Friday, 17 October 2008

Getting in and out - harder than it looks?

My body is a temple, and my apartment... is a fortress! Codes, keys, special electronic pass thingy gadgets... Without wanting to sound patronising, some of you might need help getting in and out. I certainly did at the beginning.

From the street, the first door isn't locked during the day on weekdays, so from Monday-Friday before 7pm, just press the button to get in. Outside those times, punch in the code that we'll give you (it's also written on your keyring, so don't worry about remembering it). Well done, you beat level one! Entering level two...

Oh no it's dark! What should I do? Erm, try this button. You'll find it just inside the first door to the right...

OK, you're in the door and you can see. You're a genius. So what's next? Ah, the fiendish second door conundrum...
It's like 80% Buck Rogers and 20% The Matrix. Or perhaps 96% and 4%. Anyway... see that little red light and drawing of a black, er, thing? You have one of those black things on your keychain. It's the electronic tag.

Can you see what I'm doing? I'm putting my black plastic thing near the picture of the black plastic thing. GOOD GRIEF! It works! Just pull the barred door towards you, and you're through to the final level!!!

By the way, if there are two of you in the apartment, and you've just nipped out alone without your keys to get a quick bottle of wine, champagne, plastic Eiffel Tower etc., just press the up arrow once to get to my name - Whittaker - and press 'appel'. The intercom will ring INCREDIBLY LOUDLY in the apartment, scaring the bejeezus out of your pal, who just has to press the little key button on the intercom phone next to the front door to let you in. Phew!
So you're nearly home and dry. Take the first door on your left (marked 'A') and either walk up one flight of stairs or - c'mon, you're kidding right? - use the lift. The apartment is the first door you see. You have two keys. The short one opens the top and bottom locks, the long one then opens the middle lock and the door (two turns of each are necessary to open or lock the door). Hurrah, you did it.

So you're in. Bee are ay vee oh, bravo. Now you want to go out. Nothing simpler right? Wrong.

Lock the door (short key two turns top and bottom, long key two turns in the middle). There's a light switch just to the left of the front door (just on the right actually if you're going out). This will help prevent you breaking your neck on the way down (I've nearly done a few times). Just out of the door to the building on the ground floor, to your right, you have a) the secret little silver button that opens the inner gate, and b) a knob to turn to switch the light on in the entrance.
Push the barred door, go through and then STOP!

Just to your left is another little silver button. Helpfully, this one is labelled 'porte'. That's French for 'Portugal' (un-be-lievable). Press it and you'll hear a beep, meaning that the front door to the street is open. You've got about 10 seconds pull the front door to get out.
I often forget this last bit and arrive at the front door to the building, find it's shut and have to backtrack to the button. Duh!

So there you go! Simple! I told you.

Next week, how to open the sofabed (and you think I'm kidding...) :-)

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