It’s been just under three weeks since we landed in Paris, and we finally have an apartment for the year! We were scheduled to do the “check in inspection” on Friday at 3:30 pm, but we had to check out of our place in Antony by 11 am. There was also another issue – our luggage. We both had two suitcases each, and no place to store them. Luckily, the complex in Antony has a caretaker (Miss Figueira), and after some time with Google translate (she doesn’t speak English), I was able to tell ask her if we could store out luggage with her for the day. So on Thursday night, we got everything packed up and cleaned up the studio.
On Friday morning, Kelly had a meeting in Orsay, and I went to work.
We met up at our new apartment to meet our landlord – thankfully Jodie (our “realtor”) was there, because our landlord didn’t speak any English. We did our inspection, got the paperwork signed, and we now had an apartment!
Next stop was going back to Antony to get our bags – we took the metro/trains on the way there, but lugging all those bags on the trains at rush hour would have been a nightmare, so we decided to get an Uber on the way back to our apartment.
Our Uber driver (Isam) was great – he said he only spoke a little English, but we could understand him very well. As we got close to our apartment, I got a phone call – it was the electricity company calling to put the electric in our name – but she didn’t speak any English either. Kelly tried to talk to the representative but still couldn’t understand what she was saying, so our Uber driver offered to translate as he drove (he was so nice!). Essentially, they were calling to estimate the amount of electricity we’d use, but they needed a code for the apartment (which we didn’t have), so we weren’t able to get it done then. We really need to learn more French!
I’m pretty sure our building was originally built without an elevator, and so the one that’s there was put in later – meaning it had to fit in a pretty small space. It’s a three person elavator, and some when we put our luggage in (even stacking the luggage) Kelly had to squeeze to fit in (I took the stairs).
After a trip to the grocery store, we started unpacking and settling in. It’ll be nice to have a “home base” again – I’ve been essentially living out of a suitcase since I left Los Alamos a month ago, and effectively so has Kelly. On Friday, we watched a bit of the World Cup (Spain was playing Portugal) and then went to bed.
On Saturday we did some shopping (things for the house that we needed) and exploring around our neighborhood and around Paris. We randomly found a great shopping area north east of Notre Dame with small streets and explored around Les Halles (the mall). While we were walking, the France World Cup game was on (France beat Australia 2 to 1), which was pretty fun to see (or I should say hear) – whenever France scored a goal or an important play happened, you could hear everyone in the bars go crazy – and the sound came from every direction. When we got back, we got some more groceries (and a rolling cart for the groceries) and made dinner – red peppers and zucchini in a red curry sauce. One interesting point about the supermarkets – most of the cereals (even the “healthy” cereals) they sell have chocolate so I’ve been loving the French cereals. We also found some Ben & Jerry’s ice cream!
There are a few things we need to get used to in the new place – Kelly and I have both hit our heads on the kitchen cabinets – but it’s a much needed upgrade from our tiny studio in Antony. Which reminds me – we do have a pull out bed – we’re now officially open for visitors! In all seriousness, the prices to fly to Europe are pretty cheap (I’ve bought multiple tickets for ~$250 a piece – and when booking in advance, there is a much better selection of cheap flights) so start thinking now about when you want to come visit, and let us know when you’re thinking of coming!