Today R and I finally discovered the trick to luck in our daily escapades – acquiring lots and lots of good karma. Today, day six of our quest for a Parisian apartment, our luck finally took a turn for the better. We now not only have two promising options to check out later in the week, but we rid ourselves of the ridiculous immoblier service we were stupid enough to pay for and at 7pm, the sun is finally shining.
The first thing we did this morning was take our computers over to McDonald’s again to check our apartment hunting websites, and while we were checking email, we gave a few coins each to a woman begging at each table (it’s funny here, that restaurant owners let beggars/venders come inside and approach customers, but kind of nice – for the people begging/selling). Soon after giving up the change, R found a few phone numbers to call for apartments matching most of our criteria. We went straight back to the hotel to call them and made two appointments to check out apartments, one for this afternoon and one for Friday.
Next, we headed back out to the 10ème to complain at “Ancéa-Immoblier,” an apartment-hunting service we naively purchased for 220 euro (I know, I know, stupid). The girls working at the agency on Saturday had us convinced that they could find us an apartment. After a few frustrating days of no apartments and long periods on hold, we went back today to offer an ultimatum – 15 useful phone numbers, or our money back. On the way into the metro, a woman juggling piles of belongings asked me if she could buy a metro ticket from me rather than walking across the place to the automated machines. I gave her the ticket and told her not to worry about it (she was very surprised), and we continued on our way. At Ancéa, they gave us one phone number (of an apartment that turned out to have already been rented), so we demanded our money back. We have to go to the main offices tomorrow, but we *can* get our money back. Phew.
The free metro ticket must have been extra good luck, because when I called M. Billel to see if my translation was ready he offered to meet me in the 11ème, rather than us going to him in the banlieue again.
We hopped on the metro again, and I gave my seat to an older gentleman who told me I was “très gentil.” This helped us out at our first apartment appointment, because the locutaire (person renting the apartment) never showed. If that doesn’t sound like good karma, check out this picture of the apartment:
The area was scary, the building was falling apart, and the only tenant we saw was a very large man whose hairy stomach was hanging out from below his tiny black tee shirt. Good karma!
On the way back, we stopped to check out the apartment we’re checking out on Friday, and it is kind of perfect. Two bedrooms, 1045 euro/month, awesome location…it’s the window right above the fruit stand in the picture. I called the locutaire back to make sure we were the first ones looking at the apartment – we are, but there are four others after us, so we have to be very very attractive on Friday. We’ll just spend tomorrow and Thursday doing nothing but good deeds!