Funny things about France

There are some funny, quirky, adventurous things about appliances and home furnishings in France. In all of my travels in Paris and other parts of France there are some common elements related to washing machines, showers, dishwashers and entrances to apartments. Washing machines: very helpful to know French and/or to have someone explain all the dials, pictures and temperature settings – otherwise you may end up with shrunken garments or oddly colored clothes. Also I’m still not sure why it takes twice as long to run a normal load compared to home. There aren’t many dryers either so you need a clothes rack to hang your items on after. Dishwashers tend to be pretty small and also have some of the complexities similar to the washing machine. Showers: I have yet to experience one in an apartment that is either mounted on the wall above my head and with an adequate shower curtain so water doesn’t go everywhere. The shower in our current apartment has the most space I’ve encountered and plenty of hot water so that’s been a bonus, although it’s part of a tub without a wall attachment so you have to be able to hold the attachment in one hand while you lather, shampoo and shave with the other. Apartment entrances: typically there’s a code on the outer door so you need to write that down or memorize it and sometimes it gets changed by ‘someone’ without you knowing so that can add some complexities. Once you get through the first outer door then you may or may not need another key or code to get through the next door. Also, if it’s dark you’ll need to hit the light switch to see – they eventually go off on their own. Then you’ll most likely have another key to open the actual door to your apartment. There’s usually another key to open your mailbox. Even though it may be advertised that your apartment has ‘free wifi’ it may or may not work all the time so you kind of need to be tech savvy or bring along your own mobile wifi D-link – Dave just happened to bring one along. Also it might need to be plugged into the wall outlet that isn’t also serving all the lights on one switch – otherwise it shuts down when you turn all the lights off. You may wonder then with all of this why I love Paris? It’s all just part of the adventure of visiting another culture and place. I love the language, people, food, art, neighborhoods, metro, walkability, architecture, museums and public garden spaces – I find that they balance out the funny quirkiness of the appliances, apartment entrances and wifi.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Caryn Cornelisse says:

    Hi Sharon,
    your musings make me smile! Indeed, there are so many ‘different’ things to get used to here in Europe… but I found just as many ‘different’ things when I went back to visit the U.S. and Canada last summer. So glad to read you embrace them with joy and gladness. That’s why you’re such a successful traveler! After 4 years, I’m finally used to most of these quirky things.. but I still get frustrated with my modern washing machine which takes 2 hours and 20 minutes to wash one load! Bon journee!

  2. Linda Keeney says:

    I love that you are writing,clear, crisp, French thoughts now. Can’t wait to read about your U. S. thoughts too.

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