I had only been living in France a week and I could only say "bonjour" and "au revoir". I was "working from home" due to a small issue with my work visa so I didn't need to know much anyway.
While I was typing away at my computer, I heard it; the distinctive buzzing of the building's main door.
Since I didn't know anyone in France, I decided to ignore the buzzing in hopes that whoever it was would go away. The buzzing became more insistent and so I hesitantly answered the intercom with my confident "bonjour".
Whoever it was started going off in French!
I buzzed this person in and opened the door to our apartment, waiting patiently. Except that after five minutes no one showed up.
Then the buzzing began AGAIN! What in the world was going on?
I closed the door and headed down the elevator to see who was actually ringing.
That's when I saw him. The postman with a registered letter. He started talking and talking; I just smiled and nodded. From his expression I gathered that he wanted some sort of response but I had nothing to offer. After what seemed like an eternity he finally handed the pen and clipboard over so that I could sign. And then I REALLY screwed up!
I signed where I should have printed my name!
The way the postman reacted you would have thought I killed his mother! He raised his voice, hands were flying and my eyes were welling up with tears.
I finally got it right, he handed me my letter and we were both on our way.
I was shaken up the entire afternoon . When Cornel finally came home, I started crying as I recounted my encounter with "La Poste".
It took months before I found the nerve to respond to the buzzer. I won't even tell you how long it took me to answer the phone!