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Forks, Portland, Lyon - France, Paris - France, Portland and ending up in Bellingham.... the adventures of my life!

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Just Another American in Paris

It's been exactly 1 year, five months, six hours, thirty-two minutes and two seconds since I stepped off the train in June of 2010 to start my new life in Lyon.

Now it will be 1 month and 2 weeks until I hop on a different train and start a new life in Paris.  I never thought I would leave Lyon, nonetheless live in Paris, but when opportunity knocks on your door you answer.

About 4 weeks ago or so, Bri decided to throw in his bid to become the assistant to a senator in Paris.  We knew it was a long shot, the chances that he would get it is slim (no experience as an assistant, a young male, in a second Masters, working at the law library).  The interview was last week, I know because it was me rolling out of bed at 6am to make him some coffee to be able to trudge to the train and get to the senate.

I also know it was a week because it was a week of Bri saying, "I'm not gonna get it, I'm no good, I'll never be in the senate, it's the end.".  The complaints only got stronger on Tuesday when he was supposed to have a call, and nada, Wednesday, same.  But, today, one week and 3 days from the interview, Bri received a phone call from the Senator herself offering the position.

I'm very focused on time now more than ever, every minute that passes is going to be a minute that leads to the end of my stay in Lyon.  I know most would drool for the chance to live in Paris, but I have grown to love Lyon as a second home and I can only feel more waves of culture shock as we prepare to head 5 hours north into the most popular tourist spot in the world.

It's been ten minutes I've been writing, and I can only ask myself banal questions:
How the hell are we going to get my brand new closet and oven to Paris?
Where are we going to live?
How long will it take to find an apartment?
Where will I find a new butcher who knows my order and my name?

I feel like Julia Child when Paul was moved around Europe, thinking to myself well there are still trains! 

I'm just going to be another American in Paris.

Oh well at least it will make good blogging fodder, what's more interesting than hauling a 65m2 apartment into a closet in Paris?

a+ with a sad face


  1. Well, congratulations!

    As for your concerns:

    1. How the hell are we going to get my brand new closet and oven to Paris? --> No way

    2. Where are we going to live? --> Expensive and small in Paris intramuros, or a bit less expensive but small anyway in banlieue. North is forbidden.

    3. How long will it take to find an apartment? --> It depends of your budget. Rule of thumb: Lyon loyer * 2

    4. Where will I find a new butcher who knows my order and my name? --> No idea

  2. I am officially scared. I think the oven has to come with, I mean we just got it, it wouldn't be right to turn and sell if for half off.. we'll figure out a way. The closet is collapsable so I guess it will just take up all of my bedroom space.

  3. \(^o^)/ youpi youpi oueeeee...Happy X'mas! Rebecca Mo

  4. Hi Sasha,

    how is it going ?

    Looking forward to your next post...

    As for your move,
    well Lyon became somehow the city of your heart, and I think it is
    indeed a special city. It is well located (2h from Paris, 4h from the beach, 2h from the mountain)
    and it's good size, a human size but big enough. Also, you have very good public services, lots of restaurants
    at reasonable price, and the cost of living is kinda low. The Lyonnais people are at first a bit cold but
    when you gain their friendship it is not fake. I'm sure, the fact that you are American obviously made
    it easier for you to break the ice and make new friends.
    I think Lyon provides an optimum quality of life and it is the ideal city for a young couple who is
    starting a family.
    Moving to France through Lyon first was a good move,
    because it was enough of an immersion in the new culture as well as a relatively mild cultural shock.
    On the top of that, expatriation is rarely successful without a partner, and if he is a local then this is
    the best way to understand the culture.
    As I understand it, you guys are still young so a come back in the future is still possible.
    That being said, I don't see your move as a downgrade at all.
    If you get a chance to live in Paris, then that's great! Experiencing Paris will enrich
    your expatriation, will somehow complete it.
    If Lyon is the city of your heart, Paris is the city of your dreams. There is few cities of that
    level in the world in terms of culture, architecture or way of life (among many other things),
    New York City or London are in this list...
    You're indeed an another american in Paris, but lots of americans dont speak French and never experienced
    another part of France, so you still keep that "specialness" about your profile.
    On the top of that, there is in Paris, way more job opportunities for you as the
    the local economy is huge and international, there many American businesses.
    Eventhough, I think it's cooler to experience Paris from within, If you still want to keep your cost
    of living in control, you can live in a close western suburb like Courbevoie or Asnières, cities where
    the way of life resemble the lyon one, still at about 30 min from the 6th arrondissement where Brian
    is gonna work.
    Anyway, this is exciting and once you made the move from Portland to Lyon, the next move is definitely
    easier unless you're coming home. But you ought to see the positive side of things, like if you come
    home you'll be able to swalow a delicious Taco bell burrito! ;)



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