Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Paris Apartment

Paris Skyline
Photo by Oh Paris
Things are slowly coming together, with emphasis on the word slowly. We moved into our new apartment last Friday and while the move went very smoothly — thanks to Le├»la's supreme organization ability — there's still a huge amount of work to do.

In both London and Amsterdam we lived in furnished apartments. These are very common and not much more expensive. It's apparently much less common here in France and we'd have to pay an extortionate amount for one. So now we have to furnish the place ourselves, but this is not what most Americans would think we mean by this.

I still remember the first time I moved into an apartment in the US and it didn't have lights. I had to supply them myself. Here we don't have a kitchen. No sink. No dishwasher. No stove. No counters. No cupboards. Nothing. Just pipes sticking out of the wall.

This is not terribly unusual here (and I understand it's common in Germany, too), so not only did we have to buy furnishings for the entire house, we had to buy a kitchen, too. It arrived last night and should hopefully be installed today.

And when we move out? Apparently we can take the kitchen with us. This is ... strange.


  1. This is strange! First time I hear about it in France. Usually you have at least a sink. Good luck with the move in.

    1. Celine, it's possible that this is because, while it is a proper apartment, a lawyer was using it as an office. The kitchen was for his file storage.

  2. What's even more fun is that kitchen units are subtly different sizes (both width & height) in Germany and Switzerland :-) Dunno if France matches either of them? Isn't moving countries such fun! :-)

  3. Furnished apartments common in the Netherlands? Except for some expats, I don't know anyone who rents an furnished apartment in the Netherlands. I do know they exist, and they are typically much more expensive than unfurnished ones.

    But if you rent an apartment in the Netherlands, it typically does come with a (simple) kitchen and sink. Usually without a fridge, dishwasher, or stove, although more expensive apartments may have them. I've never been able to afford such apartments though.

  4. I agree that having to buy a kitchen is strange. How do you know that the next place will have the right sizes for your equipment? Are there silly, communistic standards? OH THE HORROR OF LIVING IN EUROPE! [/sarcasm]

  5. But think of all the fun you'll have chez Darty!

  6. Welcome to the continent! :) The appliances make sense, but the one thing that bugs me EVERY time is the ceiling lamps. I'm thinking, what would it hurt to leave behind the basic lamps?

    We're in the process of heading back to Boston and the formula for temp housing is pick any two; cheap, furnished, short-term. International moves are like keeping 100 balls in the air without dropping any of them...so I know the fun you're having. I've done this so many times now that I'm wondering if I should go into a relo service.

    Oh, and I read this article in the Helsinki Paper and thought you might like reading it. Read the first installment from last year, too. It must be getting tougher as it's standard for women due to the maternity leave and such, but for guys to get this kind of treatment means things are getting much, much tougher for immigrants in Finland. http://www.hs.fi/english/article/Game+Over+A+highly-qualified+American+professional+fails+to+find+work+in+Finland+and+heads+home/1135270211047

  7. It's actually fun to customize, ain't it? It exercises the imagination.

    Welcome to France. Am thoroughly enjoying your blog!