Having tried all my life to get here, creating a small miracle for myself to even get in the immigration door (my nationality as a Kiwi is unwelcome) it does get a bit demoralising coming smack up against French systems that shoot first and ask questions later. I'm trying to find an appartment. Aha, I hear you nodding.
I'm currently renting a tiny studio in Rambouillet (outside Paris) from my boss who is the actual locataire. I'm doing this because it would have been impossible for me to get loggings without this arrangement but there comes a time when i want to get out of my dark, damp box full of broken castoffs from my boss. I want to put down a few roots in this lovely country. I'd like to have an environment of my choice around me, after all I'm 57 years old, alas, with no resources at all.
It's been a bit of a shock to discover the prices for an F2. It's been a shock to discover that a kitchen consists of a sink and nothing, nothing else. It's been a shock to discover that anything green cannot be found near an appartment. Forget a terrasse or a jardinet. No car parking. But the thing that's reducing me to tears at the moment is the attitude to anyone who is not French or speaking like a native. Real estate agencies will have nothing to do with me, they ignore my phone calls and visits. They never get back to me.
I have learnt that in France the proprietaire has no rights and tenants can simply stop paying and sponge off the landlord for years, untouchable. Consequently I am seen as a risk. I don't get a chance. Too bad I have an impeccable life record, and always leave lodgings better than I find them. They don't care. I'm discovering systems I find beyond ridiculous from my perspective but there's nothing I can do. I really hope I don't have to give up on the dream I've sacrificed everything for in my life for just because the systems here won't recognise me as a valuable potential citizen.