Chapter 8. First Day Struggles

Preface: Sorry to all my friends and family whom I’ve been completely ignoring over the past few days. We don’t currently have internet in our apartment, and there isn’t anywhere nearby with convenient wifi. I took the metro into the city today to go to Starbucks and post this! Hopefully the internet will be up and running by the end of the week.

Well we’re here. Here in Paris. The weather is unbelievable, our flat is coming together nicely, and life is generally wonderful. It wasn’t so rosy and happy our first day here though. Let me tell you the story.

Murphy and I arrived in Paris by the TGV just after lunchtime. The journey went pretty well, but Murphy does NOT like the train so he was quite stressed (and by association I was stressed as well)!

Poor, worried doggie.

The train ride is around 4 and a half hours, and by the end we were both VERY happy to get off at the Gare de Lyon. The next step was to find a way to get to Neuilly, where our new place is, without using the metro. Dogs are allowed on the Paris Metro only if they are in bags (?!?). As I didn’t have a Murphy-sized bag around, we had to get a taxi. Now, unfortunately most Paris taxis didn’t seem to want a slobbery golden retriever in their cars, so we had to wait for ages…in the rain. It had been sunny for the entire journey, but of course the rain had to come at some point- typical!

Anyways, we finally found a nice taxi driver and got to our new place. Murphy was quite pleased with the taxi!


The point of all this is that Murphy and I were both pretty tired by the time we arrived. Then we opened the door to a flat that was dirty and only partially unpacked. The movers had only arrived the day before, and Marc was working (and still living at the temporary apartment). So needless to say, after an afternoon of unpacking and organizing, we were SO happy to receive the call that Marc was downstairs at the front door. So naturally, we rushed down the stairs to greet him!! We said our hellos, came up the stairs, and then Marc looked at the door, then at me…and said with an expression of horror….

‘You have the keys, right?’

Ummmmmm… I was wearing a sundress, had no shoes on, only my phone in my hand….and the keys were inside. Now this wouldn’t have been a problem in Switzerland, or in Canada, or in any of the other places I’ve lived….but in France they have doors that look like this.


There is no handle. Even if the door is unlocked inside, as soon as it’s closed, you can’t open it without a key. I hadn’t even closed the door behind me- the wind had blown it shut.

OK. So the next step- Marc should have another key. He thought it was at the temporary apartment, so he called an Uber and headed off there while Murphy and I camped out in the hallway.

Murphy thought this was all terribly boring….

Nope, Marc calls and can’t find the key. I check his briefcase (which he left with me) quickly….no key. It must be in one of the bags inside the new apartment. So the next step is the annoying one, time to call a locksmith (serrurier in French, not a word I really wanted to learn!). The locksmith came pretty quickly, even beating Marc home. He took one look and said…

Oh Madame, c’est pas bon…


He needed to break in…no problem there. It’s actually a little troubling how easy he found it to get inside! It was the next part that was the issue. This lock couldn’t withstand being broken into, and he would have to install a new one. These locks cost….wait for it….around 1000 Euros. Plus another 1000 for labour and the emergency surcharge

Oooof, what an expensive mistake!

We ended up paying in cash, and the machine only gave out 20s. Counting it out with the man over our small table….it felt like we were involved in a drug deal!

Ouch…I’m posting this a few days later and it still hurts to look at this picture.

And after all that money, all that trouble…..can you guess where the spare key was?

It was in Marc’s briefcase, sitting beside me while I waited….the whole time.

Happily, it’s been three days since that terrible incident and things are looking up! I will post more about life here and our new place soon.

Thanks for reading!



3 thoughts on “Chapter 8. First Day Struggles

  1. I think you should post a picture of this expensive and annoying key! Yikes that sounds like quite a day, can’t wait for you to have wifi…..😘 🔑 💰


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