Thursday, May 31, 2012

It's a fight!

There's nothing like watching a fight of truly international proportions unfold.

Within days of moving into our current apartment all hell broke loose.  A Donald Rumsfeld style "shock and awe" inspired demolition began on Apartment Number One, two doors down the hall.

It sounded like the building was being dismantled.  Sledgehammers were wielded to make the very bones of the structure ring out in pain.  This continued for weeks.  From 0900hours to 1700hours.  Daily.

Cemetery Art

Then, strange silence and a visit from our Apartment Number One neighbor.  He apologized for the noise and asked that we were OK with the construction.  I'm thinking "what construction?  You're tearing the place apart!"  But with an assumed Gallic shrug all we could say was "ah bon."

It seems there is always some form of destruction going on in the places we rent in Paris.  The first year we were on l'isle Saint Louis a scaffolding went up on the building next door.  The racket as it went up was pretty surprising.  Then the following year, this time just around the corner on the main street thru l'isle Saint Louis, we were paid our very own special up close and personal visit from a demolition crew.  The day after we moved in our own scaffolding went up right in front of our windows and up and over the roof-line.

Parisian destruction crews are a unique breed who leave wide paths of noise and dust in their wake.

When the destruction of Apartment Number One started, all my wife and I could do was laugh.  It was just like the first few years of our marriage.  Everywhere we went on vacation there was an earthquake.  This is a true story, and it went on for five or six years.  Now it's the destruction of Paris that follows us everywhere.

Cemetery Art

We knew the noise had to be getting people in our building.  A sign went up in the lobby from the owners and workers in Apartment Number One.  It said, in French, that the original state of Apartment Number One was "insupportable."  Strangely, "insupportable" is the same word Dalida used to describe her life and why she was about to commit suicide.  "Insupportable".

Indeed, it's a good word.  It works on oh so many levels.  It fully describes the level of noise from the destruction that is taking place in Apartment Number One.  The destruction noises have resumed.  In force.  "Shock and Awe ~ Round Two."  Yet, it remained a little frustrating to have only a vague sense of what the battle was for and only a distant idea who the combatants really were.

Well, things have escalated to all out war.  Earlier this week we saw someone had scratched an "X" on the door to Apartment Number One.  We thought this odd.  What did it mean and why would someone ruin a rather nice and otherwise completely usable front door?

Yesterday, Jude took the garbage out to the trash pipe.  A large diameter pipe is used to transport our small bags of non-recyclable rubbish from the top floor down into the basement garbage bin.  It's fun to listen as plastic bags swoosh their way out of our lives.  The solid "thunk" at the bottom of the swoosh is surprisingly satisfying.

Grim Reality

Jude came back with more news.  The "X"'s had multiplied.  This time to our neighbor's door at Apartment Number Two.  Many "X"'s now adorned our poor neighbor's previously pristine porte.

I'd wager we've figured out who Apartment Number One thinks put the "X" on their door.

It's a righteous row!

We can't wait to see what fun ensues if or when destruction turns into actual construction.


  1. J'attend avec impatience le reste de cette histoire. Ce serait "insupportable" si un X apparaƮtrait sur votre porte!

  2. Bien sur! Un "X" ne dois pas apparaƮtre sur ma porte!! Il n'y serait rien de rigoler. :-(