This was a *busy* day for us! With no hot water since moving in (Tuesday), we were very much looking forward to our appointment with the gas man in the afternoon (any time between 1 and 6, just like *everywhere*).
With the morning free, we took the bus (#3 this time, around the other side of the island) into centre-ville. We walked around looking for the bus office, and finally found it in the Passage du Dauphin (a covered shopping area) - a couple of pictures and few minutes later, we had our monthly bus passes!*
Then, on to the tourist office for information about our new home! We got more information about the markets in Sète (more on those later), and a lot of information about getting around by bus! We confirmed that there are several Mayor's offices in Sète, but the main one is in centre-ville (Hôtel de Ville, aka Town Hall).
We went on to the Mayor's office, hoping to get Rick registered to vote. That was a big disappointment; it turns out that he would have had to register by December :-(. While we were there, we got some forms to fill in to get "welcome" information.
We walked around a *lot* looking for a kiosk to get a SIM chip for my phone - well, none in Sète; we should have gotten it in Montpellier (has kiosks), but WOW! we were just too stressed out at the time (quite a bit better now).
We caught the bus back home (using our new passes!) in time for lunch and the expected wait for the gas man. We got a very pleasant surprise! He showed up right off! By 1:30, we had hot water! We did a little happy dance, and tried out our shower (the entire neighborhood did a happy dance :-\...). Our joy was short-lived - all the water turned cold. We saw blinking lights on the heater instead of those lovely solid "on" indicators. We scrutinized the manuals (in French, of course), made several frantic phone calls, and Rick even made a trip to the café to use the internet! By evening, we had an appointment with a plumber! For tomorrow morning...
Meanwhile, we tested out the washing machine - it works!
Our day was not yet done. We also had a 6:00 appointment with the handyman to fix the closet (the doors were off their rails - as were we by now). He was very pleasant, and had it quickly fixed - then he showed us how to take down the living room light fixture so we could replace the bulbs (a task for another day!).
* the monthly bus pass lets you ride any Sète bus for a flat monthly fee. You tap the card on the reader by the driver, he verifies it's yours via the picture, and away you go! It is rechargeable via internet for a year. The fee for the card (each year) is 5€, then monthly xx€. The month starts with the first use (so, March 2nd for us)
You can also buy a single trip ticket directly on the bus (they will make change, and take bills, unlike some cities). You can buy a packet of 10 tickets at some stores (but not necessarily every tabac). And you can get a 21-day pass (throw it away at the end), or a yearly pass (similar to the monthly pass) at the bus office.