Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Paris vs the Suburbs: the Verdict

It's 6am. My alarm goes off. Half-asleep, I fumble clumsily to turn it off before it wakes up Understanding Frenchman. The novelty of the situation means that I get up in 5 minutes rather than the usual 20 and stumble to the kitchen for coffee. By 6.45 I have to be out of the house. Leave it any later and it all takes longer. Leave it any later and the chances are it will all go horribly wrong. And when it's the end of November and the novelty factor has worn off, I can only imagine that it will feel even worse.

So what's the good news? Well, I get to live in Paris. 

Let me say that again. Look carefully and you may catch a glimpse of stars twinkling somewhere in my eyes.

I get to live in Paris.

And for all I have never fallen in love with Paris, never wanted to live there and am totally cynical about the city's supposed magic, I really am happy about it.

You see, after months of to-ing and fro-ing in the endless Paris vs Suburbia debate, the personal, the financial, the professional and the practical all came down on the side of city living, and, a couple of weeks ago, I took the decision to terminate the lease on my charming suburban bachelorette pad and move in with Understanding Frenchman on the other side of town. Since I did, it has become clear that it was the right thing to do. Obviously, I'm happy that UFM and I will no longer be semi-permanent guests in each other's houses. And two good friends have recently moved to the same part of town, so we've been enjoying Saturday morning coffees and wandering along the canal, while my bank balance is taking a hit from me being able to stroll along the rue de Rivoli on my way home from work. The sun has come out over the past few weeks (sort of, some of the time) and I'm noticing that our arondissement has easy access to plenty of the green spaces I thought I would miss. More than anything, I feel that my our life has been given a renewed burst of energy and we are stepping forward to all sorts of interesting places. Surely that will be enough to get me out of bed on the dark winter mornings?


  1. Congrats on moving in with Understanding Frenchman!

    Don't worry, you're not the only one who never dreamt about living in Paris.

    To be honest, I'd rather live near my work, whether that be in the centre or out in the suburbs. Well, this works well in Bordeaux because housing costs are not as high as in Paris and the city is smaller.

    That's why we live out in the suburbs of Bordeaux so my husband can walk to work. Sometimes he even comes home for lunch.

    I feel sorry for people in Paris. It's a beautiful city but some people's commute is really long.

    1. I loved it when I could just walk to work. Having lunch at home is dangerous for me though - I always end up wanting to have a nap afterwards!

  2. I haven't done any blog reading for ages. Nice to catch up with yours and hear your good news. :-)

    1. Nice to hear from you, Alison! Now you just need to get blog writing too ;-)