Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Our Apartment

Our apartment is located between a narrow street and and a courtyard. Driving down the driveway into the parking garage takes nerve and precision. The entry, constrained by the cars parked on the street, requires a sharp turn and then an abrupt descent down an impossibly steep slope. The turn at the bottom is too sharp to turn reliably in the direction of our parking place, so we turn the other way, then back up past the driveway. Getting out requires doing everything in reverse, except that you have to gun the car (manual transmission, of course) up the slope while turning. This is now less terrifying than the first few times, but it sure gets your heart rate up in the morning.

To get into the apartment requires a succession of keys, all different: one for the door from the street into the courtyard, one from the courtyard into the stairwell, one for the outer door of the apartment, and one for the inner door of the apartment. Then there's a different key for the door from the parking garage into the stairwell.

The courtyard, apparently, serves the police station on the ground floor. The fortunate get to park in the courtyard during the day, thus avoiding the descent into the garage. The upper floors seem to be mostly offices. We've met one of the police officers and one of our neighbors, but people pretty much keep to themselves. It's funny, because people in Metz are hugely friendly. When you go into a store, every single shop-person says hello, and everyone says goodbye when you leave.

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