I am finally in my own apartment. After staying in a hostel for the first week, I moved into an interesting homestay with a retired couple. They both wanted to tell me exactly how things should be done in their home, how to live in Paris, and horror stories of previous students they had housed. The final straw was when my host mother told me (at length in French) that I had left my phone charger plugged into the wall, unknowingly using up precious electricity. When I went into my room, I saw that she must have entered my room to notice such a thing, and that more than likely she was snooping through my things. I confronted her, but she was defensive and told me I needed to decide if I am content to stay. I wasn't content to stay.
And thus round two began. The next day, I woke up early to go to the housing office, tell everyone my story and begin a new search. The same afternoon, I got to read three listings after they had repeatedly told me they had "nothing left".
They did have something left: my fabulous lofted apartment. Perhaps my view of Parisian apartments is skewed, but I am in love. It has a lofted area for my queen size bed (unheard of in Paris), giant closets and storage, a cute living room with a pullout sofa, and a petite kitchenette. Perfect.
It was, however, less than perfect that my landlord required me to pay up front for the entire semester. She is very direct, very insistent, and overall very french. However, I talked her down to two months in advance with a one month security deposit, and it still took me a few days to get everything cleared up. I even got her to split the cost of my kitchen equipment (plates, bowls, cups, silverware, japanese sushi knives, etc.) AND today she even asked me to tutor her sons in English for a few hours a week at the steep price of 25 euros per hour.
Maybe that will make up for the enormous amount I spent on sheets that first night.. over 100 euros. I couldn't stomach paying an additional 50 euros for a cheap comforter, I shivered those first two nights with just a sheet. Now, I am starting to feel settled after three months on the road. Soon, I will be able to call Paris home.