Here it is! My place. In case you haven’t noticed, it’s very blue, and kind of old looking.

I like it.

In searching for apartments in France there were three things I didn’t want: To be completely isolated in a studio, to live far away from the center of town, or to have roommates who wanted to speak English all the time.

With this living situation, I lucked into all three elements I wanted at once. It is on a main street that feeds into all the bus stops in town and there is a balance of privacy and communal living. I have a spacious room to myself, and I share a kitchen and bathroom with two French students.

I met Aude and Elise for the first time two nights ago. They’re both really nice and usually eat dinner together on weeknights in our little kitchen. Last night Aude made delicious cinnamon sugar crêpes for me and taught me a card game that I turned out to be be pretty horrible at playing. In my defense (because I like use the American excuse whenever I’m lame at something here!) the playing cards are actually a bit different.

The apartment is on the third floor and has south-facing windows, so the days that it is sunny I am able to open my windows and soak up the warmth. I am still getting used to all the strange sounds the pipes in my room make, but besides that the apartment is pleasant and calm and I haven’t had to worry about loud or annoying neighbors.

The landlord, on the other hand, is quite a character. He is 80 years old and enjoys talking loudly in close proximity to my face. After asking me nearly a dozen times, “Do you understand French?” and asking Estelle nearly a dozen times, “Does she understand French?” I think we finally convinced him that I understand French! To which he concluded, “Oh, so that means we can’t talk about you in front of you?”

Since I am the only American in the building, I have been introduced and known henceforth as “L’Américaine” by almost anyone who lives here. “Tu parles français?” is usually the first question I field. Once people realize with relief that I do, I realize with relief that they don’t speak English.