Moving On

I never planned to spend the rest of my life in Maury but when I came back in March, I thought I’d live here for a few years, save lots of money, then move to Paris. I knew what I was facing, the town would not have changed much from five years ago, but that intrigued me because I had begun work on a rewrite of my novel about that time and planned to write now from the perspective of today as well as of that time: to report on what really happened and comment with five years of hindsight. Being here could only help, but I’m now far enough along that future revisions won’t require geographic proximity.

Autumn Vineyards: Maury

As temperatures began to drop, and posters for the next Bingo night began to appear, I started to look north. At first, finding a place to rent in Paris appeared to be a task of insurmountable complexity. I contacted everyone I know with any connection to the city but failed to turn up a lead. I worked my way through hundreds of ads throughout the city and learned that the good ones go fast. I would have to be there to jump on something quickly, a five-hour train ride might cost me the place of my dreams. Well, probably not, my dreams are bigger than Paris apartments—that’s why the cafes are crowded—and kitchens are almost an afterthought—that’s why there are two bistros and a brasserie on almost every street. But I wasn’t going there to sit at home, but to be part of this city that I’ve always loved, despite the fact that more often than not, I’ve been there in unhappy times. San Francisco and Paris were the only two places I could see myself living and the remarkable news is that rents in Paris are about half of what they are in San Francisco. I could make this work.

I spent a lot of time looking at ads and learning my way around the numerous agencies and aggregators online. I booked a trip and when I tried to start making appointments I got a wake-up call. Before I would even be allowed to make an appointment I would have to submit a complete dossier which consists of references, letters of employment, and pay stubs showing income of three times the monthly rent. Or, I could provide a guarantor who is French and has the same credentials. Or, as a last resort, some owners would accept a year’s rent paid in advance. Maybe I couldn’t make this work.

Paris: Le Marais

Then, for some reason, Craig’s List popped into my head and there it was: a small house in a courtyard of the 15th arrondissement. I responded immediately and the owner was positive but said she had four appointments booked and how soon could I get there. I was still five days away from my scheduled trip so I called a Paris friend and asked her to go see it. She attested to my sterling character, her boys poked around and asked questions as if they were going to be living there, the owner was charmed and now I was real to her. She checked out my blog and said she would wait to meet me before making a decision. I got to Paris about 4 PM on a Sunday, we had a deal by 5, and I moved in Tuesday for ten days before returning to Maury for a couple of weeks to pack, sell my car and close the house.

I’ll be back from time to time to see the few friends I have here, to visit with the Walkers when they come and, I hope, to work on another book with them. But I don’t belong here. I’m a city guy and the thought of living in Paris after so many years of dreaming about it is perfectly right.

Paris: Statue of Henri IV

©2017 Ron Scherl

10 thoughts on “Moving On”

  1. Ha! And just yesterday I added this to my To Do list:
    “Call Ron re Paris apartments (or the dearth thereof…)”

    Bravo for your perseverence and the excellent results of your efforts. I love the 15th, and your little house looks like it will be a happy one. I look forward to the renewed burst of insightful words and images that life in Paris is sure to elicit!

    (And now you are only an hour-long TGV trip away; see you soon?)

  2. Ron, you were indeed lucky, especially the 15th. Unfortunately, after almost 30 years in Europe, we’ve been forced to sell our home of the last 15 years and move back to the US. Not very happy about it and a story for some other time. Enjoy the city and maybe someday we’ll meet meet up again, hopefully there. All the best, Bill

  3. You lazy good for nothing slug! Oozing your way into a dream like that!!!
    Hope this works out wonderfully for you nonetheless. In a few days we will be headed back to the left coast and though its 29 degrees out and ice is starting to form on the pond I am sad sad sad to be leaving NH.
    Don’t eat to much charcoooterie!

  4. Let me add my congratulations. Luck is for those who open to finding it. I’m glad you found a place to call home in a city that you love. Can’t wait to hear/see the images you capture in your new home city.

  5. Hello Ron,
    I am not one of your close, dear friends…. just another high school girl who found you in FB a few years ago.
    It’s your photography that intrigued me, probably because my daughter is a professional photographer too. She is also EddGriles’s daughter. I’m thinking you did your first painting with him…. a red gargoyle! Anyway, lucky you. Paris. I’ve been there many times. 15th arrondisement, no less. Have a wonderful life.

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