Sunday, November 23, 2008

About Living in a Tiny Studio Apartment....

It has been interesting going from living in a 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom house to a tiny studio apartment that doesn't have a clothes dryer or a dishwasher.

I actually kind of like the smaller space. Though to be honest, on a more permanent basis I would need something just a little bigger - like a one bedroom apartment where my living room didn't serve double duty as my bedroom!

The Kitchen
When it comes to the kitchen, I really like cooking but I really HATE doing dishes - even at home with a dishwasher - so having to wash and dry everything by hand is not something I'd long to do on a permanent basis. Plus, the kitchen in this apartment is the size of a closet and has NO counter space, so cooking a meal is very tricky because there is no place to set things out. Also, I only have a toaster oven (not a full size oven) which most of the time is fine. But it's hard to broil a proper steak in a toaster oven :-) And I like to make pot roasts on occasion - something you can't do in a toaster oven. But I did manage to make one (that turned out quite good actually) in a pot on the stove top, kind of like a crock pot version. What they say is true... necessity is the mother of invention.

The Bathroom
Well, I think you all know how I feel about the "Shower of Death"... Actually, the shower has been fine after 'le accident' - since then, I found a proper shower mat (the suction cup fish just weren't cutting it). But I do miss having a tub for occasional baths. Especially since it's so cold out. It was a real pleasure having a tub at the hotel in Geneva. But that really is minor thing. My only real issue with the bathroom is that there is hardly any counter space to put anything out on (makeup, hair products, contact stuff, etc.). There is a little space underneath the sink to put things, but not much. And while there is a shelf - it's way up close to the ceiling above the toliet and I'd need a ladder to reach it, so it really isn't usable - at least not by 5'2 me!

Doing Laundry
It was kind of funny when I finally broke down and did a load. I kept putting it off because everything about the tiny little machine was foreign and not intuitive - not even how/where to put the clothes in! The whole time the load was running, I fully expected water or foam to start pouring out. It was quite a stressful experience - ha! And the machine was so loud I felt bad that I was doing it at night, because it had to have been disturbing the people in the apartment below me. But somehow I did it right and even did a subsequent load. Success!

Now about not having a clothes dryer.... a pain in the butt. There is an extremely large contraption in the closet that is a "drying rack" but the problem is my studio is so small that when the couch is pulled out into a bed AND the drying rack is out it takes up pretty much the whole apartment and it's hard to move around! But the clothes did dry and I now have clean underwear, socks and towels :-) However everything is really stiff from air drying.

Closet Space
Need more. Enough said :-)

The Neighbors
I haven't actually 'seen' anyone, but I know there are people here! I thought I was a night owl... well, whoever is in the unit above me puts me to shame. Not only is he/she up until all hours, but it sounds like they are pacing the floor in loud wooden shoes AND moving furniture around - every night - ha! I've kind of gotten used to it though. In fact, one night it was quiet (they must have been away) and I had a hard time going to sleep in the silence.

So, could I really live in a small apartment like this? Definitely. It's much easier to take care of an apartment than a huge house! But it would have to have a separate bedroom, a clothes dryer, more counter space in the bathroom, a bathtub, more counter space in the kitchen, a dishwasher and a full size oven. Oh, and be on the top floor so there aren't any noisy neighbors above me :-)

Ha! Sounds like a lot of complaining, huh? Not really. This place is actually pretty perfect for me and totally fine for a couple of months. In fact, anyone coming to visit Paris as a tourist for more than 1 week should really consider renting an apartment rather than staying at a hotel. First of all, it's A LOT cheaper. And it's really nice having a kitchen (small as it is). You save so much money going to the market and cooking rather than eating every meal out.

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