jeudi 16 septembre 2010

Home Sweet Home

From buying bread to taking their morning coffee, Parisians have certainly elevated everyday living into an art form. As for where they actually reside after carrying out these chic daily tasks is anyone's guess. Indeed, it is a very difficult task for anyone to locate accommodation in France's capital. Particularly when you are a student and on a meagre budget [I happen to fall into both of these categories].

Trawling through the papers and internet adverts, I have become skilled at spotting the inevitable scam artists offering their à la mode appartment for an impossible 200 euros a month. You just have to send over all your details [and the hefty deposit, of course!] having never actually seen the place you are set to live in bar the selection of modified catalogue pictures that have been cleverly attached to your return email...

Luckily, my deposit and little pennies intact, I do manage to secure a few potential viewings.  Even then the pickings are slim. Arriving a few minutes late at one appointment, you are met by a furious and elderly old man who continues to show you around the potential room. Foolishly, you believe the first door he opens to be part of the home you will actually be staying in; lavish, jacquard print curtains frame the windows, antique Queen Anne style chairs stand haughtily dans le salon, it certainly is bijoux. He cruelly, however, leads you past this Parisian delight and to a far more bleak looking entrance to the back stairs. Six flights up [and sans lift!] you are shown to a room that, quite frankly, resembles a cell. There is the luxury of maybe a 30cm gap in the wall that could be crudely labelled as 'a window'. The shower is down the ['Shining' style] corridor. I walk briskely in fear of spotting the two demonic twins somewhere along it and leave via the back entrance vowing to contact him in hurried French.

It took me a week to hunt down my final lodgings and I couldn't be more pleased. Now to find the best boulangerie here and drink my morning coffee [tea in my case - I am English, after all!] with a certain smugness... 

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