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.