Wednesday, May 07, 2008

La Belle Saison Part Two - Cracked

I've now been 'living' in France for one week. I won't lie. It's not all been croissants and chèvre and wine. If I'm completely honest with you I'd go as far as to say it's all been rather difficult actually.

I was doing really well, holding onto my sanity and the like, until last night when I totally cracked and started crying into my vodka and orange juice while we were having our apèro. It's not that I'm missing home or anything like that, it's just that FP and I haven't managed to get ourselves an apartment yet and let me tell you, French apartment owners (or landlords if we are going for the 'proper' term) hate foreigners. Even though I've used italics to convey the amount of hate they have for us, I don't feel that it demonstrates just how much they hate having foreigners renting out their property, so I shall repeat myself; French landlords HATE foreigners. There that's a little better.

I won't back up my statement with any evidence, because, frankly, the story is boring for outsiders and it also gets me very, very cross when I think about it and then I go off on a tangent, but take it as a solid hard fact. The gist of it is that there are hardly any apartments for rent in the Versailles area where we want to live (actually it's where we need to live, we're not just being choosy) and when we find one that we want they all have a problem with me.

It's all very sad. I'm someone who really wants people to like me, I can't stand knowing someone has a 'problem' with me. But they do. It's because I'm Scottish and it's because I haven't been working in France for the past three months and also I'm beginning to think it's because of my hair which has gone a wee bit frizzy in the warm weather and can admittedly scare people off. But there we go, no one wants us to live in their apartment. How sad.

This is no new saga by the way, this has been going on for a good few months now; searching and eventually finding one niceish apartment, getting attached to the photos, saying 'yes! this is our home!', sending the application away, and then being told 'nah feck off mate, don't want the likes of you here. Riff raff.' Meanwhile I've already mentally moved in, have even bought some pot pourrie maybe, and have made it all cosy. Then I have to mentally move out and begin the search again. Tiresome, people, very tiresome.

But wait, there's something else that's making things a little complex. We are living with Mr and Mrs FP.

First thoughts;

  • great!

  • big house

  • garden

  • great food

  • free

  • clean


  • French 24/7 is necessity

  • Quiet sex

  • (just kidding about the above by the way)

  • Exhausting

So there I was lastnight, after having just poured myself a wee vodka and orange, sitting around the table looking at the plan of the apartment FP had just been to view. I wanted it desperatley; it's got a roof hasn't it?! But everyone else was quite sure we could find better. They said to me, "Oh attends un petit peu. On vas visiter Vendredi," (Oh wait a wee bit, we'll go view it on Friday) (should mention apologies if there are French mistakes, am parrot phrasing here.) I said, "But I don't need to visit it, if we wait again we will lose it like last time..." then everyone disagreed with me and then my body failed me. The tears escaped and I totally humiliated myself in front of Mr and Mrs FP. oh la honte.

I just want my own chez moi!!

I also want my cat who is stuck back in Scotland waiting for his mistress to find him a home in France. I miss my cat.

So it's nice to be here, it is, it's really great, but there are difficulties too. And if there is a french person reading who rents out apartments, please tell me why you hate me and would I have any better luck if I were taller and thinner?


Samantha said...

Are FP's parents acting as guarants? Maybe your parents could write a letter saying they could be guarants too? I really feel for you honey, I know how hard it is for us foreigners to find an apartment, especially when they all want you to have a CDI & make like 4 times your income!! But I'm sure the perfect place will come along eventually.

Samantha said...

PS. Yay, now it's my turn to leave the first comment, LOL!!

T.D. Newton said...

Here's another part of my own story about moving to Denver.

The original apartment I'd found, living with two other dudes in the area I wanted, was pretty much all set. I went to see it and meet the guys and things were pretty much fine - I put down my deposit and got ready to move in with my measly car load of crap. Then, it turns out that the guy that lived there previously was coming back and my request was supplanted. Not only was this moderately annoying but it left me without a place to live and a scant day-or-so before I had to start my new job (with a tremendous commute from Micah's apartment which was definitely only a temporary solution). I did get lucky enough to find another willing guy that subletted his second bedroom to me and we got along great. In the end it worked out and the next place I moved into was a fantastic house with two of my best pals.

So what I'm saying is don't lose hope; we ALL have snags when we move to a new place because we're starting an entirely new life. You can do it!!

T.D. Newton said...

Forgot to subscribe. D'oh.

Anonymous said...

Pauvre Princesse! I hope that you manage to find somewhere soon :-)

Bonnie said...

Is it possible for FP to apply by himself? Not ideal (as you would want to be on lease) But if FP got apartment in his name and then a month or 2 later you "moved in" and then got the landlord to add your name to the lease???? I work in the property industry in Australia and that would be completely legitimate to do here....

Leah said...

Sorry to hear about this, you're in the reverse situation as me! I've got the appart, now I just need the job! It's sucky, eh? I'm sure something will come up soon, someone's got to give you a break. Hang in there!!

The Divine Miss M said...

Oh no that sucks.

Chin up, I'm sure that the perfect place will appear and it will all go swimmingly!

Lis of the North said...

Oh pumpkin! Being taller and thinner wouldn't make a jot of difference. What they want is the last ten thousand years of pay slips showing a bulging wage packet. Unfortunately they don't take kindly to people who have only just started out in working life (and the fact that you ain't French doesn't really help). Plus there is such a high demand for rental accommodation, landlords can lay down the law to their liking. :((
Hubby and I were lucky, we got our first apart' after I'd already been working 2 months so I was more acceptable as a tenant!
I wish I had a magic wand to wave, but alas the only solution is time as your home is out there, it's just that someone else is living there right now though. How thoughtless!
Bon courage my love. Email me if you fancy a moan or a wimper! xx

JB said...

I'm sorry to hear you're having issues finding a place! It's a shame that they're being such rude prudes about lending you their apartments because of your nationality. Hopefully this will all work itself out and you'll find the perfect dream apartment for you and the Prince. Bonne chance à vous!

Anonymous said...

I feel your pain, hence why I colocing. I think Sam suggested having your parents as 'guarants'(if that is the problem) but I don't know the rules in versailles but they usually only accept French residents as guarants. Will FP's parents as guarants not suffice? However stick it out at Chez FPs parents for a while, time flies by.

Esa said...

I'm hoping since you haven't posted for a couple of days that you're busy moving all your stuff into an apartment! Or at least filling out all the paperwork for one.

It's interesting to hear that French property owners can be soooo choosy about their renters. Here in the states there are so many apartments they will lease to just about anyone. I like the idea of FP signing up for it alone, and you "moving in" with him. Do they frown on people just "visiting" for a long time??

I'm sure it will work itself out. When do you start your new job?

Good luck!

Princesse Ecossaise said...

Sorry for long delay in replying, everyone. Living with in-laws means very strict rules and timetables and ...oh so much! Need to find apartment asap, need to!

Samantha There was a big discussion over this and outcome was this; FP's parents will happily be guarants, but the landlords wont accept my parensts as guarants as they are outside of France. To be honest, I'm just so glad I have a wee place in the blogoshpere where I know I can come and vent and talk to people like yourself, people who know how it all works here, because if sinon I'd be a billion times more frustrated with the whole situation! Thank God for the blogosphere! ANd LOL!!! Yay for being the first commentor!!

TD that would REALLY have annoyed me, I have to admit. I am one of these people that gets rather anxious over this type of thing, especially when there is a new job involved. But I know what you mean, sometimes it actually works out for the best, and I'm hoping that this will be one of those situations. We just applied for a PERFECT apartment in Versailles, more expensive but much bigger than the others, and ...with a balcony! So I'm hoping that the reason all the others have been turned down have been so we could go on to find this perfect place. Fingers crossed!

Bonnie Eventually, this is what FP and I decided! He will put the lease in his name, and I wil just somehow be staying ther, paying him. I must remember to ask the agencies if I can then put my name on the lease in three months time, as that would definitely be best option for all. If not, luckily FP has said it's ok to be under his name. Isn't the perfect solution, but will work for the time being, thats for sure.

Leah God check us out, eh? We are yin and yang! a bad sense...if that makes sense...Ah dear, sorry, have been hangin around with les francais trop longs, it makes the English thinking side of my brain go weird. Good luck with finding a job, I'll be back in that situation in December!!!!! Noooooooooo!!!!

Divine Miss M Thank you! I think it may have just turned up, so fingers crossed!