Yesterday, at this time, I had solid plans to spend my evening detailing the wonders of French yogurt. Taking not-so-surreptitious photos of the dairy extravaganza (i.e. aisle) had been the highlight of my day. I had conned two friends to be lookouts at the most luxurious Monoprix I have ever seen (the security detail at some of these supermarkets is impressive) and proceeded to confuse multiple customers who just shook their heads in my direction after hearing the loud American giggling in the cold case section. Yet, after a late night attending a work function, I decided to put off the post for one day. That way I’d have more light to take photos of the variety of yogurt I brought home to sample and more energy (and creativity) to put into the post – both of which I have been rather low on lately.
I did not count on the fleet of French firefighters who pounded on my door many, many, many times between 1:30 and 3am this morning. Apparently my new downstairs neighbor had some type of fire. No worries – nothing that required evacuation or in any way affected the structural integrity of the building as far as I could eek out with my piecemeal French. I am pretty sure that they even put everything out before they woke me. However, said apartment ventilates into my laundry area – a small enclave off of the living room – close to the front door and was spewing acrid fumes into my little place while I was ignorantly sleeping.
The very nice, not very bilingual and young (and attractive) pompiers came and went through my entire place, mostly focusing on the vents behind the washer. Multiple times I thought the walk=through was finished, that they had satisfied their curiosity that I, too, did not have a fire (and to the extent of my dirty laundry piles), but then they kept returning. I did not realize until this morning that they had been checking carbon monoxide levels. After being satisfied by their instrument readings and severely ordering me to keep all the windows open, I was finally allowed to return to bed. I tossed and turned. Everything smelled like campfire and I was sincerely freaked out – neither smoke detectors, nor carbon monoxide monitors are mandatory in France – what if I had slept through it all? Needless to say, I have not yet returned to my passion for coconut yogurt (although it is quite cooling).
So, email to landlord? Check. Request for a smoke detector? Check. New emergency plan put into place amongst the friends and loved ones? Check. Lots and lots and lots of Febreeze? Check, check and check. Return to the excitement over yogurt and stress about the cold I cannot seem to kick? Returning slowly but surely. Most likely tomorrow – the pictures are killer.
First, I need a really good night’s sleep. It has been a long day.
(Photo credit to freefoto.com – makes me want to try my hand at capturing flames, but from a safe distance)