After a relatively straight-forward journey on the Eurostar, with the only real issue being the amount of stuff I had packed, my mum and I arrived to 33°C heat in Paris on Tuesday evening.
It is safe to say that I had not prepared myself well enough for what to expect when we arrived at my new flat in the 1st arrondissement. Space in Paris is expensive – extortionate in fact. €750 per month for a double room (which should really be a single, but squeezing a bigger bed in there obviously allows the company to charge more) which has windows that look across to our bathroom, a wardrobe and a small desk.
We left our two big suitcases and two smaller bags in the living room and headed straight out for dinner as I didn’t want to be in there a minute longer. I cried while trying to eat my pizza, the waiter even commented ‘more eat, less tears’. I just couldn’t shift the sick feeling in my stomach which came with the thought of living in that claustrophobic room which lacked much natural light.
After a terrible night’s sleep and even more tears (on my part) we searched for alternative accommodation, but it soon became clear that we were going to have to make the best of a ‘bad’ situation. One of my mum’s best ideas was asking my flatmate Jake to help her with moving the wardrobe out of my room. He didn’t even hesitate, and after a lot of heavy lifting and manoeuvring around small doorframes they managed to get it next to the sofa in the living room.
We cleared out all of the rubbish and old clothes that had been left behind by previous tenants (an unbelievable number of socks, found in the weirdest of places) which filled nine bin bags. Then we swept, mopped and scrubbed my bedroom, the two bathrooms, the living room and the kitchen. This took us an entire day but has completely transformed the flat.
The next day we did some shopping for my bedroom and eventually found everything we needed in Hema. We pinned up the curtains so they are no longer dragging along the floor or my bed (!), unpacked all of my clothes, put up my fairy lights and put on some new bedding. Already I was beginning to feel more settled in an immaculately clean flat and a bedroom that looked cosy rather than cramped.
Somehow, in between my ridiculous crying and our extensive cleaning, tidying and organising, we also had a meeting with the bank, did a food shop and walked all the way to the Champs-Elysées to find my office (which confirmed that I will be using the metro for my commute…).
The move has been absolutely exhausting, mentally draining and the biggest learning curve, and without my mum I genuinely don’t think I would have been able to achieve anything close to what we have achieved these past few days. While I cried more than I have ever cried in my life and was pretty hopeless, she managed to remain calm enough to find solutions for everything and has helped me transform both my new bedroom and the flat into a lovely place to live. My mum continued to remind me that it has always been my dream to live and work in Paris, and I cannot thank her enough for all of her hard work settling me in and encouraging me to pursue that dream.
Now to get ready for my first day of work tomorrow!
Hannah x x