This is a lovely picture of the jardin du Luxembourg to emphasize one thing: Paris is quite cold at the moment. There has been a fair amount of snow, that, while never more than 2 inches, has put everyone in a tizzy. Yesterday snow was exchanged for cold rain, and all day I rather enjoyed it, as it provided a cozy background for a day of museum sketching, bookstore browsing, hot chocolate, and a toasty dinner in my apartment. However, my happy cold day enjoyment died at 2 am, when I learned a valuable life lesson: always take the key to the bathroom.
My room is a chambre de bonne, literally, a “maid’s room” and thus it has its own shower but the toilette is shared in the hall. Even though I never shut my door all the way, I always take the key just in case. But last night, I was in the process of getting in bed — pyjamas, glasses, awesome bed hair, the works — and went to the bathroom minus the key. I blame it on the cold, and the excitement I had about climbing into my warm cocoon of a bed. Whatever the case, that meant that at 2 am, I was standing in front of my door, toilet paper in hand, shivering, with no way to enter. I briefly debated going through my neighbor’s room and climbing out her window and scaling the ledge, but let’s be honest: that only works in movies. In real life, you fall all seven stories and die. I was not willing to die in my pjs, slippers, and glasses. This is, after all, Paris. I went for option two, go down to wake up the family that owns my room and get a spare key. What parent with three children under the age of 10 doesn’t love a doorbell ringing at 2 am?
Down the stairs I go — the outside exposed stairs — so by the time I ring the doorbell, I have enhanced my outfit by being soaking wet. Ring ring ring — no answer. Oh no. There are new tenants in our building who were having a huge loud party one floor above. I think that maybe their noise caused every resident around them to sleep in earplugs, but whatever the case, no one answered rings 1-4. Now I have two fears, one that I will never make it back, and two, that the cool Italian tenants will meet me for the first time in wet pyjamas, glasses, bad hair, and holding a roll of toilet paper as a sign of my pathetic state. Ring 5, ring 6 . . .
Finally, someone comes to the door, takes one look at me and my roll of toilet paper, laughs and hands me the key with a smile before going back to bed. I sprint away in to the cold, barely ahead of the cool Italians leaving their merry party. Lesson learned.