Yes, after weeks and weeks of delay, I have finally moved into my own little apartment. Now, instead of saying “going back to the residence”, I can comfortably say “going home”. Instead of walking 15 minutes to the bus stop every morning, I can simply hop onto a tram (which remains my favourite mode of transportation in Bordeaux) right downstairs. I’m also within 5 minutes walking distance to Auchan, which is equivalent to a giant-mega-super-Walmart. Of course, it is located within Meriadeck, a shopping mall very much like a bigger Scarborough Town Centre. Yup, I’m pretty happy.
On Friday, my supervisor and colleague took me to IKEA where I bought some furniture for the apartment, since it came unfurnished. My two biggest worries were already taken care of – a colleague offered to give me a single bed, and the landlord already installed a very nice table attached to the wall. It’s quite true what my pastor said the other day: you don’t really have to worry about furniture, they just come along.
So, the only thing I really needed was a dresser of some sort to put clothes and pretty much everything else, and I went to IKEA with that precise goal. IKEA in France is exactly the same as in Canada. However, while prices are rather high (in my opinion) in Canadian IKEAs, they are considered low here in France. I was a little hesitant when my supervisor suggested going to IKEA, telling her that I didn’t want to spend a fortune on furniture, but she assured me, “No, no! Things are cheap at IKEA! We always find nice, inexpensive furniture there.”
And she was right. The price of individual items are definitely cheaper than in Canada, though of course in Euros. However, when you take into consideration that I am also earning a salary in Euros, it doesn’t make sense to convert everything back to Canadian dollars every time I want to purchase something.
I picked up a bunch of random items for the apartment – a dresser, which was my main priority, a coat rack, hangers, bed sheets, a pillow and cover, a blanket and cover, pots and pans, a white chair, a black chair, a broom, and a dustpan. I love house-shopping. I could spend a day in IKEA, or in Auchan, picking out neat little things for my cozy home that look nifty but that I probably don’t need. I would be wasting a lot of money…but it’s so much fun. Anyway, here’s a look at the final settlement.
They tell me that this place is approximately 30 m2, but I think it is slightly smaller than that. However, it is plenty of room for one person to live, and it feels rather cozy. I am satisfied with the outcome though, especially because I didn’t have to go through the process of looking for accommodation myself. As far as I know, house-hunting in Bordeaux is very, very painful…