Honestly, Tilly and I get stressed out at different times for different reasons which will help keep this blog up to date. You can tell when I’m stressed out because I’ll be sleeping in some corner. That’s how I handle stress. It’s either that or start throwing things. I (and most people near me) prefer sleep.
The reason I’ve been stressed lately is because we’ve been in France for just over a week now and we still don’t have a permanent place to stay. Some might call that being an overachiever, but I call it “homelessness.” Estelle and Manu (our couchsurfing friends) have been more gracious than we could have ever imagined. They offered us a place to stay our first few days here in France, but we didn’t expect to stay more than perhaps the first night. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to find another location to stay at, and fortunately we all hit it off quite well with each other. So, they’ve not only let us stay for an undetermined amount of time, they’ve also helped us look for new places too.
Estelle and Tilly are quite the pair – dancing around the apartment, cooking together, and generally being funny and crazy. It’s fun to see Tilly have a good friend here so quickly. Manu and I are both pretty laid back. He’s also an engineer, but in the mobile industry. So, we have much the same thought process, humor, etc. They’ve been so giving to us by letting us invade their flat for over a week now and they don’t mind at all (or at least they are the most polite people ever).
But, it’s time we get out of their way. This week I’ve felt the pressure (that I put on myself) to find a place very quickly. I’ve been 100% dedicated to that task, even forgoing learning French while I do so. Searching 3-4 new sites per day looking for english speaking landlords, skipping the rental agencies because of fees and paperwork, calling people, emailing people, checking photos, converting square feet to square meters, learning that 2 rooms really means 1 bedroom, and more. We’re finally getting close to finding a place.
This morning I religiously emailed about 2-3 more people, replied to a few more, searched for about 2 hours, made some phone calls, and now we have an appointment. Previously, we had looked at two flats in the middle of Nice. Estelle and Manu were kind enough to help find us those and even come along and talk to the landlords for us. But, one guy was the kind of freaky scary that you would hide a weapon under your pillow at night and only come “home” to take 15 minute naps and eat. Needless to say, we kept looking.
Today at 12:30, we’re heading over to Cannes to check out a newly refurbished and redecorated place. It’s a little higher than we expected for price, but we’re as desperate as two picky people can be, so my financial sensibility is starting to get pushed out of the way by my desire to keep a friendship on the positive side and still enjoy meals with them on occasion.
Also, although we haven’t yet told the whole story, there’s a wonderful lady we’ve been talking with since before we even left San Diego about her flat in Théoule-sur-Mer (fr). We’ve finally tracked down the key to her place and are trying to go pick it up to take a look today or tomorrow. Théoule is our perfect location (other than possibly a difficult time getting internet installed). It’s beautiful, as you can see. Cannes would be a nice location, a little too big of a city for us, but it sounds like the flat will be amazing. So, we’ll see.
Anyway, I’ll run down some short snippits of other things that happened this week too, other than our stressing out about places to live….
* We had dinner in Old Nice, which was pretty freaking cool. Unbelievable food!
* We met more couch surfers from Brazil, New Zealand, France, and Germany, and had our first taste of absinthe (the new recipe, not the old one that Van Gogh had when he cut off his ear).
* We drove to Aix-in-Provence and got caught in the rain.
* Our good friends Rob and Wendy sold our Mini Cooper for us.
* We drove through Villefranche (photos) and was amazed at the beauty (and the crazy money).
* We drove through Valbonne (photos) which isn’t on the coast but is a beautiful old town.
* We were shown the highest point in Antibes, a church where they remember people who died at sea.
* We learned that we have to weigh our own fruit and veggies in the supermarket, and if we don’t, they’ll talk to us in French and we won’t understand what they are saying (yet).
* We learned that driving lines don’t matter, but bikini lines do.
… and so much more.
We’ll definitely keep you updated about the flat/apartment, when we get one. But in the meantime, feel free to browse some of those photos and book your flight to come and see us. :)