Apartment in Paris and the Unwelcome Guests

Here are some pictures of the place I am staying in while in Paris. Lots of rustic charm and away from the busy city centre. Peaceful, comfortable, inviting....seems like a great place to spend a few days.

rustic kitchen....lots of wood cabinets
living room and stair leading up to the loft
living room with lots and lots of books .....in French
Unfortunately, this is where the charm ends. I woke up the first morning with one arm covered in mosquito bites. The arm that was sticking out from the covers. Six bites. I also have three on my neck and two on my left foot. Between the toes no less (those freaky-fetish mosquitoes!). So on the first night, a total of 11 bites. I even sprayed the bug spray that the host left in the apartment before I left for the evening and again when I came back, but it didn't seem to do any good.

And did I mention what time I woke up? 7:00am. Why? Because there is construction work being done on three sides of this apartment. Drilling concrete and pile-driving begins at 7:00am. No mention of this by the owner or website when I booked (then again, no mention about the mosquitoes when I booked either).

The second day I woke up with more bites on my neck and throat. Today is day three and I finally had to go to a pharmacy and get some antihistamine tablets because the bites are swelling up into raised welts about an inch in diameter. It's pretty awful. People are looking at me funny on the street, like I have Ebola or something. I'm also concerned because the welts on my neck are over top of my airway, and honestly...I like being able to breathe freely.

In total, I now have 17 bites and I have two more nights here. I have taken to completely spraying my arms, legs and neck before I go to sleep. I'm having trouble falling asleep because of a) the itching; and b) the thought that these little suckers are out to get me. Each time I start to drift off, my sub conscious thinks I'm getting another bite and I wake up swatting at my arms and and neck.

Then in the mornings, I need to shower because of the sticky spray. Oh wait, can't shower because the hot water tank is manual. After reading the French instructions a couple times and through trial and error, I finally figured out that I have to re-start the hot water tank in the kitchen cabinet, then wait 20 minutes for the water to heat. It is only a four gallon tank (think four plastic milk jugs), so each morning I need to make a choice: I can either wash my face and body in cold water while the water in the tank is heating, then wash my hair with the warm water (I have hair to almost my waist, so it takes a bit of water to wash), or I can heat the water, wash my face and body, then heat more water and wash my hair. Which means it takes at least an hour to do both. I guess I could boil pots of water on the stove, but I shouldn't have to be messing with this. The shower set up is a bit wonky too. The shower head is on a hose that you hold; there isn't a hook or a place to hang it up (that I can find). Which means you either have to do everything one-handed, or just scrap that idea and opt for a sponge bath out of the sink. So far, I wash my face and body quickly in the ice cold water and throw my hair up into a pony tail. I'm on vacation.

The water problem I can deal with, though this really shouldn't even be an issue. If I am paying any kind of money to rent a place, I should be comfortable, right? I mean, I'm not asking too much, am I?

Time to get out and forget about this place for a couple hours. Or look for another place to stay.

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