Property and its rental, to be specific.

I spent a few days in Paris and December being a bit chilly to camp out on a park bench I needed somewhere to stay. Having been in hotels in the past I tried this Airbnb lark for a change.

You get a choice. Shared room (no, thanks), a room in a shared property (no, thanks) or an entire property for much the same price as a room (yes please). So I asked host no. 1 for his flat. He said yes and then a week before arrival decided he was going to be sick for at least a week and said No. Host no 2 thought about it for a day and then said no for elaborate reasons to do with his previous punter. Host no 3 accepts bookings there and then so I was all set for my weekend in Yvette’s (not her real name) flat. Being an American based outfit you find that four nights at €50 a night does not equal €200 but more like €240 for the same kind of reason that if you buy something in America stickered at $9.99 it’ll cost you $10.89 or something. Anyways I had a credit of €13 to cover the inconvenience of the cancellation so I was all set again. Duly contacted Yvette and asked when I could arrive. Any time you like! Duly arrived at flat, found door on street open, went up to first floor as per instructions to find several unnumbered doors, none of which answered their buzzers. decided to turn on expensive data roaming to contact mine host, found message to take two metro trains to her place of work. More excitement because you have to ring a buzzer and wait for a disembodied voice talking French to you while you strain your ears to hear over the noise of a noisy street.

After all that I was in. Looked as pictured - tiny hall, tiny shower/toilet, living room, bedroom.

Here’s the kitchen and dining area.

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Yes, that’s the table. You can almost reach the hotplates, sink and fridge without budging from the chair.

The fridge had various contents. Yvette’s and therefore off limits, or abandoned by the last punter? Lots of stuff past its best before date so I helped myself to a few slices of cheese and an apple. Turned out not to be quite the right thing.

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Anyway once you get used to not being able to make an unplanned move for fear of breaking something and discover that the microwave isn’t but is a little conventional oven, it was OK for a few days. The thought of actually living there would make me scream. How much would this place cost? Something like €200,000 or the best part of €1,000 a month. Expensive place, Paris, if you want to live inside the ring road. Want a flat with a bedroom and a proper kitchen? €300 or 400,000. Want a grander flat with four or five bedrooms ? Multiply that by ten. Want a space in an underground car park? €30,000 or so.

After my stay I needed to get Yvette’s keys back to her but no replies to messages and texts so back to her office and more battles with disembodied voices.

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Do it again? Probably not. You can get more room and self catering if you wish for about the same price in a hotel.