Every time I arrive in Paris there’s always something that goes a little bit wrong, usually because I haven’t gathered all the necessary information or forgotten something. Or because I’m too tired to figure something out. That’s what happened today. I missed some instructions about picking up the apartment keys that had been sent several weeks ago by my Airbnb host, Romain. They were sent early last March but not re-sent today or yesterday, which would have been the considerate thing. But a couple of other things also went wrong on their own.
My flight from JFK arrived around 12:40 pm. I took the usual Roissy bus (40 minutes, slogging through traffic), and arrived at the depot behind Place d’Opera around 2:40 pm. I hopped on a Creteil-bound metro, got off at the Filles du Calvaire stop, and dragged the luggage over to 40 rue de Saintonge.
I had texted Romain yesterday and explained I’d be there around 3:30 pm. But when I texted him today as I stood by the street entrance, he told me the keys were sitting inside a code-entry lock box inside Bistrot de la Gaite (7 rue Papin), which is ten blocks to the west. I scrolled back through my Airbnb inbox and found a message, sent on 3.9, explaining this procedure, so my bad. I should’ve double-checked.
So I hailed a cab and went over to this place, bags and all. But then the code Romain gave me in the original message didn’t work. Punched it out four times — no dice. So I texted Romain, blah-dee-blah, “not working, brah.” He eventually gave me another code that worked. Keys and bags in hand, I taxied back to the pad.
The apartment is beautiful. It’s easily the coolest, most character-rich place I’ve ever stayed in Paris, and located in a truly wonderful neighborhood. But a principal power source (a cord extending out from under a living-room armoire) wasn’t generating electricity so I had to fool around with that for a while.
Things are pretty much okay now but it was touch and go for a while. What an adventure. Misfortunes like this are why some people say “See? Airbnb rentals are always troublesome in one way or another — that’s why I prefer a hotel. ” I’d rather go through today’s experience ten times over than stay in a hotel. Because Airbnb apartments are rich and real and hotels are antiseptic. Havens for fraidy cats.
I feel so whipped and jet lagged now. I can’t think straight. I guess I’ll go out for some groceries and then flop for a bit. I’ll probably wake up at 2:30 am.