforward as I thought. They pick up the garbage every other day here in Versailles but there are RULES. You are to put out the garbage can on the sidewalk between 19:00 and 19:30. Not before and not after. You are to bring the garbage can back in before 9:00 in the morning. It's all explained in a little booklet called "Versailles Grandparc: Calendrier de collecte 2013."
I swear to God I read the entire thing and I still screwed it up. It was Tuesday and the book said they would collect on "Me" Mercredi (Wednesday). So I put the can out on Tuesday evening where it sat and sat and sat. I started to get really nervous about it. I mean, what do I know? I've never owned a house in France. What if someone tips it over and it makes a mess in the street? What if the garbage police come to my door to chastise me? Turns out that when they say "Wednesday" then you put the can out on Wednesday evening between 7 and 7:30 PM. Okay, I think I got it. The next collection is "Ve" Vendredi (Friday) so I'm going to test my hypothesis and leave the can out on Friday evening at the proper time and see if they pick it up. If that works then I'm good.
I'm sure there will be many more adventures to come with lots of material for posts. But for right now a few "thank you's" are in order:
Susan and Dewey from Pheonix, AZ: Thanks so much for helping me with colors for the walls. The gold/yellow in the living/dining room is just perfect. You need to get on a plane right now and come see. :-)
Leila and Curtis Poe from the other side of Paris: Curtis has one of my favorite blogs, Overseas Exile, and I had pleasure of meeting both of them before Christmas. Curtis took some books off my hands and Leila made a suggestion for the color of the hallway which turned out to be inspired.
Mike from Dax: Flophouse reader and friend, he drove all the up from southwest France to Versailles to help us move. We couldn't have done it without him. The extra pair of hands made all the difference and he is one hell of a "Certified IKEA technician." He gets a key to the house and he can come stay here anytime he likes.
My contractor and all the guys who worked on the house: We got someone local (Porchefontaine) to do the heavy work on the house since I was just too sick at the time for us to do it ourselves. This guy and his team turned out to be great. Professional, efficient, and they brought the project in on time and on budget. If you live in or around the 78 and you need some work done, I recommend these guys without reservation.
The other day when we made yet another trip to the hardware store, we caved and got a Fidelity Card. As we walked out of Leroy Merlin, the magnitude of what we have done washed over me. Home ownership. When the pipes leak, they are my pipes. Same for roof problems, the dying shrubbery in the garden, and so on.
Ristic the contractor and I had a conversation one day where we exchanged sayings about houses (American on my side, French/Serb on his). I said in the U.S. they were often compared to leaky boats. He replied that the equivalent in French was an old pail with a hole in it and money pouring out the bottom.
Between the American and French fiscs and this 80 year old fixer-upper, I am doomed.