Thursday, October 07, 2004

I Have A Place to Stay

This afternoon I got something I have been yearning for all week: a place to unpack and call my own, if only for a while. Since the apartment the teachers here had picked out for me won't be available until November, we had to scramble.

The school secretary gave me a bunch of addresses and an offer. If I wanted, she would introduce me to her neighbor, who had a little space to rent out.

Turns out her neighbor is a 71-year-old great-grandmother with some converted garage space to spare. Along with the secretary and an English teacher (without whose aid with shelter, bank accounts, the rules of savoir vivre, and this I would probably have died), I took a look at the space.

We negotiated a price of 155 euros for the time up to October 31st, with an option to renew if the other apartment doesn't open up or meet my needs.

Now, it's true that I'm living in a converted garage for a bit, but the bedroom is finished, and I have a kitchen and separate sink room, water closet (read: toilet, just like Sabotage House), and shower room. It's actually a good deal of space - bigger than my apartment in Chicago.

And there's the people-perk thing, too. I'll get a ride to school mornings from the secretary, there's a dog here (Louis) who seems to like popping over to say hello, and my hostess has told me in no uncertain terms that I am not to clean my clothes, wash my dishes, or make the bed. Like she might hurt me if I do the dishes.

It's a good arrangement for a few weeks, and it's been fun to try to make myself understood - though she speaks only French, we're doing a good job of communicating.

Next comes my class schedule and the dreaded Carte de Sejour. That's more administrative paperwork stuff, but it's absolutely essential to have. I will have an entry on French bureaucracy soon. For now, it's time to sleep.


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