I am a suburban girl. I'd like to say country girl with mountains, but that would be almost entirely untrue. (But we totally lived by the mountains!) My neighborhood had row after row after row of stucko, brick, and wood, 2 level houses with happy little families inside. I never imagined a family, or even individuals, could live their whole lives in an apartment. Until I spent Christmas with my friend M and his family in Madrid. It was like a whole house! Rooms for everyone and even a guest room, Plus a 20th floor view of the city. It seemed luxurious even.
I thought that was cool.
But Paris? Even the Parisians are dying to get away on the weekends. They all want to have a "maison de compagne," a house in the country. Why, you might ask? Aside from the regular bustling, 9 to 9 workday (-2 hour sit down lunch break), sardine-like packed metro and general dirtiness? Well, let me give you my story:
We live on the "1st" floor (which is actually the 2nd floor), at the end of the hallway with a balcony onto the backside (read: garden view) with little or no vis-a-vis (people who are so close they can see what you are eating for dinner). This is actually really good. We do not hear LOUD city streets. We get a lot of light and sun from our "garden view". But we still have neighbors.
Neighbors that have parties at 3a.m. on a Wednesday morning. Neighbors that do construction on the ceiling above your head for 4 months. And neighbors that can apparently be heard throughout the hallway on a Sunday morning as you are headed out to pick up bread (no, that isn't your left shoe squeaking). And neighbors that, because you share a ventilation system, make your toilet room smell like a discothèque (dance club, where chain smoking is required).
My plan of attack for that last one is to ask my nice new neighbor to cover the ventilator. And if she doesn't take me seriously, I will suffer the smell of rotten shellfish next to our shared ventilation for a week. And if it still doesn't work I will add colored lights, a disco ball and 80's music to our toilet room.
Need I say more?