Bits and Bobs

Whenever I travel I always pack a small plastic pouch I label “Bits and Bobs”. It contains oddball items to help me MacGyver my way through any trip. It’s a game to see if I pack everything I need and use everything I pack.

Our apartment “quiet hours” are from 8pm-8am and by celestial fate, we have an abiding group of neighbors. But there is this one guy—there’s always this one guy isn’t there? This guy hangs out in the courtyard with his cohort screeching and babbling about nothing. This guy is Joël—which rhymes with “Oh, Hell”—and he’s 3. His sidekick is one. They appear to be emancipated minors as no adult is nearby telling them to pipe it down. This is where my Bits and Bobs pouch comes in handy— voilà, ear plugs.

Last night it was after 8pm and even Joël had quieted. We were getting ready for bed when we realized our air conditioning units had flooded two rooms in the apartment. We quietly moved rugs and furniture, repaired the A/C and constructed a ventilation system using a trash bag and—abracadabra—painters tape I had packed.

It wasn’t an easy night though. This morning I strewn words together that I never thought I would use form a sentence. “The twinkling of the Eiffel Tower kept me awake last night”. Pas de problème, my Bits and Bobs essentials kit has an eye mask.

I have mended a sweater, made my shoes more comfortable and ironed a shirt—all with items from my Bits and Bobs pouch.

I only had I the clothes line I packed left to get my Bits and Bobs Bingo and our apartment has a dryer so I was thinking up clever ways to use it. But then I remembered we were in France and clothes dryers are mere stage props so we used it last night to hang our clothes.

Which was good news for Joël.

Some photos from our first week:

Due to the time change
Pont Alexandre III (torching the Eiffel Tower)
Selfie: Here we are at the top of the Eiffel Tower
Covid testing sites as ubiquitous as bakeries


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