Getting locked out!!
One of the best things about the experience of living in Paris is the fact that I’ve needed to return to London occasionally. This has had the advantages of being able to travel lighter than I thought possible, swap my wardrobe as the weather has turned colder, as well as live in a different area of Paris each time. I’ve opted to stay in studio apartments rather than in shared accommodation or hotels, mainly to stay self-sufficient as well as live locally in a variety of areas. So far its worked out amazingly, usually the hosts live in the apartment block and are there on hand with local information and often warmer blankets!
It’s also helped me get to know a wider Paris than if I’d stayed in one district. I’ve done a lot of walking over the last few months and on foot you appreciate how the districts and larger boulevards connect different parts of the city together. You also find little out of the way spots when you get lost, as I have done frequently.
During my stay in November however, I managed to lock myself out of my apartment for a couple of hours due to not appreciating that the door closure was similar to that of a hotel; in that once you’re out and the door is closed, you need a key to gain re-entry. On my first day at my last place, the host had called in deliver a warmer blanket and as I inadvertently stepped into the hallway to take it, the door closed behind me. Not a problem, you’d think, I was with the host, she had spare keys and we’d get back in. Unfortunately, I’d left my set of keys in the lock on the inside so the door wouldn’t open.
I was working from home on that day so was in baggy sweatpants, thick socks and a couple of long-sleeved t-shirts, my usual attire when working remotely and not expecting to see anyone. I also had a full afternoon of calls booked in and was without my phone or reading glasses!!
The host and I spent the next 2 & ½ hours watching 2 helpful locksmiths try to gain entry, me sitting on the stairs, thankful for the extra blanket it was still clutching, her surprisingly chain-smoking and us both trying to converse in a language we weren’t proficient in.
On the plus side the neighbours I met while we were waiting, were wonderfully friendly and amusing, as was the host and when I was finally back into the apartment, I hadn’t missed the commencement of any of my calls.
I can safely say that although this was an experience I’d not be in a hurry to repeat, particularly as the second locksmith called when the first was unsuccessful, took 30 seconds to get the door open, it was a funny story once I could look at it from the viewpoint of inside the apartment!.
It also turned out to be a great metaphor for how I was currently feeling, which was stuck and not able to move forwards or backwards and which I’m in the process of working through, so until next time, stay warm and where you can, inside!!