101 - Living in Saint Denis

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We arrivedin Reunion in 2011 with nothing but our backpacks.  As neither my partner nor I had a job, wedecided that it would probably be best to settlein one of the bigger towns or cities.

Havingread in our guidebooks that St Pierre was amazing, we headed south the momentwe arrived.  From our little holidaystudio flat in Le Tampon the firstthings that needed organising were for us to buy a car and find a place tolive.

Aftercontacting a bunch of estate agencies in St Pierre andresponding to numerous flat adsonline, we realised that our time was quickly running out and we hadn’t even managed to visit one flat!  Either fatewas telling us something or there really were no flats available to rent in StPierre that fell into our price range.

By thatstage we had been up to St Denis a couple of times to look at cars.  After spending some time in the city centredoing touristy stuff, we realised that we actually felt better in St Denis thanin St Pierre.  With that in mind wedecided to get in touch with acouple of estate agencies in the north. By the end of that week we had signed a lease to a flat in the city centre and bought ourselves a car. And itjust so happens that five years later, we still live and work in St Denis.

It’s notlike we haven’t considered moving but the prosof staying always outweigh the cons. Staying where we are means thatwe can stick to having one carbetween the two of us.  This choice isecological as well as economical and walking is really good exercise. We are solucky to not spend time in traffic jams.  We do most of our daily tasks on foot.

Now I’mnot saying that it’s only peaches andcream.  St Denis is busy and noisyduring the day and summers in our flat can get terribly hot.  And no, we can’t just pop down to the beachfor a quick swim before or after work!

But hereis what I do appreciate: I love the many well preserved Creole villas and theirarchitecture.  I enjoy walking up rue deParis to Jardin de l’Etat – what alittle gem with its well-kept lawns and ancient trees.  And who wouldn’t enjoy eating an ice-cream onthe steps of the cathedral on a Sunday afternoon overlooking the little squareand the bubbling fountain?

So StDenis it is for the moment!  But whoknows what the future has in storefor us! 

Vocabulary

 

backpack – sac à dos
to settle – s’installer
flat – appartement
a bunch of – un tas de
estate agency – agence immobilière 

flat ads – annonces immobilières
to manage – réussir à faire quelque chose
fate - destin
to get in touch – contacter
a lease – un bail 

pros and cons – le pour et le contre
to outweigh – être plus important que
to stick to – s’en tenir à
to be lucky – être chanceux
traffic jam – embouteillage 

peaches and cream – chouette
gem – bijou
well-kept – bien tenu
lawn - pelouse
to have in store – réserver

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