One of the first questions everyone asks me is, where did you stay in Paris? It was hard to decide with so many options, such as Airbnb, Vrbo and local rental agencies. Ultimately, I chose Lodgis for no particular reason except that they had a great selection of affordable options, which was vital 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 straightforward. I paid my deposit and mandatory rental insurance, which confirmed my booking. I connected with the owner once the contract was signed and the deposit paid. The process went smoothly; that said, I was still worried. Would anyone be there when I arrived? Thankfully, my landlady, Sophie, was there to greet me. I was relieved, and we hit it off immediately.
I truly believe you get what you pay for, which, in this case, is a budget-friendly, no-frills in a good neighbourhood apartment. Perfect!
My apartment was a cute one-bedroom in the 7 ème, Champ des Mars, calling it Ikea chic. It needed a fresh coat of paint and a new TV (if only to watch the news). Nonetheless, the price was right, and it worked for me. It was tempting to decorate, and 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 filled with beautiful blooms everywhere. I loaded up with my favourite lilies, this being my personal touch, and it was all my little Pied á Terre needed.
My apartment faced south, giving me sunshine all day, but with temperatures soaring to 40 degrees, it was hotter than hot! I had no air conditioning; it was a small miracle that I walked by a hardware store selling fans. I purchased two! I had a washing machine but, sadly, no dryer. Energy consumption is expensive here, so drying clothes in my living room has become a regular thing. The bathroom had been recently renovated with new modern finishes. It took a while, but I finally discovered the “square” knob turned on the second rain shower. It was frustrating each time I showered, but it was so evident 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 daily that I was (for real) in Paris. A lot was going on outside my window, and I could hear the hustle and bustle of the markets, restaurants and cafes. The streets were buzzing with crowds and clinking glasses. Sometimes, it frustrated me, or FOMO kicked in, and I wanted to join the fun outside. I had my moments.
Cafes were open until the last person was ready to leave. There were a few loud evenings when the windows needed to be closed. Especially while Justin Bieber’s “Despacito” was blaring outside during the wee hours of the night. This will forever be in my head. Let’s not forget the scooters! I’ll spare you the details, but why must anyone rev their motorbike for half an hour? So annoying! I enjoyed the occasional opera performance by an anonymous drunk, good enough to get applause. Don’t worry; I stayed in bed.
My little apartment and its surroundings may sound quirky. However, 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, son, and 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 á Terre.