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Thank God it’s the South of France, because Apartment Hunting Sucks Big-time

Here is what you do when you have no place to live.  You gather up as much stuff as you can possibly carry on your back and pull behind you on wheels, and carry the rest in your one remaining free hand.  Then you arrive at your train station like that, (climbing countless stairs as the escalators don’t work mostly) and now you are traveling via metro  or bus until you find the first overnight inn, drop your things, go out and follow up on the leads you’ve been given, come back, receive calls where agency says, “Oh sorry, we can’t show you the apartment at 3pm as the owner still isn’t back from vacation yet”,  pack up all your stuff and move to the next place you will research, going by train with all the above luggage. Sometimes, you must just splurge and take a taxi when the marathon walking becomes too much.  In between this, you are figuring out different train schedules, making reservations for a 2nd or 3rd night stay somewhere, reading French rental catalogs, trying to find these places on your very worn map, figuring out how the metro works because it’s not like Paris  &  realizing you just lost 3 euros as the metro ticket you thought would get you through the turnstile has a “secret way of passage” which you did not know, so your time has expired.  Then you also must constantly ask directions to the next agency/B&B/apartment or, by this time, a toilet, because you’ve finished your liter of water, walking in the hot sun.  When you discover , (EUREKA!)  that your inn will take your luggage for a week, you will go back to Paris to pack up the apartment, clean the apartment thoroughly, and move the entire rest of your stuff in the heavy suitcases and boxes, this time in a CAR.   Then you drive to your new home in the South of France , hoping that you actually have a place to PUT all your belongings now, including the ones the INN has been holding for you or you will be sleeping in your car.  (Where?  I don’t know, because it will be full of luggage).

We’re not at the “driving to the South of France” yet in a car.  We are at the 2nd stage, where we have dropped all the suitcases we had and now have only a backpack on us to the next village to see if the apartment we strongly desire, actually will come to fruition.

Oh, did I mention that it’s Marseille that is our base and where David will be teaching? It’s very hot now and it’s like “Miami without the air conditioning” I call it.  While doing all of the above trekking about,  you must come back to your “inn” or hotel, or B&B and shower a couple of times a day.  Sticky hot.  We are also traveling out from Marseille by train to a port town known as CASSIS.  Incredibly beautiful.  It would be a dream if we could actually live here.

Oh,and to Vicki and Sharon, here are fun

art places for you:

La Maison de chant – dedicated to any vocal arts fans – Odile founded and managed it

(We stayed at Odile and Michel’s B&B one night in Marseille.  A WEALTH of Marseille special places.

La Meson – Home (in spanish) a small concert room for jazz and flamenco 500 m from apt.  Tram 2 – stop Nat’l or Reformes

La Maison de chant – dedicated to any vocal arts fans – Odile founded and managed it

La Meson – Home (in spanish) a small concert room for jazz and flamenco 500 m from apt.  Tram 2 – stop Nat’l or Reformes

Dock des Suds – Main place of big Marseilles musical evenings – In Oct the Fiesta des Suds

Tram 2 – Terminus Euromediterranee Arenc

La Friche Belle de Mai – The waste manufactory in La Belle de Mai district – in the old tobaccos manufactory an alternative cultural project wich became an int’l and official pattern

bus 49 – arret rue Jobin

Haven’t even hit the local artists…………..just wait till you see local artist fare…..ooohh la la

This – is Cassis:

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6 Comments Post a comment
  1. pennee #

    All for the love of France! Maybe you could whistle “The Happy Wanderer” while you trek through the countryside. And, if the worst happens for a short period, sleeping under the stars in France is AWESOME!

    August 27, 2012
  2. Svenja #

    Incredible story and journey! You have worked so hard for this dream to come true and deserve every bit of it! We can already picture you and David toasting in your charming new digs! Allyson & Svenja

    August 27, 2012
  3. Derek #

    Marti. I just figured out how to read your stories. Love them. What a life you are living. The South of France is my new favorite place. I have been to Nice with Francoise. Beautiful. I have a funny story about the train station in Marseille. We ended. Up taking the TGV and the slow train to Barcelona. Loved every minute of it.

    August 27, 2012

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