When I arrived in Grenoble I jumped straight off the bat to post about my accommodation – Scandinave in Residence Universitaire Olympique. HOWEVER, I feel the need to now make a disclaimer.
Originally, “my initial pessimism [about Scandinave] transformed into an appreciation of nostalgic living” – in turn, this appreciation of nostalgic living transformed into a bed bug infestation, seeing people with guns from my balcony, getting stuck in the shower room for 15 minutes because the door jammed itself shut and walking into the shared toilets countless mornings to find that others on my floor were not in fact potty trained as children. A change was needed. Location wise (ignoring the nearby gun crime…) I was still happy enough so the simplest solution was an upgrade from a traditional room (Scandinave) to a renovated room in the Americain building.
SCANDINAVE vs AMERICAIN
SHARED TOILETS/SHOWERS vs ENSUITE.
I initially thought the shared bathrooms were fine in Scandinave, even saying in my previous post to “just man up” if you didn’t like the idea, but when you wake up a few mornings in a row to nearly walk into someone else’s vomit on the floor you start to reconsider what is meant by ‘fine’ and whether ‘manning up’ constitutes actually putting up with this. Plus, my shower is now a power shower. I finally feel clean again. Goodbye pressing the noisy ON button every 5 seconds, hello consistent warm water.
BED BUGS vs NO BED BUGS
I realize bed bugs obviously don’t infest every bed in any given building, and my other friends in Scandinave didn’t have this problem, but I truly hit the unlucky jackpot here. Waking up every morning with new, very itchy bites all over your body wasn’t nice to say the least. I drew the line when I got bitten on my face/eye, and when I could no longer sleep at night for fear of bugs crawling over me. Bed bugs are very hard to kill so unless I was going to be able to mass disinfect/steam my room there was no way I was escaping them unless I just put insecticide on all my stuff, washed and dried it all, and moved.
NO FRIDGE vs FRIDGE
I bought my first vegetable since having lived here this week, because a fridge is included in the heightened room price for renovated rooms. I was genuinely starting to worry I would get scurvy so this was a relief.
FRONT ROW SEATS TO THE GUN SHOW vs A LITTLE BIT OF DISTANCE
The alarm bells started to go off when I heard what I thought was a gun shot when I was in my room. I thought it was going to be like that scene in Friends where the shot is actually just a car back firing, but I looked out my window to see a the usual gang of chavs, and more specifically, to see one of them put a gun away in his trousers. I did a double take, and decided I’d probably seen wrong and to just forget about it. But a week later my friend and I definitely heard 3 more gunshots. With this gang always in direct view of my window (what else do they even do with their time?!) I thought it was just a waiting game before they started target practice at the pigeons that always landed on my balcony.
“for the extra €100 in your deposit, and the extra 100 a month, I think there are better things to spend your money on.” I entirely take this back. Insecticide: €10. Washing and drying all your clothes €15. New room rent per month: €250. Piece of mind: PRICELESS. Living the Americain dream.