| homeless person (gender neutral noun) | /sɑ̃zabʀi/
I envision myself in a charming apartment with an old, stone façade. The walls are mostly bare, save for a few smartly-placed art-nouveau posters. The kitchen is small, but there’s always a bottle of wine and a fresh baguette on the counter. Reality: I will be living in a cardboard box in Place Gambetta. Pink palm upturned. Will work for wine.
I understand that finding housing is the most frustrating aspect of living abroad. I have probably contacted two dozen property owners, all to no avail. In fact, my potential roommate and I could be featured on the most depressing episode of House Hunters International: “Hi. We are two American girls looking for an apartment in downtown Bordeaux. Our budget is 500 EU.”
TAPIF veterans advise you to wait until you’re in France to find housing, since you don’t want to book a shabby apartment in an undesirable part of town (does Bordeaux actually have ghettos?). I had just hoped to schedule some walk-throughs for the first week, and I’m getting frustrated with a lack of progress. I assume communication will be easier once I have a French SIM card for my iPhone, so I’m trying to relax. Wait it out. I just don’t want to be in housing limbo for three weeks.
In the meantime, I see myself borrowing free Wi-Fi from a local cafe and hopelessly refreshing my results on LeBonCoin.fr. I take solace in knowing we’ll all be in the same position. Maybe I’ll look out the cafe window, see a fellow TAPIF teacher bent over his/her laptop, and I’ll wave.