Monday morning I left for Angers. I was fully prepared for a disaster (seeing my record so far) but everything went very smoothly. I had enough time to get breakfast, I got on the train and found my seat without mishap, and my landlord Anne met me in Angers on time. Perfect.
[I even had time to play around with various settings on my camera, the back-lit-self-portrait function resulting in this picture]
I'm sure tomorrow I will have better stories about exploring Angers (so far all I've done is do laundry, go grocery shopping, and get seriously lost when trying especially hard not to) so for now I'll just post about my apartment, which I really like.
Anne lives with her 23-year-old daughter (whose name is either Floria or Floriane, sometimes it seems like there's a [n] and sometimes not) on the outskirts of Angers, in the quartier called "Les Justices." The house is about 4 blocks away from a square with banks, a big supermarket, a laundromat, a library, and (I was shocked) a Domino's Pizza. I plan to never eat there. They raised their prices in Kirksville, and I'm still boycotting.
The house itself is over 200 years old, so it has that old style plaster on the walls and heavy, dark wood beams and rafters. The walls are very thick, so the windowsills are a foot deep. The first two floors are Anne's house, and the top floor has two studios. The other is occupied for the semester by Eric and Jenny, from Michigan. Their French is pretty elementary, but we're going to try to speak English as little as possible.
Here's your tour. Walk up two flights of stairs. Admire the old-looking dark wood. The staircase is somewhat spiraled. On your right is a red door- welcome to my apartment! When you walk through the door, you enter into the middle of a little hallway. On your left is a closet-like space with two large shelves. One of them has a winter-weight comforter on it, the other my suitcase (hopefully soon it'll have my other suitcase on it too!). On your right is the bathroom. It's not a bad size, and the shower is modern and quite nice. Unfortunately, at the moment the light doesn't work, but an electrician's coming this week.
Ahead of you is another door. That's the door to the large bedroom. It has a high window, a big armchair, a twin-sized bed, a desk, and a wardrobe. Here are some pictures:
On the right is the doorway to the kitchen, which has a curtain rather than a door.
The kitchen is about the same size as the bedroom. Along the left wall it has a window-seat style bench with cushions on it, and a fireplace. The fireplace is closed up, but it looks like the kind that you would cook over, not the style used to heat a room. There's a table with one chair in the middle of the room. On the right is the work area. There are a refrigerator, microwave, sink, and a little two-burner gas stove, which is very powerful even though it's low-tech enough to need to be lit with matches. In the cabinets is a fair collection of pots, silverware, and dishes.
Here are some kitchen pictures:
The kitchen window looks out over other old houses in the area and their gardens, which are impressive. I'm bad enough with plants that I once failed to keep a cactus alive, so these gardens are twice as remarkable to me as they would be to the average person, I assume.
Here's a picture of the view from the kitchen window:
That's it! It feels very French, which is wonderful. And I've now outfitted the kitchen with a good collection of spices and other cooking necessities, so it's starting to look homey.
I'll post more later today or tomorrow, once I've explored the center of Angers without getting lost.