Moving was the easy part.

Settling in is the hard part. I am very anxious to just feel at home in the new place, but it’s difficult without furniture in certain rooms. But because it’s Sunday, almost all stores are closed and I can’t accomplish much.

I’m going crazy with the lack of, well, everything in the kitchen because it was basically a sink in the corner with a closet that’s already half full from the water heater. And one electrical outlet. ONE! The weird thing is, we are not allowed to drill or nail holes in any walls, so that means no pictures or shelves anywhere in the entire apartment. At least the living room and bedroom have a little color on the walls, but the kitchen is just plain white. So I’ve also been going crazy buying adhesive and suction-cup hooks to hang things up and add a little color. Thank goodness Gifi is open on Sundays.

Hopefully we’ll get all the furniture within the next 2 days before David starts work, but we have a ton of things to do. I forgot how much of a pain it is changing your address in France. I need to go to my bank first to see if I need to change my agency too, and then the prefecture to get a new registration and license plate number (since I changed départements) and to change the address on my carte de séjour which I’m sure will be a super official handwritten label like last time. We’re also in the middle of changing our mutuelle to a much better and cheaper one (fonctionnaires are so spoiled, I tell ya).

And then we have to go back to the rental agency and figure out why we still do not have the keys to the garage we supposedly rented for my car. Luckily we haven’t paid for it yet since the agency couldn’t find the right keys (I’m not even kidding), but it’s just another stupid thing we have to deal with. And we’re thinking about getting Canaille de-clawed so that he can’t mess up the wallpaper here. He’s getting more and more comfortable here, and even though he hasn’t scratched anything yet, we’d like to keep it that way. We certainly won’t be able to fix this wallpaper like at the old place because it’s ALL covered in paint for some strange reason (and there’s painted wallpaper on the ceilings in some rooms too!)

But I’ve got to say, having balconies is a must and I will never live in an apartment again without one. My clothes dry so quickly because I can put the drying rack in the sun, I constantly smell the flowers from the neighbors’ balconies, and the breeze is so nice at night that we don’t need a fan. And there’s even a little canal that runs along the main road so I can hear the water trickling by all the time. Someone else really likes the balconies already too. Now if only that bird’s nest were more than 5 feet away so he doesn’t get too courageous and jump…

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  • SHARON

    Hope things get a bit more settled for you soon; looks like a great appartement, though.
    Just one thing; please please please don’t get canaille de-clawed! It is an incredibly painful and serious operation. If I were you I would invest in a book about training cats not to scratch the walls, rather than put him through that.
    Anyway, that’s just my 0.002.

  • SHARON

    Hope things get a bit more settled for you soon; looks like a great appartement, though.
    Just one thing; please please please don’t get canaille de-clawed! It is an incredibly painful and serious operation. If I were you I would invest in a book about training cats not to scratch the walls, rather than put him through that.
    Anyway, that’s just my 0.002.

  • http://www.crystalgoestoeurope.blogspot.com/ Crystal

    hey jennie! First, thanks for the postcard, I loved it!

    Also, I’m so happy you are finally in your new place and slowly getting settled in. I know what it’s like to have white walls and no permission to paint or make holes! But I agree that any place will seem a whole lot better with a balcony.

    Just for your info, de-clawing cats in France is not practiced unless there is a medical reason to do it. Any of the vets I talked to about declawing Noé (for the same reasons as you) flat out refused to do it and I’m sure most other vets would say the same. So i doubt that will be an option. Just buy odorless “cat repellant” spray from the vet or petstore…I find they work quite well.

    Speak soon XX

    Crystals last blog post..weekend recap

  • http://www.crystalgoestoeurope.blogspot.com Crystal

    hey jennie! First, thanks for the postcard, I loved it!

    Also, I’m so happy you are finally in your new place and slowly getting settled in. I know what it’s like to have white walls and no permission to paint or make holes! But I agree that any place will seem a whole lot better with a balcony.

    Just for your info, de-clawing cats in France is not practiced unless there is a medical reason to do it. Any of the vets I talked to about declawing Noé (for the same reasons as you) flat out refused to do it and I’m sure most other vets would say the same. So i doubt that will be an option. Just buy odorless “cat repellant” spray from the vet or petstore…I find they work quite well.

    Speak soon XX

    Crystals last blog post..weekend recap

  • http://blondeinfrance.blogspot.com/ Andromeda

    I’m at the super fun stage where I have eight thousand boxes and have to find places to put everything! I just wish someone could come in and do it for me, it’s painfully boring and slow.

    Good luck with the furniture buying, it’s definitely the best part of the whole moving process in my opinion. It might be better not being able to put holes, we’ve already made tons and I’m already thinking ahead to the pain it’ll be to fix them all when we move out (though hopefully that’s a few years away!).

    Andromedas last blog post..Productive week.

  • http://blondeinfrance.blogspot.com Andromeda

    I’m at the super fun stage where I have eight thousand boxes and have to find places to put everything! I just wish someone could come in and do it for me, it’s painfully boring and slow.

    Good luck with the furniture buying, it’s definitely the best part of the whole moving process in my opinion. It might be better not being able to put holes, we’ve already made tons and I’m already thinking ahead to the pain it’ll be to fix them all when we move out (though hopefully that’s a few years away!).

    Andromedas last blog post..Productive week.

  • ksam

    Yes, thanks for the post card too, it was a wonderful surprise!

    And at least now your car will have a license plate for life, so you won’t ever have to change it again after this time!

  • ksam

    Yes, thanks for the post card too, it was a wonderful surprise!

    And at least now your car will have a license plate for life, so you won’t ever have to change it again after this time!

  • http://www.ielanguages.com Jennie Wagner

    I am actually against de-clawing cats too, but David suggested it because he’s really worried about the wallpaper and wood trim. I am definitely looking into other options though!

    And Sam, the license plate for life thing has been pushed back to October 15. It was supposed to be June 15 for used cars, but they just changed it. So I will have to get a new license plate now, and then change it again later whenever we move again! Argh!! At least the carte grise is free though, when it’s just a changement de domicile.

    You’re welcome for the postcards!

  • http://www.ielanguages.com Jennie

    I am actually against de-clawing cats too, but David suggested it because he’s really worried about the wallpaper and wood trim. I am definitely looking into other options though!

    And Sam, the license plate for life thing has been pushed back to October 15. It was supposed to be June 15 for used cars, but they just changed it. So I will have to get a new license plate now, and then change it again later whenever we move again! Argh!! At least the carte grise is free though, when it’s just a changement de domicile.

    You’re welcome for the postcards!

  • http://emmygration.blogspot.com/ Emmy

    I’ve never heard of declawing a cat but i defintely think the odourless spray would be a simpler option!

    Don’t forget to get your post sent on from your old house by the post office 22euros for six months.

    Emmys last blog post..My beautiful ring

  • http://emmygration.blogspot.com Emmy

    I’ve never heard of declawing a cat but i defintely think the odourless spray would be a simpler option!

    Don’t forget to get your post sent on from your old house by the post office 22euros for six months.

    Emmys last blog post..My beautiful ring

  • ksam

    Really? I’d just assumed it’d already gone into effect since I’ve been seeing the new-style plates everywhere (it really throws me off too, I keep thinking they’re foreign plates)!

  • ksam

    Really? I’d just assumed it’d already gone into effect since I’ve been seeing the new-style plates everywhere (it really throws me off too, I keep thinking they’re foreign plates)!

  • http://toutesdirectionspourlafrance.blogspot.com/ L

    You mentioned you changed departments, that means you’ll have to get a new plastic carte de séjour. Within the same department they just put the sticker, but if you’re under a new Préfecture they like to waste money making a new card.

    Ls last blog post..Guilty pleasure

  • http://toutesdirectionspourlafrance.blogspot.com L

    You mentioned you changed departments, that means you’ll have to get a new plastic carte de séjour. Within the same department they just put the sticker, but if you’re under a new Préfecture they like to waste money making a new card.

    Ls last blog post..Guilty pleasure

  • astrid

    If you are lucky, you ended up in a Comune where they have a small offfice for foreign affaires like carte des sejours etc. Unfortunately when we moved we ended up in a Comune which use the prefecture in Toulon…arrrgh. + Big long queues and hours waiting as you are well familiar with…

  • astrid

    If you are lucky, you ended up in a Comune where they have a small offfice for foreign affaires like carte des sejours etc. Unfortunately when we moved we ended up in a Comune which use the prefecture in Toulon…arrrgh. + Big long queues and hours waiting as you are well familiar with…

Why is Jennie no longer in France?

I created this blog in September 2006 when I moved to France from Michigan to teach English. Many of the earlier posts are about my personal life in France, dealing with culture shock, traveling in Europe and becoming fluent in French. In July 2011, I relocated to Australia to start my PhD in Applied Linguistics. Although I am no longer living in France, my research is on foreign language pedagogy and I teach French at a university so these themes appear most often on the blog. I also continue to post about traveling and being an American abroad.

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