mardi, juin 21, 2005

how to read/interpret the french address

My friend Carol sent me an email asking if my address is still correct as she is updating her address book. At the same time, she was wondering how to read/interpret the french address.
Well, I thought it will be interesting for you readers out there as well.

As for my address, it is 10 rue Davy 75017 Paris. (the number has been changed for security reason)
rue = street
So, it means the No. 10 building of street Davy.
In Paris, the buildings are built in blocks.
As most of the apartments were built a long time ago, there were not many apartments in one block. In the old days, one block housed a family from the servants to the head of the family.

For my block, there are 6 stories and 2 apartments on each level. There are no door number. We put our surnames on the letterboxes. The postman will come to 10 rue Davy, check the names on each letterbox and put in the letters into the right letterbox. If someone simply wrote my name on the envelope, then the postman will have no idea where to put this letter. So, letters must always have our surnames. For Seb and I, our letterbox shows both our surnames. In this way, I can still receive my letters from Singapore. In france, my letters are addressed to me with the surname of Seb.

As for the postal code of 75017, the first two digits are the department you are in. 75 is in Paris. Around paris, the departments are 78, 93, 76, 92, etc. These numbers are by alphabet order. So numbers in 70+ are in the range of P. To see someone having postal code 75 means he is in paris. The last three digits means the area you are in. In Paris, there are 21 districts. I am in the 17th district. By seeing the number of the postal code, you can know if the person lives in the 'good' district or not. The posh areas are the 8th, 16th, 7th, 6th and 1st districts. Paris started with 10 districts. So the inner districts are more expensive. During the time of Napoleon, Paris was expanded to add in 11 more districts. Of course, 17th district is not so bad. It is big and there are the good side and the poor side. My area is on the poorer side.

Well, so there it is. The explanation of my address. Interesting isn't it.
I do hope that this gives you an idea how the french address is like. If I miss out on anything or if you want to send me a postcar, just drop me a comment.

1 commentaire:

Michael Low a dit…

Ah, so that's what the "arondissements" mean, right? I used to read about them, but never quite figured out what it meant when someone spoke about the 16th arondissement, and there would always be "ahs" and "oohs". Thanks for the explanation, I learnt something new today.

good to see that you are both well, and posting regularly! CHeck out my blog too hor?