Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Friday, August 22, 2008

So I need some opinions here- I looked at an apartment share yesterday, and I'm trying to decide if I should take it or not.

-It's still in my neighborhood (just behind the Cluny museum)
-It's a block from the RER, which will be nice when I need to travel
-It's a block from the Finnish Institute where I'll be talking classes in the fall
-It's on the 3rd floor, so the walk up the stairs isn't bad
-The area is really safe
-The apartment is already fully furnished & has a washing machine
-The room is a decent size and has a spot where I could set up a little office
-The price is in my budget, if on the high end

-The other roommate is a 50yr old Indian man (though I'm not really sure if this is a con - he's a librarian at George Pompidou & he seems pretty laid-back. He has two daughters in their early 20's and he also has a girlfriend. His previous roommates have all been over 30 and foreigners).
-He smokes at the window in the kitchen, meaning the kitchen sort of smelled like stale smoke.
-The rooms are right next to each other.

Right now I'm leaning towards taking it - the smoking thing is sort of an issue for me, but I don't have any other options in sight and I won't have a lease to sign so it's not like I'm tied in for a year or anything. And the fact that it's just two blocks up from where I am now is HUGE for me. But vote away and let me know what you'd do if you were in my situation!



Blogger la fille en rose said...

is a huge deal-breaker for me. if you can live with it, then i think otherwise the room sounds good.

unless, of course, you want to wait till october 1st, and find an apartment with me?

August 22, 2008 at 12:34 PM  
Blogger la fille en rose said...

er, that was supposed to say that smoking is a huge deal-breaker. sorry.

August 22, 2008 at 12:35 PM  
Blogger Global Librarian said...

Take the apartment. If it doesn't work out you go look for another one. And by then all the returning university students will be settled in and you may have more options anyway...

August 22, 2008 at 2:16 PM  
Blogger afoos said...

I don't know about the whole roommate thing, but it's worth giving it a shot. Especially given the prices on the Parisian housing market. And, you can always keep looking since there isn't a lease.

I know you have probably tried every avenue possible to find an apartment, so I'm sure you've looked on, but all of our friends who were looking for something found it on this website. Maybe something will come up that will suit you?

August 22, 2008 at 2:22 PM  
Blogger Penny said...

I voted no. I couldn't live with a smoker - that's just me! But I do hope you either happily take it or find something else soon :)

August 22, 2008 at 2:49 PM  
Blogger katiez said...

With no lease to sign - take it!
He smokes near the window, which isn't bad... And it could be fun (not the smoking - meeting new people...)

August 22, 2008 at 4:33 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

In one of our first apartments in Rouen, my ex would stand at the window and smoke. It wasn't too bad (and I HATE the smell of cigarette smoke). You can always burn candles and/or incense in the kitchen.

Give it a shot, and if you find it's not working, you can look for another place.

August 22, 2008 at 4:46 PM  
Blogger eastcoastsnob said...

Regarding the smoking thing, you're in France not California. The chance that you'll encounter smokers is HUGE!! If he smokes by the window he's at least beign somewhat considerate. I'm also not sure about the roommate thing, but what kind of vibe did you get from him? If it was good go for it. You can always move later.


August 22, 2008 at 5:16 PM  
Blogger Andrea said...

Évite les fumeurs à tout prix!

August 22, 2008 at 5:20 PM  
Blogger purejuice said...

no lease gives you a base to get out of where you are, stay in your hood, meet many of your criteria and maybe change some of them (walk up stairs! cheaper! better hood! live alone! more room!), and be in a position to jump on the perfect apartment when it becomes available.

August 22, 2008 at 6:05 PM  
Blogger L said...

This guy has a day job as well, which means that you can peacefully work from home. If things keep on like this summer, you won't be home much in the evening when he's there smoking out the window (although I know the smell lingers). Seems like the pros outweigh the cons, though I also hate the smell of smoke.

August 22, 2008 at 6:30 PM  
Blogger Je ne regrette rien said...

I sent you my friend's phone number, call him before you decide (just in case there is something marvellous!) long shot, but its just a call - nothing to lose!

August 22, 2008 at 6:39 PM  
Blogger Leesa said...


I agree with all of the above comments!!! I am NO on smoker, but I'm asthmatic, so I really couldn't do it.. But, like I said on the phone this a.m. It's sounds IDEAL outside of that ONE thing... I know it's a big thing.. But also, if he cooks Indian food, the yummy smell will over ride the yuckky smell... It does seem good to me... and it's not a lease so if you are not happy you can stay a bit and move on.... This at least, allows you to stay in your hood and have what you need to live there... and to buy more time in case it's no what you want... Go for it... Leese

August 22, 2008 at 6:55 PM  
Blogger Princesse Ecossaise said...

Samantha, my dear, TAKE IT!!!!

The only real con I see is the smoking. I have to admit, that could become annoying because as an ex-smoker I know that you start out smoking out the window but soon you get further in and eventually you are smoking n'importe ou. I guess that this could be the most difficult thing to deal with but if you can deal with this (and you lived with a smoking boyfriend) then take the apart.

I mean look at all the amazing pros you've got!! Living nearby where you are right now would be fabulous because it's a lovely area and if you are going to be attending the Finnish Institute which is close then wonderful!!! SO many advantages.

There are always disadvantages, a perfect apartment in Paris does not exist, but this is pretty close a mon avis!

Fingers crossed for you!

August 22, 2008 at 9:20 PM  
Blogger Leah said...

I would take it if not having roomies around your age that you could be friends with isn't a big to you. The smoking is really annoying and I'm really anti-smokers, but if he keeps it just in the kitchen, then it's not the end of the world. You could always take it and then take your time to find a place with non-smokers around your age. GL!

August 22, 2008 at 10:50 PM  
Blogger Le Tigre in France said...

Take it...if you're very lucky maybe he will teach you how to cook butter chicken and any Pompidou connections rock..I love the pompidou shop, I wnat to buy everything in there!

August 22, 2008 at 10:54 PM  
Blogger The Bold Soul said...

Given that you really need to move ASAP and no other more appealing options have presented themselves, and given all the pros you listed, I'd say the smoking thing is probably a small compromise as long as he limits the smoking to the kitchen window only. My best friend used to be a smoker when we shared a flat many years ago, and she smoked only upstairs in her room (it was a 2-story flat) and really, it wasn't anywhere near as bad as I thought it might be, and I had no trouble living with it. I'd even sit at the bottom of the stairs while she sat at the top, smoking, so we could gossip while she smoked and it never bothered me.

With no lease, you can consider this a temporary arrangement at the very least, while you keep your eyes open for something better, in the event you move in and decide he's not such a great roomie after all. For me, the age difference and him being a man would concern me more than the smoking but him having daughters makes it a bit more palatable.

I vote Yes with the others: go for it!

August 23, 2008 at 1:47 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

young pretty american + 50yr old man roommate = stay away!

August 23, 2008 at 9:46 PM  
Blogger Le Tigre in France said...

I don't think the age difference is so much of a problem because I have lived with boys my own age and never again! This man is an adult, he has grown children, he obviously knows how to clean up after himself which is the important thing. He probably won't try to be your friend either and be in your business all the time so you should be able to live a lot more independently than if he were a student or a younger person who would be having parties, playing music, asking you personal questions, etc etc.

August 24, 2008 at 8:39 AM  
Blogger pchoquet said...

I would take it because it has a washing machine in the apartment! When we bought our house that was what I was most excited about. I could do laundry any time I wanted - ha!

August 24, 2008 at 2:15 PM  
Blogger Sara said...

the smoking thing would be a total non-issue for me, and i hate smoke!
non-issue because 99% chance you will wind up in a building where someone smokes out their window, and then it will go in your apartment anyway. in our case its people smoking pot. its just part of apartment living in france as far as im concerned.

August 24, 2008 at 9:32 PM  
Blogger Maddy said...

In retrospect, arent you glad you didnt take it? Little things like walking from the bathroom wearing a towel, lounging in your jammies on your day off, leaving stuff lying around (if thats your gig!)... nothing beats solo-living!

August 28, 2008 at 11:53 PM  

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