Just when I had the seed planted in my head that my winter coat would be a year-round staple, les printemps arrived in a spectacular fashion.
It feel amazing to get a little warm sun on your face after being completely under wraps for months.
All the news in the past weeks coming from the states has been so sad and tragic and scary, and once again, I feel helpless and a little lost not being there. But hooray, gay marriage just passed in France (which totally floored me that it wasn't legal here ages ago as the French were the original mainstream accepters of gay culture) and there's all sorts of scandals and happenings here that I'm trying to get more involved with to feel more connected to this place.
I'm dealing with a few challenges right now that's making my life a little hectic. Want to hear about it? I'm pretty sure you have no choice in the matter, so read on. Aside from dealing with the really awesome bureaucracy involved with getting my residency permit renewed and trying to convince a utilities company to get a bill to me to prove I live where I do...a small drama is in the process of happening. While we were gone this past weekend and merrily eating schnitzel and spatzel, a pipe in the wall of our bathroom burst. Not only did it flood the apartment below us, it also badly damaged the apartment below that as well. When the neighbors went to turn our water off, the pressure in the pipe in the hallway built up, and that burst as well.
Magically, in France, if this happens to be your rental flat, you are 100% liable. This is part of the reason why insurance is mandatory for renters here. There is lots of conflicting paperwork to fill out and triplicates to send to different parities involved and plenty of headaches ahead as we prepare for some experience in the land of insurance inspectors and plumbers and contractors, and the bathroom in our flat is a bit torn up and will remain so for months to let things dry out. At least it wasn't in the kitchen, as then that would be torn up and unusable for pretty much forever. But alas, our neighbors with the water damage have been nothing but kind to us, and fairly nonchalant about the whole issue. It's an old building with very old plumbing and this thing seems to happen all the time here. I have seen the glorious way in which a person or the Parisian persuasion has the ability to have a dramatic tantrum over pretty much nothing, and I was totally relieved at how cool they have all been. They shrug and give a half-smile and accept my apologies gracefully and humor my french, with the occasional run to the computer to help me translate a perplexing phrase or words that I don't understand. I will be making batches of cookies for them soon.
But I am here, I am well, and I have tons of pictures and lovely knitwear and stories to tell, and I'm currently watching honeybees swarm the beautiful pink blossoms of the cherry tree from my window while debating just what variety of cheese should I have for lunch today. Strawberries are in season here (and delicious) and I found some rhubarb at the market this morning to make this lovely gooey bit of springtime cheer, the weather has been relatively dry and warm, I These problems are small, but time consuming, and we all have to deal with them at one time or another.
Life is good.