Apartment Hunting, in the style of “House Hunters International” (Part 2)

Finally, I received a message from a landlord about a colocation (a place in need of a roommate) with two female college students. In arranging to view the apartment, I left the most incoherent message I have ever left in my life. At the end of it, I had to say, “I don’t know my phone number, so please just call me back on this one.” I decided that I had to call back and leave my number and pray that they wouldn’t think I was completely nuts. Later that afternoon, I got their cell phone numbers from the landlord and called one of the roommates to schedule a showing. (Hopefully that means my message just went into the void!) One of the girls showed me the place and it seemed nice enough, big enough for my stuff, had a full kitchen (meaning that it has an oven…something not very common here), was on my bus line and near the train station.

If only that had been the end of it.

I contacted the landlord to say that I was interested in signing a contract. He said that was great and to send him some paperwork via email. He sent me back an email confirming the time to meet him about the place. The thing is on the phone I thought he said Saturday. On Saturday morning, I looked at the email again and it said Friday.

Let’s just say I panicked a little. I called him twice and left one message (likely incoherent), sent him an email and reached out to the roommate that I met. She called me back, but didn’t know if I had missed him.

I waited (sweating bullets) for maybe an hour. At least that’s what it felt like. Then I received an email from him. He sent an email that said he’d written the incorrect day in the email and had planned to meet me on Saturday like we had discussed. We made the rest of the arrangements (with some help from his wife who spoke a little English) and it seemed to be all settled.

Then he called me again asking if I needed transportation to the apartment. Or maybe he called to see if I needed help with my bags. I just said “oui” a bunch of times, but I clearly wasn’t understanding something. So, he put his wife on the phone, who speaks English, and she explained that I should meet them at the apartment, we’d sign the papers and then he’d drive me back to the hostel and we’d pick up the bags.

Walking there, I was nervous. What if they didn’t like me? I mean I hadn’t dressed to impress, to say the least. I dressed to move. What if I couldn’t understand anything with the contracts, etc.? Basically, I was imagining all of the things that could happen to make this fall through at the last minute and leave me on the side of the road, homeless with my four horrible bags. Let’s be honest, I was slightly more afraid of having to drag my bags all over town and being homeless (between my contacts at the high school and other assistants, I knew I would figure something out for the night if need be, but those bags…).

To my delight, everything went very well. My landlord and his wife are the friendliest people. They walked me through all of the different documents switching between English and French. They were incredibly patient. It was just such a relief after the whole ordeal. After everything was signed, we went back to the hostel to pick my bags and moved everything in.

I intended to celebrate that night either by going out to some clubs with colleagues, a glass of wine and/or a nice meal (well, something more than a tv dinner or a boxed convenience store sandwich). Instead, I just put the sheets on my bed and went to sleep. I was exhausted.

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