I’ll begin the official 10 day countdown tomorrow, but for today, it’s worth noting that I’m leaving for France in 11 days! I’ll be there for about a week before heading down to Montpellier to start my summer job with Oxbridge Académie de France. François and the kids will follow, but not for a few weeks. They’re staying here to tie up some loose ends and to deal with the shipment of our container.
Originally I thought the container would take months to arrive in Béziers, but now they’re convincing me that it will be there in 30-35 days (!) and they need an address for delivery. We were planning to take the month of August to look for an apartment, but now it looks as though we’d better have one by August 1 when our container arrives. This may seem a bit stressful, but it’s not! It’s really very exciting, and this is when I realize (once again) how very fortunate we are to have family who are happy to help.
My sister-in-law in Béziers has found an apartment for us, and it seems like it will be the perfect place. What’s really nice about it is that the owner’s are friends of friends, and they’re willing to reduce the rent by €50 and not charge us a deposit. That’s great news, and the apartment is in a nice and safe part of town. It’s right across the street from the university and médiathèque, and it’s only a 12 minute walk from the school where our kids will go.
I asked my sister-in-law to give me the not so good news about the condition of the apartment first. Basically, there is a lot of painting to be done, and some of the windows don’t close very easily. But now for the good news! It’s HUGE! The apartment measures 167 square meters, or 1800 square feet. There are four large bedrooms, an office, living room, dining room, kitchen, three small balconies on the back side and one large one all across the front. There’s only one “toilette”, and it’s separate from the bathroom, and that’s all fine with us. There’s a nice size kitchen, but it doesn’t come equipped with a stove or refrigerator or any of that good stuff. From what I hear, that’s very typical in French apartments, and it’s what we were expecting. There are fireplaces in all of the rooms, and though I’m sure none of them are functioning, they’re still pretty. There are 13 foot ceilings. Yep, that’s right. When you walk into the apartment, you enter a large (wide) and very long hallway, and you enter all of the rooms from either the left or the right of this hallway. It’s big enough to furnish and serve as a sort of foyer. The “toilette” is at one end, and the bathroom at the other.
To give an idea of what the place looks like, I’ll show a few pictures. It’s obvious in the pictures that the place needs some sprucing up, but at the same time I can see it’s charm.
Here’s a picture of one of the bedrooms. This one is on the front, and the windows open up to a balcony and view of the university and library below.
This is the big hallway that I mentioned earlier.
This is the living room, the picture’s taken from the balcony.
It’s all very exciting, especially now that we can visualize our new home. Having spent a lot of time in Béziers, and with the help of Google Earth, it’s easy to imagine exactly where the apartment is located.