Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Paris 2008 - 2 Juin

Lundi - We had planned all weekend to do laundry, but of course, when the day dawned, Robb decided he wanted to go to BNP Paribas to open an account. He had been told by Rhino that he could do that if he went to the main office on Boulevard des Italiens. He would be able to accomplish that because that is the International Headquarters. So off we went on the 69.

We had to walk past Place Collette, so I took what I hope is better picture of the métro entrance there.

By the time we got to l'Opéra, the weather changed and we found ourselves with raindrops falling on our heads. Robb had not brought his parapluie, so since we were so close to Celio, we stopped in there and he bought one. A very nice one from the appearance. Again I was tempted to buy another, but mine seems to be holding on for dear life, even though it appears to be mortally wounded.

We found several branches of BNP on Boulevard des Italiens. The first, to which we went, was of course, the wrong one. They sent us on a quest down the street. The second one we entered was the correct branch, in fact, I suppose it was the main office. It was just across the street from a lovely restaurant, La Taverne. I waited in the waiting area while Robb was seen almost immediately by a bank conseiller (or whatever they're calling them these days).

Robb was gone for over an hour, so I assumed things were going okay. I was partially correct. He could open the account but he needed a lot more paperwork filled out and submitted (did you forget the French bureaucracy). But it is not the unattainable goal they had made it seem at the first branch to which we went on Boulevard Voltaire.

Having accomplished that, we walked across the street to the Café Gramont where I had a Sandwich Baguette Mixte (ham and cheese on a baguette) and Robb had a sandwich Provençal (that appeared to be a long, thin pizza, and according to Robb was excellent). We each had un verre du vin rouge.

Then, feeling adventurous, I walked us down to get the 20 bus to l'Opéra. As we approached the bus stop, we saw yet another branch of BNP Paribas. We wondered just how many branches they have on this street. We got the bus to l'Opéra. We walked over to rue du Quatre Septembre, just across from la Brioche Dorée, and got the 20 going in the opposite direction, toward Place de la République. Just before we got to our stop, I saw a huge luggage store. We walked back there and, after checking every damned piece of luggage in the store, I bought a huge neon-blue bag. Of course, it was again the rush hour (how do we do that) and there was no way I was going to try to carry that thing on a bus and then lug it to the apartment, so we found a taxi stand and waited for one to show up.

We waited for several minutes, with many taxis driving past, none of which even looked at us, much less stopped. Finally, one stopped. When Robb gave him the address, which may or may not have been correct, he replied that he "doesn't go there". Not to worry, he had barely left when another taxi stopped. The driver got out, put my empty suitcase in the back and we took off. On the way, I took this picture of the luggage store, Rayon d'Or, as we drove past. He was not familiar with the address and I pretty much had to give him directions, street by street. Fortunately, that's one of the things at which I'm rather good.

Plus à venir, mes amis.


Marie Reed said...

Ugh! I hated that old chesnut.. The BNP bank blues.. Isn't it annoyoing that you can only go to one branch! I had to to the exact same thing. Although after awhile I just closed the account I found it was easier just to use my American account and Paypal.Hope this isn't too much of a bummer comment:)

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