One of the first questions everyone asks me is, where did you stay in Paris? With so many options, Airbnb, Vrbo and local rental agencies, it was hard to decide. In the end, I chose “Lodgis”, no particular reason except that I thought they had a great selection of affordable options, which was key for me. I was careful to do my homework, searching for any negative reviews, which “Lodgis” didn’t have. Once I decided on the property, it was pretty straight forward, I paid my deposit and mandatory rental insurance, this confirmed my booking. It was only after that, I was put in contact with the owner. The process went smoothly, that said, I still worried, will anyone be there when I arrive? Thankfully, my landlady, Sophie, was there to greet me, I was relieved, to say the least, we hit it off immediately.
My apartment was a cute one-bedroom in the 7th arrondissement, calling it, “Ikea chic”. It was in need of a fresh coat of paint and a new tv (if only to watch the news), none the less, the price was right and it worked for me. It was tempting to decorate, I was desperate to add my touch, wondering…who hangs artwork two feet from the ceiling? Around the corner from me was a lovely flower shop, it was a feast for the eyes, beautiful blooms everywhere. I loaded up with my favourite, lilies, my personal touch, it was all my little place needed. I am a true believer of, you get what you pay for, which was, a budget-friendly, no-frills, in a good neighbourhood, apartment. Perfect!
My apartment faced south, giving me sunshine all day, but with temperatures soaring up to 40 degrees, it was hotter than hot! I had no air conditioning, it was a small miracle that I happened to walk by a hardware store selling fans, needless to say, I purchased two! I had a washing machine but sadly no dryer, energy consumption is expensive here, so drying clothes in my living room became a regular thing. The bathroom was recently renovated with new modern finishes, it took a while, but I finally discovered that the “square” knob turned on the second, rain shower. Frustrating each time I showered, so obvious in the end, thanks to my friend Teddi for figuring this out.
There were two beautiful large French windows with peek-a-boo views of the Eiffel tower, reminding me every day that I really was here. A lot was happening outside my window, I could hear the hustle and bustle of the markets, restaurants and cafes. The streets were buzzing with crowds and clinking glasses, at times, it either frustrated me, or I wanted to join in, I had my moments. Cafe’s stayed open until the last person was ready to leave. There were a few evenings when the windows needed to be shut, Justin Bieber’s “Despacito” blaring outside during the wee hours of the night, will forever be in my head. Let’s not forget the scooters! I’ll spare you the details, but, why does one need to rev their bike for half an hour? So annoying! I enjoyed the occasional opera performance by an anonymous drunk, good enough to get an applause, don’t worry, I stayed in bed.
As quirky as all this may sound, I really enjoyed my little apartment, it felt like home, or at least, my home away from home. It didn’t take me long to figure things out and find my groove. I enjoyed hosting my friends and my son and his girlfriend, who were such great company. It was fun planning our days and having too much rosé, these are forever memories that I will cherish.
To my friend, who couldn’t make it, one day, if you go to Paris, think of me, happy and the best version of myself, living and hopefully in love, in my “Pied a terre”.