I’ve done it now. I clean too much, or the wrong way, or maybe at all. The balcony needed
a cleaning and it was nice weather so that is what I did. I mopped it then filled the big watering
can out there with clean water and washed all the suds away. It looked really nice.
And then I heard trickle trickle louder and louder as the water gained momentum and landed neatly and squarely somewhere below me. I thought “Uh Oh. I hope she’s not home.”
And 5 minutes later as I was assessing the “damage” from my other bedroom balcony, thinking – it’s not bad – it ran off the ledge – I hear the doorbell. I thought it was my imagination. That it was my cell phone. Then it went again and it was indeed the doorbell.
I thought, “I don’t have to answer it. I don’t speak french.” Then, I said to myself, “Face it – just answer the damn door.”
Well, there, in all my anticipation was the crazed French woman, wild blond hair and all berating me with a string of french obscenities from what I can gather. She said something in a question, and I said, “Oui, “ cause What else was I gonna say – I was standing there with huge green gloves on and a mop in my right hand while she was pointing towards my balcony………
She kept going on with words. I’m thinking -”How many French words does it really take to say, ‘You’ve ruined my balcony/plants/life and I think you’re stupid?!?!” Really? I could do it 11 or less, but she’s still standing there and I’m still listening to her go on and on. I just say “Oui” again as she points to my balcony and my mop and I say “Je suis desole” – and then she sarcasticly repeats my “Je suis desole” like what the hell is that going to do? So she leaves in
a huff with me still standing there dumbfounded.
Then I brush my hair back into a ponytail, get out of my pj’s , grab slacks,top, check my face – put some eyeliner on cause I’m not going down there to face her LOOKING like the cleaning lady I’m really not, and go to my computer. I put in “google translate: How to say, “I do not know what I did exactly –
but whatever it was – I will clean it up. “Je ne sais pas ce que j’ai fait! MAIS, je vais le nettoyer!”
So, I go down the flight of stairs in the dark, with my mop and translation and ring her doorbell. Her dog would have woken up the entire village. No one answers. I ring again. And again. The dog is louder now.
After 6 rings I left. I could have sworn I heard her say something to that dog!
Then I went down the elevator this time to talk to the Guardien (landlord) to tell him my plight.
I still had the mop in my hand. But the elevator went to the basement and I met someone getting on the elevator and he asked me a question in French and I said to him, I”M sorry but I do not speak French. “ He continues to ask me something so since he wasn’t understanding me I just blurted out – “THIS WOMAN- from below just chewed my ass because apparently my cleaning the balcony bothered her and I’m trying to find out how to apologise and clean up whatever it is that I did……” and then my floor opened and I went out and I’m sure he thought………I’m not sure what he thought……but if you’re gonna keep talking to me in your French language after I’ve already told you (IN FRENCH) that I do not speak French, then you’re gonna get a whole lot of my language.
Anyway, the GUARDIAN helped – very sweet that little Vietnamese is……..and he saw my paper where I wrote down the words that I DON’T KNOW WHAT I DID (EXACTLY) BUT WHATEVER – I’M HERE TO CLEAN IT UP…….
He did some motions indicating “the woman below you” and I did motions of “she was FURIOUS” and then he smiled from ear to ear and said – “not to worry” that he would take care of it.
Now I’m tempted to go back to my balcony and throw another bucket of water right over the last!