Paris: Ma Petite Maison

I have so much to say about Paris, I hardly know where to begin, so I think I will start small and expand outwards.

I am enchanted by the way Parisian accommodation works. I have rented a tiny airbnb apartment in the Ménilmontant area (sort of on the border between the 11th and 20th arrondissements). This is not a part of Paris I know at all. In the past I have stayed in Monmartre, the Latin Quarter and the Marais (and probably elsewhere….I have spent quite a lot of time in Paris. It is my favourite city in the world).

I received check-in instructions from my host, which did not make perfect sense to me, but I thought I would figure it out….and when I got to the address, I realized that when Jay, Jamie and I stayed in the Marais in 2006 (I think), it was a very similar system for entry. First I entered a code on a keypad to gain entrance through a barred gate onto the street into a very small area, visible from the street, where I faced a locked metal door, with another keypad beside it.

I entered another code which admitted me to a small outdoor corridor leading to the actual door to the building, which, as it turns out, was not locked (and remains unlocked.) So far so good, except I had now used all the codes I’d been given but was still some way from the flat. 5 sets of spiral stairs away, in fact. Ahem. Quite the climb with two bags – fortunately they are small.

IMG_1246When I reached the fifth and top floor, I knocked on the door to my left (which the host had identified as “mine”) – and Olivia was there to greet me. There was barely room for both of us in the flat – and after giving me a brief tour (more like a turnabout), she left me. It is perfect for one person: a small living/dining room/study with view of the neighbours (at night, no need for TV, I can watch all their activities!); a small bedroom with miniscule balcony looking out on church steeple and more lovely rooftops; a closet of a kitchen, but well-equipped, as long as I don’t dislodge anything, including a washer; and the piece de resistance: a bathroom which is a shower stall containing a sink and toilet. As my host said, you wash down the whole room every time you shower.

It takes some getting used to, but it is a delightful challenge. Another student in my course (much more to come about that!) took the option the school of living with a family, an option I considered briefly (more French practice, cheaper). She lives in a lovely location and a large flat but the woman of the house sounds like a royal bitch who mocks her French and refuses to wash her towels (she has been there almost 3 weeks.) In comparison my arrangement seems like heaven. And I do love the views!

And it is only a 50 minute walk (flat out) to school.

So if I walk both ways, does that offset the whole baguette I eat each day, not to mention the wine…?


8 thoughts on “Paris: Ma Petite Maison

  1. Sounds like heaven! Once again you seem to have found the perfect landing spot for this stage of the journey. How are the French lessons going? Missing you here in cold Ontario (temperature dropped to minus 13 again today). Yuck. Are the trees in bloom there?

  2. My vicarious enjoyment of your travels increasess with each edition, Meg. Thank you. Paris is one of the easiest cities to “just enjoy”, as far as ambience and the relaxed nature of the districts. I was fortunate to stay in airBnB tyoe apartments before they existed, three or four times, inlcuding twice in Montmarte, one in the Marais, which I preferred. First visit was in 1953, New Year’s Eve for four days, while in the Canadian Brigade of NATO stationed in Germany. Much different then.

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