Welcome to my world! My name's Nik, and I'm a British expatriate who has been living in Paris, France for the last five years. Even though I never planned to stay in Paris for very long, now I'm here I've no plans to leave soon - the beauty of Paris has never worn off, and so far it's been a five year long vacation! Enjoy my ramblings...
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Finding time to breathe

I've been a bit quiet on the blog front lately, hopefully I'll get back on track again soon. I've mainly been busy with work and moving apartment, and posting inconsequential ramblings on the web tends to drop down in your priorities...

The apartment move went well, although was typically exhausting. How come every time I move, it's always in the middle of a heat wave. Today someone complemented me on losing some weight - it looks like total dehydration & exhaustion is a fantastic dieting technique! Moving the stuff out of the apartment didn't go too badly, with the exception of chatting to one of my neighbours who decides now's the time to tell me about his 65m2 one bedroom apartment in the same building for only 600 euros/month!!! Unbelievable - cheaper than the broom closet I'm moving to and three times the size! I can only face moving once a year now though, so I'll have to pass that one up. If you're interested, then go to the laundrette on 38 rue d'Enghien and phone the number that's on the wall there. He says he'll have the flat refurbished by September...

Anyway, so now I'm a resident of the troisième. I have to admit already feeling a bit out of place by being straight, but I should be used to that by now. I seem to be blending in by accident though, as all my cheapy tshirts from H&M seem to have shrunk alarmingly. The next steps are to find the local supermarket and best takeaways etc. There are plenty of takeaways, but finding a decent one might be hard - it's unfortunate truth that there's an inverse correlation between numbers of tourists and food quality :-(

The other downside is I'm also back to going to the laundrette. The washing machine just wouldn't fit in the lift (maximum of three very friendly people can get in the lift), so I gave it away to a friend. The other option was to carry it up five flights of narrow stairs, which was just not an option. At that stage we were all gasping our last - rue st Martin has parking spaces, but you're lucky to catch a car leaving as you arrive, and here we were with a great big van. So, it was hazard lights on, pile everything on the pavement (occasionally having to head off to do a quick circle around the streets when traffic built up behind you), and then lose the van somewhere else. Hopefully nothing disappeared from the pavement, but apparently everyone seemed very interested in my stuff as they walked past. It's a fact of life here (probably like everywhere else) in that leave something out on the street and it'll be gone half an hour later. One man's rubbish is another man's something or other...

Anyway, all over now. Feels strange knowing that I'll almost never step foot in the tenth again (apart from Gare du Nord for Eurostar I guess). Paris has just shrunk to single digit arrondissements for me...