Dating Magazine

Building Relationships in Paris.

By Ellacoquine @ellacoquine
Building Relationships in Paris.
I've always been fascinated by the the idea of neighbors and their behavior patterns in apartment buildings, especially here in Paris. I'm not sure if it's just the buildings that I have lived in or if this is the norm around these parts, but has anyone else noticed the amount of notes that tenants put up in the hallway? I'm not talking about those polite letters informing the other residents that they will be having a party (a concept the neighbor above us pretends to not be aware of), but notes mandating other tenants to roll the trash bins out on Wednesdays, to not slam the second gate, to not  throw junk mail on the floor, and my personal favorite: lower iPods when entering the building after 8 pm.
In Brooklyn, even though the only neighbor I spoke to was the one that I was fake dating, I could never imagine our building manager who had an incredible resemblance to Jim Croce, or the homies on the stoop writing little passive-aggressive notes to each other about the troubling concern of supermarket circulars abandoned on the floor in the mail cove.

Lately the exchange of words in our building has reached a new height of obsession where there's a constant rotation of communication. And according to my investigative handwriting analysis, I want to say that it's a mini war between two tenants and from time to time, a third wheel will chime in to defend one of them with a "Ouais, c'est ça!" or a "Je suis tellement d'accord...". The notes have gotten so bad that they have now lowered themselves to correcting each others French grammar in red pen. 
Yeah, Jim Croce would so not correct grammar.
Staying out of building politics, Séb and I oblige to the anonymous letters, roll out the trash when the opportunity arises, and just keep to ourselves.

Up until recently...
The notes have now been including this on the bottom:
"For translation in English, knock on Camille's door on the third floor, left" 
I'm not paranoid and didn't immediately think it was for me, but when my neighbors stopped "bonjouring" me and started "helloing" me, I realized that my jig was up. I had been The American. 
Cue in dramatic music to emphasize a shocking reveal.
It wasn't until I finally met my neighbor across the hall who introduced himself as R.V. (pronounced Hervé)...from Paris* who filled me in on the building gossip. He asked me if I was the American who talks loud on the phone each night to "Terry" out in Los Angeles? I confirmed yes. He then told me that I was the main suspect of throwing regular trash in the recycling bin. One, damn I talk loud on the phone and two, because I speak English on the phone, my neighbors think that I don't read French and don't know how to recycle?


R.V from Paris thought the accusations were absurd and if it was going to be anyone, undeniably it's the English fille au pair who lives in the studette on the top floor who doesn't speak French. I explained to R.V. from Paris that I actually don't take out the recycling, it's Séb who handles waste management chez nous, that if it was me, I needn't knock on Camille's door on the third floor to the left because I perfectly understood the notes before concluding that the bandit is still out on the loose, and he/she may just be French. I added that last bit as a courtesy to relieve Camille of her on-call translating duties. 
So this recycling crisis has now opened a whole new door with my relationship with R.V. from Paris as he now keeps asking me join him at happy hour at the café downstairs, and has been inviting me to walk his dog with him. I really can't tell if he's hitting on me because one of the times he "asked me out" was out in front of our building and he blew a snot rocket in front of me. Mixed signals, I tell you. We still haven't gotten to the bottom of the recycling bin scandal and while I resent being a suspect solely based on my nationality, I can't help but laugh at once again, yet another situation here in Paris that makes me go hmmmm.
This morning, I don't know how this happened, perhaps Facebook is now monitoring my thought process or there's a hidden office in our building, but they suggested that I "like" R.V. from Paris. Apparently he has a fan page with over 600 likes. Pourquoi pas?
 What about you?  Is it just me who has lived in "colorful" apartment buildings or is stuff like this the norm?
*To protect his identity and where I live, R.V's first name has been changed. His name is actually more ridiculous. Sorry guys...

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