Friday, January 22, 2016

French Challenge - Water Meter Reading

When living in a foreign country, simple tasks present new challenges.  

Notices are posted at our apartment fairly frequently.  These include things like, "Please register your door remotes" and "I am having a birthday party but will try to limit the noise."  Recently this notice was posted on our exterior door.  

Bright Yellow might mean important

The basic gist was that there was a water meter, the water meter reader needed passage into all of the apartments and that this would all go down on January 19th.  One of my options was to stay at home all day on the 19th and wait for the meter reader, then awkwardly try to talk to them in French.  It looked like the note said that if I wasn't going to be home, I had the option to email the meter reading to them.  Not sure.

But then, another option revealed itself!  My neighbors started posting papers on their doors.  I saw this one first:

Two numbers separated by a comma.  Apartment number written on top.  Good, I can do this.  So I searched for my water meter.  Fortunately it was in an accessible cabinet inside one of our toilet rooms.  We also have two locked doors that have hot water heaters or some other utility related thing inside.  But I am not sure since they are locked!

Accessible Cabinet with what appears to be a meter

Something is being metered

The meter itself was a little difficult to read.  But manageable.  So I needed to put two numbers on the paper and tape it to my door.  Yes!  I can do this.  My neighbor's paper had a four digit number and a five digit number.  So that must be the slowly moving numbers in the middle top (four numbers) and the red dials on the bottom (five numbers).

But then, my other neighbor posted this:

What?! It also listed two numbers, but they were an 8 digit number and a four digit number.  So what numbers needed to be communicated?!  If the people who can read the French notice are not being consistent, what am I to do?

To cover all bases, I posted a picture of the meter itself with the difficult to read numbers written above them in pen. (Because while I have no furniture, at least I have a wireless printer.)

All the numbers!

There were no complaints on my answering machine or nasty notes on my door.  In fact, my meter picture had a check tally on it when I returned home later that day.


1 comment:

Kathryn Kroboth said...

Tres bien, Angela.