Ming the Mechanic:

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Progress2003-07-23 14:06
picture by Flemming Funch

Well, looks like we'll have a house to live in. I'll know for sure tomorrow.

It is not an old 17-room chateau on a mountain in a forest, but it is a fine place to start. A compromise, really, but I think one that my family and I can agree on. It is in the middle of Toulouse, pretty much, close to a Metro station and to other facilities that'll help at least some of us to not feel homesick. But still in a calm and open area. It is an almost new house, equipped with a bunch of things one normally has to acquire oneself in most French houses. Like, a kitchen doesn't automatically have a stove or cupboards here, let alone dishwasher and fridge, etc. Only when it is 'équipé'. Anyway, this house is a good deal larger than what we lived in in L.A. and a good deal cheaper. Not much of a garden, but there are private areas, at least.

So, we're moving in the 1st of August, if the landlord approves my paperwork. That in itself was a bit of a trial. Oh, it went remarkably smoothly, and the real estate agent and the landlord and everybody's extremely nice, but it is a bit nerve-wracking for me still to make negotiations using only French, some of them over the phone, trying to understand all of it, and to try to fit with the requirements. The French love paper. In this case they needed a bit of paperwork to show that I actually was making money. Hopefully I gave them something that is satisfactory, even though I didn't have the french forms they were looking for.

This was the very first house I made a call on and that we made an appointment to see with the owner. And there was a bit of synchronicity involved. I had decided that we'd see several houses that day, so I found another ad with a house that sounded like a possibility, out in the suburbs here. That was listed by an agency. When I went to their office, instead of just sending me to what I semi-randomly picked, the lady interviewed me about what we'd like, and looked up on the computer and made some phone calls, and then she wrote down what she thought would be the best choice for us, and gave us an appointment for 7:30. And, now, the weird thing was that the appointment we first had made was for 7:00, and I realized it was the same address. Out of hundreds of listings, she had picked the very same one I had already called. So it was a bit inescapable.

Aside from that, we're having a fine time, but things are sort of up and down. The money is moving a little too quickly (away from me) for my liking. Not that it is all that expensive here, but there are many things to take care of. And then one of our cats disappeared for a day, and had apparently balanced on a narrow ledge, five stories up, and made it around to a room on the other side of the building. Today I set fire to our printer, which we had dragged with us in a suitcase. I thought I had put the power through the right kind of transformer, but the smoke said otherwise.

If I hear yes on the house tomorrow, we'll drive to Denmark and hang out with family for a few days until we can move in on the first. Might as well.

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23 Jul 2003 @ 15:25 by joyce bredahl @ : NYT nyt hus
TAK for foto af det nye hus.Vi er spændte på at høre hvornår det grønne lys blir tændt. Vi ønsker den bedst mulige løsning af situationen for jer! - er der langt til jeres "allierede" for assistance sprogligt og øvrige franske mulige dunkelheder - med forlov - udfra: det er bedre at ku`forebygge, end at skulle helbrede you know. kærlig hilse fra jeres Erik og Joyce. - på genhør :-)  

23 Jul 2003 @ 22:46 by Danny Caudillo @ : How Exciting!
Well Flemming I am glad to hear that things are now starting to come together. The place looks very spacious, I want to see some pictures WHEN you guys move in. Hell I want to see some damn pictures period, I know your on a 56k, but first thing you do when you get settled in send over every picture imaginable. On my side of the world, I got myself a digital camera. Hooray for me, so I am going to have to take some pictures of the gang and I was thinking about going by the old house and snapping some pictures of it for you guys to see. Well anyway, this is getting long, love you guys!  

24 Jul 2003 @ 07:34 by Jon @ : Logistics, Rent, etc.
Is it possible for you to give those of us who dream of doing something like your move some indication (without being cheesy) about comparison of rents between Toulouse and LA?

Is it, for example, 100% of LA, 50% of LA, 75% of LA - and what other differences/vagaries have you encountered during the settling-in period (Thanks, BTW, for the information you have already shared).  

24 Jul 2003 @ 13:58 by ming : Houses
To give some more details... Immediately in and around Toulouse prices for rentals as well as purchases of houses appear to be around 75% of L.A. A little further out in the country, they'd rather be 50% of L.A. And here "being out in the country" means something very different than in California. There's an excellent infrastructure and plenty of culture almost wherever one goes here. If it is outside a major city, one is also quite likely to be able to find plenty of land with a house, which is totally different than L.A. There's generally lots of space here.

That house there is 145 square meters (around 1500 square feet) and the rent is 990 Euro per month. Most of the house rentals I see here are 5-800 euro for 2-3 bedroom houses. In L.A. we paid $1500/month for a 1000 square foot house.  

25 Jul 2003 @ 11:43 by Seb @ : Congratulations
Congrats on successfully dealing in French and on getting what looks like a good house!  

25 Jul 2003 @ 11:51 by scotty : I realy enjoy
following you and your family on your new adventure !
Nice too to see how you 'adapt' to the change of culture - makes me smile when I remember my own culture shock !
Thanks a lot Ming  

25 Jul 2003 @ 21:02 by jennifer @ : just stopped in...
Some of these comments are not of the norm... ahhaha... well i'm very happy for you all that you have found a place, doesnt look like anything out here in cali, but i'm sure its wonderful. --or i hope so... I wish you the best of luck there and am glad that a weight has been lifted for you all.. I hope you all are enjoying your experience... hope to see you all soonn... love you all!!  

25 Jul 2003 @ 21:23 by fresian_is : Van Nuys...a great place to be from...
Flemming, noticed you were in Van Nuys...I lived near the corner of Vanowen and Kester...went to VNHS...LAVC...CSUN...then left to see the world in 1980. I returned briefly to run an electronics-manufacturing business in N. Hollywood in 1997...and I have never had an urge to return...the best place remaining in California is the Central Coast...N. of Santa Barabara...I actually have settled down in Louisiana...clean air, low real estate prices, low congestion, and where I live...good health care and good schools (and I am not talking about Orleans Parish...that is something else being called an education system); well, thanks for starting this site...cyber-friends are only a connection away.

26 Jul 2003 @ 09:33 by ming : Renting
Just a matter of whether I'm likely to have a downpayment for a house on hand or not. I'm not very good at saving. When we first bought a house in California, I was just sort of lucky that some extra income happened to come in to cover the purchasing costs during the time of the escrow. Could happen again, of course, or I might save it up first. And, to purchase, I'd like to take longer than a few days to look around and pick really well. And I'd probabaly only go for a place to purchase if it had more than enough space I can imagine us needing, and plenty of land. Which this house doen't quite fit. But, supposedly it is easier to qualify for purchase in France than in the U.S. where I'd need to hang around for a couple of years and build up credit before I'd get approved for anything.  

26 Jul 2003 @ 10:06 by raypows : Yahoooo-eee
Great!! I'm glad that you have probably found a place to settle, build some kind of foundation. Having lived in spacious hilltop homes as well as windowless shacks I'm pretty clear that our joy isn't bound by the size and shape of the box we call home. Home=Heart=Hearth I haven't emailed my sister yet, she was on vacation herself, but she is now back. Would you still like me to contact her about other possible living situations? Much love to you and your family.  

27 Jul 2003 @ 03:51 by ming : Home
First hurdle was indeed to find a base, a foundation, and we've got that. So, thanks, we don't need more help on that right now. And at least once I get a DSL connection up, I can relax. So, I think from here we can take it a bit more easy and explore the region, and think about where we might want to maybe buy and live for a longer term.  

29 Apr 2016 @ 00:32 by Joeie @ : oWcqTmTcCoqYTjo
Absolutely first rate and coebpr-pottomed, gentlemen!  

29 Apr 2016 @ 05:03 by Polly @ : DgHRqIRnRALEO
Ruined clothes are nothing when compared with a scromptiuus meal like the one you described. This looks delicious. Nothing like a good meal to make you feel happy. Your photography skills are great! xxx  

Other stories in
2012-05-03 00:04: An evolving path
2012-01-02 13:52: 2011 Accomplishments and 2012 Aims
2011-11-17 02:20: Your inner piece
2011-02-01 00:05: Slow Mo Flow
2011-01-22 18:40: Recognition
2010-08-23 00:36: Where's Ming?
2010-07-20 14:24: Getting other people to do stuff
2010-06-22 00:27: Inventory
2010-06-19 23:10: Conversations
2009-10-28 12:31: Then a miracle occurs

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