I’ve been moving apartments this month from the ground floor to the second. The bulk of my things from a 63m2 flat have been squeezed into a 50m2 one, though I still have a large beige marble coffee table to sell or store, an old Atari Mega ST with hard disks, loads of games, and developer docs to either flog to a collector or junk (sniff), and a couple of boxes of books to sort and store on selves or in the deep dark mouldy cave.

For the most part it is done, though I still have to do the final cleaning and get the washer moved, once I get a plumber in to disconnect the water hose that I can’t do because the tap is frozen open, as is the flat’s mains (which has no knob to boot). Of course since it is August in France, everyone dicks off on vacation almost all at the same time, so trying to get someone around is like trying to drag an air-conditioning repair man by the toe nails away from the beach along the river Styx.

Today I hope to finally get my phone reinstalled in the new apartment, after a two week wait, and hopefully still have my ADSL service connected, since my number hasn’t changed nor did I cancel it. In the interim I’ve been using my GPRS cell phone modem for Internet access.

Just the end of last week I finally got, after four weeks waiting, a replacement Yokohama car tyre installed by a nation wide tyre specialist chain that is suppose to be a reseller of the brand! Thankfully I work from home and have had nothing really urgent requiring a vehicle, but I am amazed at how pitiful service in France can be. I could have taken a vacation in Japan and brought back a new tyre as extra luggage for the same price in less time.

Add to the fact the people in the north from France, England, Germany, etc. all seem to make there way to the Côte d’Azur to laze about in the sun, drink Côte de Provence rosé, and scratch at their navels.

Since moving in to the new place, I’ve not been sleeping well. Either the traffic noise is louder on the second floor; all the bleeding tourists need new mufflers for their cars, bikes, and scooters; or everyone lefts their brains at home before going on vacation. For example last night, as with many nights these past two weeks, someone came home that I finally spotted around 23h00 on a Harley Davidson that sounds like all the helicopters from Apocalypse Now during the Ride of the Valkyries.

Of course there are also the multitude of pizza delivery scooters buzzing back and forth; there have been what sounds like a Ferrari club doing time trials around the Gallia apartment complex; and then this morning at 4h20 it was a drag race complete with with squealing hand brake turns at each bend or corner. And they doubled back for good measure. All this was immediately followed by a hurling of shouts into the dead of night in what sounded like a mix of Arabic and accented French for about ten minutes.

R.O.U.S. aka Rodents of Unusual Size is a reference from the film The Princess Bride and these past couple of weeks, I’ve been wondering if the R.O.U.S. were suppose to be a metaphor for the French. After all that has happened lately, it’s a hard call.