Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Those of you who have been to my place before know that in order to enter, you need to give me a call and then I need to come down 8 floors and let you in. (None of those fancy digicode panels for the servants' entrance lol). But with my new "man friend", whom I'll call C, spending more and more time chez moi (and me being quite lazy), it's getting to be a regular inconvenience. So I decided it's about time I made a spare set of keys. Except my particular key costs a fortune in Paris, so C suggested I get a double made while out in the countryside this week.

This has proved to be much more difficult than originally thought.

I've spent the past three days stopping at any place that even looks like it might possibly make copies of keys - hardware stores, shopping centers, supermarkets, etc. You name it, I've tried (unsuccessfully) to get a key made there. Which begs the question - where do all of these people go when they need a key??

I finally decided to ask my client, who suggested I try a few places in a town 20km away. Rather than drive all the way there only to find out none of them had the proper machinery, I decided to make a few calls during my lunch break. And lo and behold, one of them tells me they actually make keys! So after work, I hop in the car and head all the way over there. Only to have the following conversation:

Me: Hi, I'd like to have doubles of these two keys made.
Clerk: Sorry, that's not possible.
Me: ????
Clerk: We don't make keys on Wednesday
Me: But I called earlier and you told me that you made keys.
Clerk: We do.
Me: But just not on Wednesdays.....
Clerk: Nope.
Me: And that would be because???
Clerk: *shrugs*
Me: I just drove 20km to get here. You couldn't have told me this on the phone when I called earlier?
Clerk: You didn't ask.


But she's right. I'm now a French citizen* - shouldn't I know these things? And it's not like I'm fresh off the boat or anything. So how on Earth could I have made such a rookie mistake?

*As a side note, Fab has not found the letter yet, so I still have yet to actually see it with my own two eyes. Le sigh.

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Blogger Anne said...

Classic. Have you tried the shoe repair guys? They usually make keys.

November 18, 2009 at 9:28 PM  
Blogger Etienne said...

Hey - I know you live somewhere near the 5th/6th, the cheapest cordonnier/key guy I have found is off Blvd Edgar Quinet on Rue Poinsot next to the Monoprix. We got one copy of a key done in Lyon for 25 EUR, and when we lost the key for a second time the dude in Paris did the same exact key for 10 EUR. in 15 min. Word. There is also a shoe repair place on Rue Delambre that has comparable prices but I've never actually used them before. GL

November 18, 2009 at 11:07 PM  
Blogger Starman said...

If you couldn't have it made in Paris, are you sure it can be made elsewhere in France? I tried to have a key copied in Paris only to be told that it was a "coded" key and could only be copied by the original maker. There are a lot of key makers in Paris. One I know for certain is in Italie2 in the 13é.

November 18, 2009 at 11:14 PM  
Blogger doomed to be fabulous said...

There are a few places that duplicate keys on rue Secretan in the 19e (just off of Jaurès metro station), but I don't know if they do those fancy old keys. Worth checking out if you're in the area, though.

November 19, 2009 at 5:58 AM  
Blogger Ksam said...

Thanks guys, but I wasn't having trouble finding a place to get a copy in Paris - they're a dime a dozen! I was more so looking for someplace that didn't charge an arm and a leg - like the tip Etienne gave (thanks btw, I will def be checking both of them out when I get back).

November 19, 2009 at 8:05 AM  
Blogger wcs said...

ksam, the solution is obvious! You need to get out there today and do something impossibly heroic or fabulously humanitarian. Get millions and millions of Parisians to adore you.

Then Bertrand Delanoë will give you the key to the city. It will open every door, of course. And it's free.


November 19, 2009 at 8:43 AM  
Blogger Crystal said...

I imagine they cannot possibly make keys on Wednesdays because of course the person responsible for doing so is at home with her 3 school-aged children who don't go to school on Wednesday and the thought of replacing said person at work on this particular day is absurd :)

I kinda want to do the same thing for my week I'll say to my students, "oh im sorry, I don't conjugate on Wednesday"

November 19, 2009 at 9:06 AM  
Blogger Ksam said...

That actually crossed my mind too Crystal - but then I thought "this is France -there's no way they'd have a woman making keys"!! Lol

November 19, 2009 at 9:43 AM  
Blogger Andrea said...

BHV cut keys and they are reasonably priced, or at least they were when I went about 5 years ago :)

November 19, 2009 at 12:46 PM  
Blogger Ksam said...

It was actually BHV who quoted me 40€! (Some keys are more expensive than others)

November 19, 2009 at 12:54 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

Lol, ok then. Anyway, from memory I think it took them about a week to cut, so yeah, not a good idea after all.

November 19, 2009 at 12:59 PM  
Blogger Etienne said...

I should probably clarify - 2 men work there, a white guy and an arab guy. If you are helped by the arab guy he will usually fudge on the prices or throw stuff in for free. He also likes to mess with people and tell them that their stuff is not ready or won't be ready for a few more days, just to see their reaction, which is kinda hilarious. I would not recommend them for their shoe repair service, though, they messed up a pair of my shoes. but for keys? NICKEL!

November 19, 2009 at 3:22 PM  
Blogger jonnifer said...

What you need is a bucket. Lower it from your window to the street with the key inside when C. comes by. I hear you can get one from Castorama for 6 €.

November 24, 2009 at 2:40 PM  

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