We woke up at 3:40 yesterday morning, walked an hour in the cold & rain to the prefecture, and waited in line – in the cold & rain – for 3 hours.  People were shoving and pushing and trying to cut in line, my eye was almost poked out by umbrella spokes numerous times, and this one guy – who, by the way, had decided to share my umbrella – smoked cigarettes in my face practically the whole time.  Unfortunately we were still not able to get an appointment when they opened at 8:15.  We were told the people who were able to get in had been waiting since midnight.  Awesome.

And, the apartment we rented was “furnished.”  This basically means that whatever junky furniture the owner didn’t want is being stored there.  Either that or the guy who lived there before, who was apparently a PIG, just left all his crap and the owner was like, “Sweet!  Now I can rent it as furnished.”  Some things we are getting rid of and replacing, like the lumpy and stained mattress (HALLELUJAH) and the couch, and we will just have to leave the new ones when we move out.  That stinks.  It doesn’t make any sense to me whatsoever that someone can rent someone junk and expect them to either store it for the duration of their rental, or replace it at their personal expense.  In America that sort of thing would be the landlord’s responsibility.  It would also be the landlord’s responsibility to repair the non-functioning dishwasher, but even though it was broken before we moved in it is our responsibility to repair.  That is just how renting in France works.  The apartment is also very dirty.  There was food left in the microwave, and nothing was cleaned after the guy moved out.  Which is also ridiculous, because considering all the filth and broken things (the bathtub, the toilet, the dishwasher) there, the owner should have kept his deposit and used that money to clean and repair.  Which is, after all, the point of a deposit.  So, we get to spend hours scrubbing every inch of the place – and I literally mean every inch – and improving the furniture in the apartment, and while that will make it much more enjoyable for us for 2 years the end beneficiary is the landlord.  Ugh.

Oh – and besides the broken marble-topped buffet that is blocking the entryway, there is an enormous armoire in the bedroom, for no apparent reason as there is actually a very nice closet.  The armoire takes up all the space (as in, it dwarfs the one from The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe) and is completely hideous.  And unless the rental agency is very kind, it has to stay.  It is the new bane of my existence.

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