March 12, 2010

The Seven Year Itch

We're coming up on seven years of living way out here in the French countryside. Seven.

Husband grew up in New York City. I spent my entire adult life living smack dab in the middle of urban spaces - Seattle, San Francisco, New Orleans. I never had the desire to live in a rural setting.

Now we live in a village of 418 people.
Which is beautiful. Idyllic. Full of friendly neighbors and a tranquil, charming village life.

Lately though, we've both been craving a change of pace, we're wanting some new adventures. It's time to head to a city. We want to go see films, go out to art galleries and restaurants, see some live music, get back into the general buzz of an urban landscape.
And we miss take out! The luxury of being able to call for Chinese food, pizza, etc. while lazing about the house, wearing slippers, hair up in a messy ponytail, no make-up. (heck, just getting some decent Chinese food, delivered or not, would be a luxury!)

But which city?
Paris, perhaps?

Seven years. I'm starting to itch. Pin It


Michelle | Bleeding Espresso said...

How exciting! Can't wait to see where you end up :)

spacedlaw said...

In Paris, you might be able to get real Chinese food (or at least on closer to what you have known in the US) but most of Chinese restaurants in France are in fact Vietnamese or Cambodian. And most restaurant are still not offering home delivery take away. You normally have to go and collect the food at the restaurant or traiteur (except for pizza).

Betty C. said...

Wow, this is quite the news -- although you talked to me some about it once. It will give us some fodder for conversation when I see you next week!

Loulou said...

Nor can I!

There used to be an authentic Sichuan resto in Montpellier. I know that most "chinese" in France aren't authentic Chinese, but they are out there. :)

It's something B and I have discussed for several months, but it won't happen right away. Probably in the autumn. There are a lot of details to sort through!
See you in a few days!

L Vanel said...

Why don't you come on up and check out Lyon? You can stay at my house. I still have to cook my own Chinese. You can't win them all.

martha said...

Lately I've been hankering after Marsaille. Don't know about the Asian food situation, but there'll certainly be lot's of cous cous and other North African goodies to sate your appetites. Also ffrom there you can fairly easily get almost anywhere interesting - even Estonia.

Alison said...

How about La Rochelle? :)

Loulou said...

I considered Lyon, but I guess since I've never been there I have no attachment to it.
Thanks for the kind invite! Very tempting....

Marseille is a fascinating city! It would be a very interesting place to live, that's for sure.

I've never been in the center of La Rochelle, even after all the time I've spent in the Charente. It looks like a beautiful place. Thanks for the recommendation!

meredith said...


croquecamille said...

Funny, I was chatting with a friend yesterday, and she was saying she had the seven-year-itch, too! Now that spacedlaw mentions it, I can't think of any Chinese delivery in town, but you can definitely get Indian food delivered! ;)

Loulou said...

I love Marseille and we have a good friend who lives there, so it is on the list. You'd be a lot closer then, I think?

Indian restos deliver? wonderful!
I would happily go and pick up the Chinese food if I can get Indian food delivered right to my door. :)

georgiegirl said...

I vote for Paris.

T_McLeod said...

It's a fact that we do run in 7 year cycles. Sounds like you'll be staying in France so you can't go very wrong with your choices. Good luck

Loulou said...

That's a good vote! (and a popular one)

Yes, we're definitely staying in France. It's fun to do the research on the different cities. Thanks for your good wishes!

Betty C. said...

Well since everyone is putting their two centimes in, I'm going to do the same. The first condition is, you must go to a city where we can still get together from time to time :)

Montpellier of course would be ideal! Marseille -- I've never been there, it would be a good chance to get to know the city!

Paris -- well I do get up to Paris so that would work out fine.

Lyon -- I like Lyon. It's not that far away from here (4-hour drive) but public transport is not very good from Rodez (other than the plane which costs a fortune.)

La Rochelle? Mais non! Much too out of the way (for me) and I'm not sure it has the big-city qualifications you're looking for.

Personally my vote goes for Montpellier for several reasons, not all self-centered, but we can talk about that on TUESDAY :)

Loulou said...

If we end up in Montpellier you could come down and we could have shopping weekends! If it is Paris, you could come up (you have to for work anyway) and we could have shopping weekends!
We're interested in checking out looks pretty amazing. And much cheaper than Paris. But still...Paris....
We'll discuss on Tuesday, but where ever we end up, you always have a place to stay!

Betty C. said...

Well, it's more seeing you that's the concern, not the place to stay...but since Rodez isn't on your list of possible big cities to move to (lol) I suppose the two may go hand in hand!

Mariap said...

Greetings from Greece! Last summer me and my husband made a motorcycle tour of southern France. After that, we stopped in Lyon for a while. I remember telling my husband that Lyon is a city where I could live, Neither too big or too small, nice food, 2 rivers, the TGV, ...Interpol and Euronews headquarters...!!! :-)

maria said...

Paris....Paris.....Paris!!!! the three years i spent there were fabulous. always something to do....and if you want to slow it down, you can always go away for the weekend. where ever you decide, you can't go wrong - you are in one of the most beautiful countries in the world.

Danielle said...

Wow! What a fun, exciting investigation you have before you!

I definitely recommend checking out Lyon. I found it quite charming during my brief visit several years ago.

Can't wait to read your reports over the next several months!

PigletinFrance said...

what a tough choice! I live in Lyon and really enjoy the life here. Its got pretty much everything, you can go to the lakes nearby (Aix Les Bains) for the beach; skiing in the winter, walks in the Beaujolais and at the same time you can enjoy city centre living, great restaurants (including authentic Thai and Chinese which I just love), chinatown if you want to cook yourself and great public transport system.

If I didn't live in Lyon I would either live near Montpellier or in the mountains.

Paris must be great but for me the weather is a downer. I know the weather is bad pretty much everywhere at the moment but Parisian weather is too much like the UK for me, whereas in Lyon I've really the impression that I'm living someplace else.

Best of luck with the decisions!

Loulou said...

Yes, the two would go hand in hand. I just wanted to let you know you would have a place to stay so you would come visit often! :)

I'm getting some great reviews of Lyon so I guess we'll need to go and check it out. Thanks for your input!

I like your response!
Paris is very special, I love it there and feel right at home whenever I am there. The only prohibitive factor is how expensive it is!

Thanks for your advice. I'll keep you posted!

I appreciate your positive and practical report of Lyon. There's a Chinatown there?
We'll definitely need to check it out. It looks like a really lovely city.

martha said...

The comments on Lyon have made me start wanting to go there. When I was in school in Besancon I planned to visit but for some reason ended up in Strasbourg. That's an interesting city too, but very touristy in the summer and full of Eurocrats - sometimes in the winter.

LC said...

I believe Chinatown is in the 13th arrondissement of Paris. I will be moving to Paris in June with family of 5 (two parents, 3 kids!) and will certainly let you know once I get there whether there's any good Chinese food to be found!

Loulou said...

I'll let you know what I think after we visit Lyon. I would love to visit Strasbourg, but as a visitor, can't imagine living there for some reason.

Good luck with your move!
Yes, there is a Chinatown in the 13th, and if we end up in Paris my husband wants to live as close to there as possible! :)

Garry said...


No you cant move - you are my daily contact with the area!!

But seriously I think it is necessary for us all to experiance different places and ways of living as you progress through life. I have been to the citys where you have lived and they are all great in their own ways.
The three that you suggested are all up there in my list.

It will be very interesting for us all to live vicarously through you on your decision.
It would be very interesting to hear your different thoughts as they invariably go back and forth.

One interesting thing I have noticed is when you have photogrpahed Paris your "photographic skill" seems to increase - and I dont think that is neccesarily to do with the subject matter but a sense of place.

are you planning to sell up completley in this area - or may you retain this base as a "vacation property?"

i wish you well.

Loulou said...

Guess you're going to have to come and live here yourself! :)

The current plan is that we'll be keeping the house and use it as a vacation home.

Paris is an easy place to photograph. There are scenes that capture my interest around every corner!