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First, get into your lululemons, put on some medieval monk music, light some candles, then just say the following, “I accept the insufficiencies of small refrigerators, the drawbacks of asking children to share bedrooms, and the shortage of arm room in my kitchen” and then chant the following, “Small closets are virtuous. Cooking in cupboards is noble. Upstairs neighbors who like parties is a beautiful thing.” Plus, you should add, “Unusual lighting fixtures are definitely a bonus in my life.”

Then get on the net, place an ad, hire an agent, scroll the real estate listings, pour over websites. Try Lodgis or Seloger or Pap.fr, where you rent directly from owners, mention your search specs to your friends who will laugh at you, then tell everyone they know, then the couple at the next table and before you know it, people approach you in the street, “I heard you were looking for that perfect apartment” they say then walk away shaking their heads snickering. Just ignore that and go try the house chablis or bordeaux at the local. It’s all about keeping appearances at this stage.

Like dating, looking for an apartment can involve adjusting your expectations to match what’s in front of you. The classic build, the heroic stature, the strong fortification comes down to, will the loo flush, can I fit my couch through the door, is there a place down the street to buy some milk and bread? The early vision of impeccable parquet floors and archways and high mouldings will transform into mathematical equations of lists of pros and cons. Yeah, he’s pretty cute, but can he cook?… kind of thing.

Nobody said it was going to be easy. And there will be much lashing and nashing of teeth and all that apocalyptic stuff, but you’ll keep your zen. Because you are samurai. You cannot be swayed by these small limbs that tangle the way to sanctuary, or at least to a two bedroom under 3,000 euros a month. For in the end, home is where you put your beret, and as time does its magical trick, in a few weeks, you will grow accustomed to the clanging of the shutters at 6am and the thrums of the subway underneath your bed and the oh, so Paris perfect particularities of your own home sweet home.