After many unfruitful meetings with gruff landlords and countless miles put on my poor shoes, I have found a place to live! Things just seemed to fall into place, and in order to fully appreciate the joy this house gives me you need to know the events that led up to its discovery...
I had been living in a hotel for a week and I still had not found a suitable domicile (and I really was not all that particular). One day one of the English teachers mentioned that she was letting a room but someone was looking at it that night. If they did not want it I could take a look sometime over the weekend. I cannot describe how much I wanted this place - and I hadn't even seen it yet. Later that week I received an e-mail from the teacher saying two other people were taking a look at it, would I like to join them? Absolutely! The day of our rendez-vous came. The rain was pouring and the wind was whipping, but I trudged through the adverse conditions towards certain victory (I am a pushy American after all). I arrived a comfortable five minutes early to a beautiful if small stone row house in an upper middle-class neighborhood. Low and behold, one of the people cancelled their appointment. The teacher and I chatted, waiting for the other person. Twenty minutes later she called to discover he was caught on the bus, stuck in traffic. Well, she decided to let me look at the "room." I was expecting to head upstairs or towards the basement (like all of the other rooms I had seen). Alas, she put her shoes on and took me into their extensive (for a city) garden to a separate little house - la petite maison. After less than five minutes I took it! This was two weeks ago, and I moved in this past Monday.
My petite maison, as I said, resides in an overgrown British style garden. It has one window that overlooks a beautiful rose bush, a tuft of lavender, and an ivy and moss covered stone wall. I enter the property from the musty garage in the back, walk up the stone path past the rabbit hutch, garden shed, and office to my door. Using my brass key and a lot of force if it is humid I enter a rather large room with 12-foot ceilings. Ahead is a small refrigerator and microwave, to the left a large table, upon the far left wall my small bed sits, and slightly to the right of the bed stands a large shelf/closet unit. The bathroom is through a very small door on the right - there is enough room to walk sideways from the sink to the shower, but it is clean and everything works efficiently. As of now, everything is rather spare and the white washed walls are glaringly sparse. Nevertheless, I have quickly made it my own and I look at it with a mother's eye - I cannot see the draftiness of the door, frequency of spiders, or the strange thudding noise five or six times a day.
My landlords, who live in the "main house" are very sweet. The woman is an English teacher, but she herself is Danish (and we have started sharing French bureaucracy horror stories). She is young, creative, and very driven. Her husband, a Frenchman, is also very nice, speaks English well (but we converse in French most of the time). They have two children and she is pregnant with their third. They are active noisy boys, normal. Actually, I babysat the younger one last night. We drew pictures and I read him a story (he had to pick the hardest and longest children's book ever - I barely understood most of the words, let alone know how to pronounce them): overall one of the easiest babysitting gigs I've ever had, plus it is an excellent way of subsidizing my already low rent.
Now that I have overcame this hurtle, I am ready to face the next... getting a bank account and having a physical from the immigration office (no TB here). In addition, I can start travelling a bit more. I think I have walked every street in Nantes so it is time to expand my walking options.