lundi 13 octobre 2008

Welcome to the crunch

It's been a while since we've posted but that's because things have been very busy for us and our lives have been very unstable.

I started my new job in banking in the City of London on the 8th of September. Maki came and joined me a few weeks later. I went back to Paris the first few weekends (in spite of the fire in the channel tunnel: that's another story) to help with our move out. We finally moved out of our place in Paris at the end of September, after I had to disassemble and get rid of all the kitchen cabinets I bought when we moved in. All our stuff is now in storage until we move into our new place in London, which we won't be able to move into until the 28th of this month. In the meantime, we're staying in temporary accommodation.

2008 has been quite a roller-coaster of a year for us, as those of you who know us will be aware. Trust me to start a job in the banking sector the very week that global financial markets go into meltdown. It's been...interesting to say the least! Every day I'm hooked on the bloomberg watching everything crash and burn and wondering how much longer I'll still have a job.

On the upside, "the crunch" has brought with it all sorts of bargains. All the shops near my office are practically giving the nice men's suits away. Even the restaurants are now offering special "crunch lunches" as seen below.

I'm amazed that 6.50 is considered a bargain for lunch. Some crunch this is! I'm sticking to the 2.99 chickpea curry they sell at the place right inside Moorgate tube.

In tough times, however, not all consumption goes down. People will tend to spend more on the things that give them comfort. I'm happy to know that my street offers vice at a discount price. Now this really is crunch friendly:

mercredi 1 octobre 2008

A Nomadic Life

It’s been a couple of weeks since we’ve posted on le blog, but it’s because we’ve been busy with preparing for our move to London. Diego already started his job there, and I’ve stayed behind in Paris to tie up some loose ends (read: do all the things I never got to do when I was a law firm drone). As I type this, the movers are taking out the last piece of furniture out of the apartment and into storage until we find an apartment in London.

You might wonder how people manage to move large furniture in and out of itty bitty Parisian apartments and buildings that often do not have elevators (and even when they do have elevators, they are barely big enough to fit two adults, let alone furniture). They do it by using a contraption like this one:

The movers place the elevator where it will reach a big window or door (in our case, the French doors on our balcony), and then load all the furniture and boxes onto it. The elevator then takes everything down to street level, and from there it gets loaded onto the moving truck.

Moving out meant we (hereinafter in this paragraph defined as Diego) had to undo a lot of the work we did when moving in, such as taking down the kitchen cabinets, curtain rods, and overhead lighting. Here is an action shot:

It’s strange to think that five men managed to wrap up our lives into 102 boxes in about eight hours. Although I feel like we have too many things, all the movers that came to survey our apartment seemed to think we do not have that much. I suppose that a lack of clutter is one advantage of moving frequently. Despite the advantage of a less cluttered life, however, I do not want to have to go through this again for quite a few years. Whatever its drawbacks might be, we’re staying put in London for a while (mind you, that’s what we said about Paris too!)