I am writing from the apartment we rented for a few days in a prime Rive Gauche location through an organization called ParisPerfect.com.
The apartment is cozy and stylish at the same time; the organization, however, leaves something to be desired. I called from the airport to confirm that the apartment was ready, and was told I could proceed to our greeting appointment. When we got there, we were met at the building by a greeter who was new at her job, and immediately apologized because the keys she had brought did not work and she could not open the apartment door; she advised us to take a walk for about half an hour, while she waited there for a colleague to deliver another set of keys from the office. And walk we did, under the wet snow falling on Paris; when we returned, our greeter and the new guy informed us that unfortunately the elevator did not work, but would be fixed in the afternoon. So we got some help schlepping our bags up four flights of stairs, and reached the door of the apartment, behind which a distinct vacuum cleaner noise could be heard. The cleaners were still inside, and they had left their key on the inside of the door lock: that’s why our greeter hadn’t been able to let herself in and check the apartment before our arrival.
Once that mishap was cleared and we were finally inside, we were given the tour of the apartment, and our greeter tried three of our credit cards for the security swipe on her portable machine before calling the office for help (insert chip side into the bottom of the device) and succeeding.
The kitchen window looks out over a tiny courtyard, and the courtyard is covered by a net stretched horizontally just below our windows, so that the pigeons don’t nest inside, I guess. But as a side effect there is a pigeon, half covered in snow, lying dead on the net outside the kitchen window. It’s been there a while already, apparently. And the cleaners are not allowed to reach out to remove and dispose of it, due to some health or union or other French regulation. So the kitchen offers a view of a dead pigeon, and will probably offer it for the duration of our stay.
The elevator, by the way, has not been fixed; and tomorrow is Sunday. Have a great weekend!
Update, Dec. 21: The elevator was fixed on Tuesday afternoon; the pigeon stayed dead. After soliciting feedback by email, ParisPerfect wrote back with apologies. Apologies accepted.