Saturday, 1 September 2012

Moving in day!

So today was the big day - the day I finally saw my appart for the first time and the day I officially began living by myself!

For most language assistants/ERASMUS students, accommodation seems to be the main problem. I, for one, was keen to avoid this problem and therefore all my appart hunting via the internet - which is handy if you then intend on viewing the property.. I, however, didn't. It was well and truly online house hunting! Of course, there were worries about it being not finished etc etc but DADAHHHHH, here is my beautiful new flat!!!!:

In my opinion, my gamble has definitely paid off! Arguably, there are always going to be better flats available if you have the time to search yourself. For me, a 'spacious' 20m2 slap bang in between Grenoble centre ville and campus universitaire will do for the timebeing! I even have brand new furniture as the builders only just moved out yesterday - that's right, my flat is 1 day old today! Not to mention, I haven't spent the week tearing my hair out over flat searching (just over a multitude of other things instead..!)

In terms of adminstration, flats in France are as complicated as everything else, which is great news for us foreigners..!! There's the guarantor who must live in France, the electricity, the house insurance and my current problem - the internet! For the guarantor, some landlords ask that you have someone who lives in France who will pay your rent if you default on it. Unless you have family here, you can't really walk up to any random stranger and ask them to be your guarantor so hello problem number 1. For my residence, I have had to pay 5 months in advance - something my French friends tell me is illegal in France but hey it keeps my landlord happy and I'm going to have to pay 5 months rent in, well, 5 months! House insurance is also obligatory - ask at your bank when you arrive, sometimes they'll provide that for not much extra a month! After all the nitty gritty which is generally (!!!!) the same as the UK, you have a contract and congratulations you can move in!
I then thought it would be easy - move my stuff in and live there. Oh how I was wrong! Upon arrival today I have been told I now need to call Gas and Electricit√© Grenoble with a number that is on my fuse box for them to keep my electricity on. If I don't call them, my electricity will be cut. Oh joys. After that there is wifi to sort. Again an easy problem to solve if you have a French mobile number.. buuut no French mobile number = no wifi.. no wifi = no way of ordering my French sim off the internet.. to make things even more complicated no French number = no way of ordering stuff off the internet = no French sim... ahhhhh.

Tonight is my first night in my own flat, sans internet, eeeeek! I then have final inscription on Monday and the first international student evening out on Tuesday.. followed by hockey on Wednesday! So exciting! Hopefully by next week I'll be totally sorted by wifi and university then it's onto social security and housing benefit..!

Life here is definitely starting to fall together, just a few more pieces of paper to fill in before it's all done! :D

Bisous xxx

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