DRESSING THE DOG
Chapter 5 (Part Two)
WE WERE IN PARIS, FRANCE!!! Just me and Mummy. For a whole month! Several friends would join us at different times while we were here but first we had to get settled into our rented apartment and get unpacked. We had rented a cute little basement apartment from one of the sites that you find on the Internet. It wasn’t a huge space, only one bedroom and one bath, but it had a super kitchen for cooking, a sleeper sofa for our guests and a washer and dryer which we would DEFINITELY need since we would be there for so long. The taxi driver found the place with no problem and fortunately for us, he spoke English too. We had LOTS of luggage. I think that I already mentioned that. We had arrived in Paris on a very early flight but the owner of the apartment had known this and said it wasn’t a problem. He had an early meeting that morning and would have already vacated the premises. We were told to knock on the main door of the apartment building and the landlady would take us to the basement apartment. We could actually GO to the basement apartment ourselves, since it was accessed from the walkway leading to the main building, but we didn’t have a KEY… so we needed to get the key from the landlady. The taxi driver was so sweet and said he hated to leave us stranded on the sidewalk until he knew that we got into our apartment so he was ALSO waiting with us. You know what, that really WAS very nice! After several unanswered rings of the bell Mummy was getting nervous and so was the taxi driver. Mummy was looking him up and down and wondering if maybe he would let us stay with HIM for a month if this had all been some SCAM or something… because we had NOWHERE to go! Actually, I think he might have let us if it hadn’t been for all that luggage that we had. FINALLY, a woman came to the door and we let her know that we were renting from Pierre. She told Mummy, in French, that she did not speak English. Heavens to Betsy! Mummy turned to her new best friend in the whole wide world, the taxi driver, and said, “Would you please tell her that we need the keys to Pierre’s apartment? We are the renters for this month.” They babbled back and forth in a flurry of lovely French words and my new best friend turned to us and said, “Pierre is still in bed, asleep.”
“Would you please tell her to go get Pierre OUT of bed? We have been traveling all night and he assured us that we would be able to get into the apartment when we arrived this morning.” That is EXACTLY what Mummy said, but she was none too happy, and there was a definite CLIPPED tone to her voice. And her voice was getting a bit anxious/loud. The landlady got her keys and walked down the exterior stairs into Pierre’s apartment. As it turned out, she also cleaned for him on a weekly basis, but we wouldn’t find this out until a bit later. Ms. Lopes, the landlady, returned within minutes to let us know that Pierre was UP and taking a quick shower. She would clean up while he was getting ready and then we could move in. Our friend the taxi driver asked if he could take the bags into the apartment so that he could leave, and Ms. Lopes led him down the basement stairs where he unloaded them… ALL of them. Mummy gave him a generous tip and thanked him profusely for his help. We were both really tired and just wanted to lie down, but for now… there was nowhere to rest until the apartment was cleaned. At least we were here and the apartment was REAL and not a SCAM. Mummy would have a few words to say to Pierre when she saw him later. For now, she began working up the conversation that would soon take place. You could see the wheels turning. I just looked the other way and was sort of wishing that I had gone with my friend the taxi driver and helped him with his route for a few hours.
A short time later, Pierre finally emerged, scrubbed and polished, and looking like he just stepped out of a French GQ magazine. Everything Mummy wanted to tell him left her mind. I couldn’t think of a single thing to say either. We both just stood there staring, in utter amazement. All I saw were his gorgeous blue eyes. Did he have in blue contacts or was that really the color of his eyes? I was hoping that Mummy would ask him because I REALLY wanted to know. They looked like two big reflecting pools… you could almost swim in them, but I’m not really a very good swimmer so I didn’t want to stare into them for too long!!! It DID make me think back on all the summers that Mummy would work with us Yorkies in our backyard swimming pool. One at a time she would make us practice the dog paddle, from the middle of the pool all the way to the steps. She said it was just in case we should fall in, we needed to be able to swim our way to safety. I always hated those lessons because I didn’t like getting wet and it messed up my Yorkie topknot. But Mummy said that ONE DAY we might need to know how to swim, so every year we went through this ordeal. Now, I find myself in Paris, France… staring into two enticing blue pools belonging to someone named Pierre. Little did I know THIS is what she was talking about. I’ll admit that I wish I had learned to swim a little bit better because right now, I wanted to swim around in those blue eyes of his… for just 5 minutes… just one time. –SIGH- Anyone who doesn’t believe in love at first sight has never met Pierre from Paris, France. Just sayin’.
Mummy was slightly googled as well, but she held up a little better than I did. I was trying to claw my way out of her arms so that Pierre could hold me. The vibes we were sending each other were O-B-V-I-O-U-S but Mummy held on to me with a lion’s grip. Pierre showed us around the very small apartment and I listened attentively to his beautifully accented English. If I had been the one doing the talking, I would have said, “I’m sorry, could you repeat that please? I didn’t quite understand that last part.” But Mummy rolled on through the tiny apartment tour with nary a question… until it came to the washer and dryer. Where were those? The listing mentions a washer and dryer. Pierre said that was a mistake that he meant to correct. “There is no washer and dryer,” he said with a flip of his beautifully manicured, French hand. His housekeeper, Ms. Lopes would be happy to do our laundry for a small fee. She would also do our cleaning, for a small fee as well. Mummy started to say something and Pierre said, “Je suis désolé.” Uh huh. She started to say that she was désolée too but Pierre smiled at her and she forgot what they were even talking about! Come on Mummy! SAY SOMETHING! We can’t wash our clothes because of this “French Adonis” and his lousy advertising skills. She just smiled and brushed at the air and said, “C’est la vie!” WHAAAAAT??? Now, let me tell you something about my Mummy right here. I love her to death, so this is NOT a criticism, not really… but she is very particular/OBSESSIVE about her clothes and other stuff that touches her. She irons her sheets, and sometimes the top edge of towels if it has a cotton border that gets wrinkled. She irons her nursing scrub pants for work. She hand-washes our little dog harnesses and IRONS THEM!!! If her shoelaces got wrinkled, I think she might even iron those too! She washes stuff just for sake of washing. Washing is her life. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, I just think she needs to focus on OTHER, MORE IMPORTANT things. So for her to “brush off” the absence of a MUCH REQUIRED washer and dryer, which was a major reason why she CHOSE the apartment in the first place was just ASTONISIHING in itself. I’m not sure Ms. Lopes was going to be up to the task of Mummy’s particular cleaning requirements, especially when it came to hand-washing and pressing my little doggie duds!!! Either way, there was not much left to say. Pierre said “Au revoir!” grabbed his super cool motorcycle helmet, sped off toward the Eiffel Tower, and we were left alone in his/our apartment… in Paris, France!!!
We were both tired from the trip but Mummy had signed up for an afternoon cooking class because she was told that we should NOT go to sleep once we got here… we should wait until bedtime, Paris time… in order to get our days and nights regulated. Our dear friend, Laurence, who lives in Paris, was dropping by to see us and escort Mummy to her class by way of the Metro. I would stay at the apartment and sleep since I didn’t care one flip about day/night schedules because I slept whenever I felt like it. A few hours passed and before I knew it, Mummy was back again, although it only seemed like 5 minutes had passed! OH MY GOODNESS I was tired. She made “mille feuille” pastries in her cooking class, several of them in fact. There were more than she could eat by herself, so she walked around to the front of the beautiful apartment building and rang the bell. When Ms. Lopes came to the door, Mummy tried her best to describe, in her pitiful French, that she made them in a cooking class… and these were for her. WOW! She understood what Mummy said!!! Actually, this is my take on what REALLY happened. She recognized the plate as belonging to Pierre, since she cleans his apartment and knows what his dishes look like, the “mille feuille” pastries were soooo pitiful looking that she KNEW no Parisian baker made them, and since Mummy was beaming from ear to ear and tapping herself on the chest, the woman put two and two together and came up with MUMMY! It didn’t really require a rocket scientist to figure it out. But never mind all that, Ms. Lopes LOVED the pastries and gave Mummy the biggest hug. We would become fast friends over the next month and she and Mummy soon figured out a unique way to communicate with one another. It wasn’t long before they were laughing and “chatting it up” in the apartment, despite the fact that neither one of them could speak the other’s language. Somehow, love found a way!
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