Location, location, location!! That’s most important when you are looking for a place to stay while in Paris. You wouldn’t want to be spending too much time traveling to places of attraction; hence, a place too out of the city, although cheaper, should make you reconsider.
I must have sent so many emails to inquire about my accommodation in Paris. It was quite frustrating at a point actually when most of the places that I asked were already taken up. Those available ones were way, way out in the 18th or 20th Arrondissement, which I’d consider too far for us. Didn’t quite fancy the idea of staying in a Paris suburb – so it was a no go.
Then one day an email respond came from an agent in Paris and they verified that they have an apartment available at the Latin Quarter during those dates that I wanted. Now why Latin Quarter?
The Latin Quarter is an area in the 5th and parts of the 6th Arrondissement of Paris. (There are 20 arrondissements all together in Paris.) Situated on the left bank of the River Seine, it has a lot to offer to tourist and locals; some even within walking distance. The whole area is alive with cacophony of sounds sights and a menagerie of people and personalities; very thriving at any time.
Dalam erti kata lain – very the happening lah kan….
After a few exchanges of emails, I finally confirmed the apartment at 110, *Rue Monge in Paris’ Latin Quarter. Once the confirmation was done, I was to pay a deposit to secure the unit. Balance was to be paid in cash when I check in later. There was also a contract that was sent to me (written in both French and English). I signed it and sent it back to the agent. The Parisians are very strict with security deposits. Before leaving for Paris, I paid another 500Euros as security deposit and upon checkout, if everything is in order the deposit will be returned.
Okay…got that settled before we left.
The moment we landed at Orly, I sent a text message to the owner of the apartment, just as instructed in the email from the agent. A few seconds later, there was a notification saying that my text message didn’t get through as the person on the other line was not available or contactable. Urgghhhh….???
Okay, let’s try calling pulak. Same thing – number not available. Okay, what now?? Let’s try sending an email to the agent lah. Email went through but there was no reply.
Okay…tak pe lah tawakkal je lah and follow the directions given and go to the apartment as initially planned.
When we got out from the Metro station, I decided to give it one more try at calling the owner. A guy came on to the line and informed me that there was already someone waiting for us in the apartment. Alhamdulillah….syukur. Thank God it wasn’t a scam or anything. Tak berani nak fikir what would have happened if was the otherwise. Sujud syukur sekejap lepas solat malam tu.
The lift takes you up to the 5th floor. See how tiny it is. Only two people can go in at one time. With luggage?? Just one - person and bag.....
The apartment located only two blocks from the Censier Daubenton metro station was on the 5th floor. It was very tiny - only 30m2; nonetheless it had all the facilities. TV, kitchen, bathroom, master bedroom, and sofa beds for the two girls. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to snap pictures of the place (coz excited nak bergambar di luar and not di dalam).
Inez, this Alegerian – Tunisian mixed young lady greeted us when we walked into the unit. Her sharp features, very pretty complexion and her dark curly long hair couldn’t get my eyes off her. Cantik nya lah budak ni….(eat your heart out RWC....cheh dalam pada nak bayar rental tu sempat teringat ke RCW….urggghhh…nitemare!!)
I paid her the balance of the payment and chit chatted with her for a while. In that few exchanges she told me that she’s a muslim, the apartment belongs to her dad, she’s still studying, and her family have stayed in Paris for more than 20 years. Then she explained a little bit about the street where we were staying – there are plenty of restaurants but they are not halal, STARBUCKS just down the corner, very close to tourist spots and very easy excess to places on the bus or Metro. Inez spoke enough English to get the message across and I had no trouble understanding her.
After she left, we unpacked. Girls were excited with this new living arrangement. Next thing was to start dinner and get cleaned up.
Dinner was ayam masak merah (from Chef Wan’s canned food) and rice., serunding from home and instant noodles for the hungry ghosts (err girls…)
As the bathroom was really, really, really small, we had to carefully negotiate ourselves in it. Each one took turns taking bath, feeling so happy coz dah kenyang and dapat mandi hot shower.Like always, Mommy would be the last at everything lah kan. So bila nak shower…..oooppsss sesuatu telah berlaku!!!
No more hot waterrrrrrrrr!!!! All the stored hot water in the little storage tank had been used up for the cooking and washing. Ohhhh…..tak kan nak shower with the fear factor icy cold water??? OMG…OMG….OMG…of coz lah tidak akan!! (Sedangkan kat Msia tengah hari buta pun guna hot shower, ini lah pulak in the freezing cold Paree???)
So that night, Mommy skipped the shower. Took ablution and solat and went straight to bed…..(nasib lah if got bau kan…) But we were so exhausted, my sleeping partner didn’t (dare) complain.
And that was it our first day - long flight, metro rides and apartment hunting. What a day!!!
*rue is French for road/street