You’ve heard the songs, seen the movies and drooled over the Eiffel Tower. Now you're an expat, you’re in Paris and anxious to be “one of them.” Perhaps you envision a Parisian as someone who sits in a café with a demi-tasse, a baguette and a small plate of cheese. Will there be wine, afterward? You wouldn’t be too far off the mark, but let’s take away the fairytale and look at the things consumed by the everyday Paris dweller.
Leaving your hometown and all that’s familiar is hard enough. But moving to another country? That’s a whole different ballgame. There’s the airport, the flirtatious taxi driver, and the slightly giddy feeling that you’re in over your head and maybe you’re not quite cut out for your new adventure. Adjusting might take a long time, or just a few minutes, depending on how much wine you need to drink as fortification. It’s a new culture and language, and you may wonder, “How will I survive here?”
Here I was, bright-eyed and excited to be in Paris. In awe of this extraordinary city, I was soon drawn into the local culture. Not a bad thing, since Paris was to be my new home. But I still needed to find a home. And therein lay the problem. I’d spent so much time making sure my papers were correct and finding my way around town, that I neglected to research fully what was needed to convince a landlord to take a chance on me as a tenant. I assumed it would be easy to find a place and settle down. But I was so wrong. Here are some of the things I wish I’d learned beforehand.