Parisian apartments

14 Mar

A friend of mine was searching for apartments in Paris when I first met him.  We were in the same grad-school program, and we instantly bonded over the horrors of trying to find an affordable Parisian apartment.  In fact, one of the first things I remember his smiling face proclaiming was:

‘Sure, the centerpiece of the room is the toilet, without barriers or anything, but I figure I can put a chess-set on the bowl when it’s not in use.  Not going to be a great selling point if I have girls over though.  I imagine whoever isn’t using the toilet will have to stand in the corner covering their eyes and plugging their ears-you know, out of respect’

Yes, some of the places that Parisians deem habitable are certainly questionable.  I had one friend whose toilet was in the shower.  When she washed her hair, she had to straddle the bowl.

Another shared a turkish toilet with four other people, each of whom had their own tiny bedroom big enough for just a twin bed.

I myself once lived in a place with a door so low I had to duck to enter, which didn’t do my ex any favors, as he was considerably taller than myself.  We called it the hobbit hole.  In total there were four places within the 22 square meters (thats 236 square feet-yes, you read that correctly) where he would routinely bash his head into a beam.  It was above a Lebanese restaurant so in addition to the permanent smell of roasting lamb and cigarette smoke on the walls, there were lots of mice.


We once caught eight in two days.

Anyway, as it goes, finding a Parisian apartment is no easy task.  My friend didn’t end up taking the room with the toilet bowl centerpiece, but I’m sure someone did.


10 Responses to “Parisian apartments”

  1. Shane March 14, 2010 at 3:13 pm #

    I have always been fascinated by Paris apartments. Whenever we are there for a trip we rent one and always try a next one. I love how each one always has something very quirky about it!!!

  2. julieparisienne March 14, 2010 at 4:33 pm #

    Oh God don’t remind me! Currently up to my arms in the search. Found the perfect one, have my fingers crossed that my ‘creative’ dossier passes the test. If not it will be back to the toilet in the shower search!

  3. Lorien March 14, 2010 at 4:40 pm #

    I wonder…

    Well, there goes my ideas about living a glamorous life in paris. Hahaha. Maybe I’ll do the hostel thing instead of pitching a permanent tent there.

  4. wanderingmenace March 14, 2010 at 6:34 pm #

    Don’t get me wrong, this city also has some of the most gorgeous apartments in the world, it’s all a matter of money though, just like anywhere else I suppose. For renting long-term it’s also a bit hard because of the various laws so it can make for some difficulties.

  5. charmerci March 15, 2010 at 1:20 pm #


    I saw your post on the Ikea Metro stops. As I ride my bike here all the time, I never get down there – pics?

    Anyway, the best time to get the cheap apartments are from May to July when the students leave Paris. You can pretty much forget it the rest of the year.


  6. wanderingmenace March 15, 2010 at 2:34 pm #

    I took some pics but they really aren’t that exciting. Checked out your site, you’ve got some really cool pics up!

  7. Juliana March 15, 2010 at 11:57 pm #

    O.M.F.G. i was thoroughly entertained up until the mice part – THAT is not funny. that is a sure-fire way to send me straight to the loony bin. ok, breathing deeply…

    • wanderingmenace March 16, 2010 at 1:07 am #

      Yea they were pretty disgusting, that’s for sure. Not cool. And my dog, who barks at parked motorcycles and giant rocks on the sidewalk, couldn’t be bothered to wake from her snoring slumber long enough to defend me. Useless.

  8. likeagiraffe March 17, 2010 at 7:32 pm #

    oh man… i might be willing to straddle a toilet every time i washed my hair if it meant i could live in paris. i have a great apartment in los angeles… but it HARDLY compares. 😉

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