Thursday, May 3, 2012

Studio or flat share?

It's finally happening!

So after many many a year of saying that I wanted to move back to Paris - it's finally happening! I thought it would be handy to keep a blog of things like finding an apartment, making new friends, train tickets and how my language progresses, then maybe it will help people in the future! Or just give you some tips if you're going over for a visit.

The first thing I'm debating is the living option - now, moving to Paris solo is quite daunting!! The first thing I thought I would do - similar to how I live in London, is flat-share. Lots of bonuses, it's going to be cheaper, you'll have a bigger flat, and you've got automatic friends. I found a site called appartager.com   which is all people looking for flat-sharers or 'colocotaires' (informally a 'coloc'). I haven't subscribed to the site (paid for it I mean, you can send one message without being a member) but have had a hard time finding people that might be good to live with, not to mention the usual issue of them all being available 'now'. Additionally, unlike when I used spareroom.co.uk to find my place in London , it wouldn't be so easy to meet the people I intended to live with and find out if we get on before committing. Also...I think quite a few people are a little reluctant to share a flat with someone whose French is lacking.

I should point out that I have lived in Paris before as part of my university degree - however, that was 6 years ago and now my French has very much fell into disuse!!

Another issue is, even if you get the flat, the good flatmates (as I was lucky enough to find in London) - aren't guaranteed!


Then you still have the general grievances of 'ugh - so and so didn't do the washing up, why has no one taken the bin out etc etc' - and sadly, turning 27 this year I wonder if maybe I'm past the age where flatsharing is the carefree option best left to the 25-and-under character. 

Living alone, in a foreign country though...where the first language is not your own can be incredibly lonely and depressing - I remember when I first went there to study I was severely depressed for the first few months...until I met Shreena and life was good finally - I still refer to it as the best year of my life!
However, I feel like a lot contributed to it - the boyfriend being left in England for one, I didn't have a lot of confident in my French at all and was reluctant to use it and I was younger - quieter, less confident. 

Also, the benefits of having a studio is that I have my own little place - so much handier for having people come visit - plus there are a lot of sites (parisattitude.com) that cater specifically to people moving from overseas...so I'm hoping that means they're going to be a lot more understanding that you can't set up regular payments from a French bank account just yet! And I fully promise myself to make an effort to put myself out there! I'm gong to carry on my kickboxing (hopefully meet some beautiful French men that way too - and what better way to reacquaint myself with the language) and I found a website for British ex-pats and they seem to organise a lot of good nights out (meetup.com/cities/fr/paris/) - so will definitely hit those up...though I do understand it defeats the point of moving there to surround myself with British people. 

Anyhoo, I don't move til July so I've got some time...but hopefully I'll have plenty of advice and helpful information to give to anyone who might go through the same thing - let's face it, it's a lot more difficult to move on your own than with a boyfriend...I'm pretty sure there'll be plenty of funny stories as well!!

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