Monday, May 19, 2008

The Apartment

FP and I followed the estate agent closely as she clonked up the wooden stairs in her chunky heels. Was that the fashion now? Chunky high heels? I looked down at my own scaffy flip-flops and realised that I was no longer able to afford to keep up with the fashion. I was a bohemian with ripped jeans and flip-flops now; destined to be warming tinned baked beans every night for dinner for the next few years. That's what happens when you get your first real job and decide to pay the majority of your measly income on rent just to live in Versailles.

I held tightly onto FP's hand as we climbed the steps, the lady in front of us making chit-chat in fast French that made my brain tumble. The stairs curved and spiralled their way up several levels but she stopped outside the main door on the second floor.

I held my breath as she pulled out the keys and jingled them in her hand, trying to find the right one to match the keyhole. The words, please be good, please be good, please be good, repeated themselves like a mantra inside my head. This was the last apartment we had scheduled to view. But I had a good feeling about this one.

"Normallement il y a un petit chat qui habite ici, donc on doit faire attention," she warned us as she stabbed the key into the lock, turned the door knob and peeped through the gap in the door.
Hmmm, a cat lives here? I'm taking that as a sign. If a cat lives here then it's cat-proof. No worrying about Ollie finding his way into holes in the walls or up fireplaces.

I squeezed FP's hand tightly. The door swung open wide and the cat was nowhere to be seen. The family who were living there at the time were en vacances. We stepped into a roomy hallway in a short corridor with parquet flooring and white walls. FP and I made our way cautiously along the corridor, as though we were uninvited guests, awkwardly wondering which of the many doors on offer to us to open first.

We warily went through the apartment, drinking everything in. There was a WC with a sink and a covered kitty litter tray with a cat poo peeping it's head out of the swing-door. Don't let that put you off, I said to myself.

Next there was the kitchen. Big, roomy, cupboards, hooray! I could already see myself in there stirring those baked beans in a big pot on the cooker.

The salle de bain was large too, and the woman who lived there had, for some unknown reason, put her fridge in there, next to the shower. She also had several pairs of underwear hanging out to dry but again, I didn't want to let the bordel put me off.

And then there were the two bedrooms. Glorious things they were. Big, with lots of room for a nice big bed and a wardrobe, something I was afraid I would have to live without. The first bedroom was for us. The second would be a chambre d'ami, a guest room, with enough space left over for an office in the corner. There was also...dun dun duuuuuun...un dressing! (For non-francophones un dressing is a room where you keep all your clothes and perhaps things to do with clothes like a dirty-wash basket, or a sewing machine. But a whole room to dedicate to your clothes and shoes and getting dressed up! An entire room!! It's the best invention ever!) (Should probably add that the dressing in our apartment couldn't really be classified as a room as it is more like a walk-in cupboard but it's still space solely dedicated to clothes and shoes and if the estate agent said it was un dressing then in my book it's un dressing.)

And then the living room. On the phone the estate agent had said the living room was small but compared to all the apartments we had seen this was big! It was bright, airy, clean (depsite all the clutter) and there was a set of beautiful french windows that opened out onto ...could it be? Yes! A balcony!

I was elated. I wanted to grab hold of the estate agent and tell her to give us the keys right then and we would just throw the crap belonging to the messy woman and her kid out of the balcony. But no, I restrained myself.

After we said goodbye to the estate agent outside, FP and I looked at each other and burst into laughter. Loud laughter. So loud that people walking by in the street stopped and looked at us with their eyebrows raised quizzicaly.

"I love it!" I squealed.

"Me too!" He squealed (but in a manly way).

"Avec le parking sous-sol et le cave et tout ça, on est vraiment tombé sur une vraie perle!" He was right; what with the underground parking space and the cellar that were included in this apartment, we really had found something rare.

There were only two problems; one was that there was no bath. But I could live with that. I don't much like sitting my bare bum on something that's been sat on by hundreds of naked strangers before me anyway. The other problem? We couldn't move in until the beginning of June.

But some things are just worth the wait, n'est ce pas?

*The picture is obviously not our apartment. It is La Cathédrale Saint Louis in Versailles.


Lis of the North said...


T.D. Newton said...

Sounds fantastic, cat poo or no. And June isn't that far off... if you subtract sleeping time, it's even closer.

Anonymous said...

Yay! June will be here before you know it... It sounds parfait.

Bonnie said...

Definately sounds like it is worth the wait! Goodluck, hope you get it!

Heather said...

Can't wait for pics!

Anonymous said...

Please - more pictures now that you're finally in Paris! Some of us have to live vicariously through you!

Lesley said...

Beginning of June, that's nothing. Hell, it's practically the beginning of June already!

Loth said...

Congratulations, that sounds idyllic.

Leah said...

Congrats, PE! :)

The Divine Miss M said...

Ah it sounds lovely! Anything with a cat in it and I'm sold :)

I'm sure you will be a very happy family living in it :)

Esa said...

Sounds perfect! I want pictures...I'd love to see a real Paris apartment. For that matter, just pictures of the streets of Versailles...I agree with anonymous. I'm living vicariously through you! Good luck...hope you get it.

Anonymous said...


Princesse Ecossaise said...

Lis teehee! Comme tu as dit! :-D

TD now subtracting sleeping time...I hadn't though of that, but it's a very good way of looking at the situation!

Jenn Oh it is, it is! I'm actually scoring off days on the calender thats how much I can't wait to move in.

Bonnie we did get it! I suppose I should have written it in the post actually, but yes, our applications were accepted only minutes before another young couple applied for it! Just in the nick of time!

Heather pics coming when we move in! Actually this apartment was the only one we viewed where I didn't take any pictures to look at later. ALl the rest were empty but what with the woman's lingerie hanging everywhere I didn't feel I should whip out my camera and snap away hehe!

Anon your wish is my command! Pictures coming up, although I haven't been out much in the centre of Paris since I arrived but I do have some Frenchy photos to share :-)

Lesley true, true. But time slows down when you are living under someone else's roof as a guest!

Loth thanks you!

Leah merci!

Miss M Awww a wee happy family; the cat, FP and I, waaaaaa I hope so!

Esa Pictures of the streets of Versailles I can do! Oh they are beautiful, you must visit one day, I think you'd really love it.

SG woohoo! :-)

despina said...

Lovely post my princesse, I am on the edge of my seat for you! Ohhhhh I hope it all works out. Still, it sounds like the two of you are having lots of fun, which is the important thing!xxxxxx

JB said...

Very happy to hear that you finally found the apartment of your dreams and the happy life you're looking for avec ton prince. I hope you have the patience to hold out until June! I don't think I would.

Jane said...

So glad for you Miss P. It's all falling into place at last! Jxx

Zhu said...

Une perle, exactement! You guys are so lucky. Finding a nice place in France isn't easy right now!

There were only two problems; one was that there was no bath. But I could live with that. I don't much like sitting my bare bum on something that's been sat on by hundreds of naked strangers before me anyway.

Oh my God, that's what I always think! :D I can never understand people who pay extra to have a bathtub instead of a shower in hotel rooms. The last thing I want to do is take a bath in an hotel!

Princesse Ecossaise said...

Despi Awww and I'm on the edge of my seat for you too missy, can't wait to hear all about your adventures in Italy in a few weeks!!

JB Thank you! Yes, I really didn't think I would have the patience but now there is only one week to go and I promise ya, this apartment is well worth the wait!

Jane Yay! Thank you honey xx

Zhu Oh my Godddd! I've found someone who feels the same way I do! I've said this same thing for years and everyone thinks I have OCD or am some kind of maniac. It freaks me out! Occasionally I force myself to have a bath somewhere like in a hotel or in a rented apartment but it gives me shivers and makes me feel even dirtier than before I went in the bathtub! So I'm not strange after all!