Yes, the rumors are true: I finally have my own apartment!! Unfortunately it doesn't have internet yet, and after the blow to my bank account of three months' upfront rent and Christmas coming up, I'm not sure when it will. So for now correspondence will be staggered.
Anyhow, it's a studio, so it's tiny, but it has a real bathroom with a bathtub and the whole place looks practically brand new. It's furnished with a desk, three chairs, a bed and an equiped kitchen. The building is nine-years-old and was built specifically for students, so it has a laundry downstairs and a payphone, etc. It's located incredibly well as far as transportation goes (one block from two bus lines, one block to the tram, 10 minutes to metro), but no one would call it "centre-ville." My fifth-floor window is west-facing, meaning I have an expansive view of the city including the hill and castle-like basilica of Fourvière hill. I haven't quite figured out how heat works, but we'll get that settled soon...
I moved in yesterday morning and the first thing I did afterwards was search for a Christmas tree, an IKEA and food. In that order. The Christmas tree didn't work out but I'm still trying and IKEA had decorations for cheap so my room is rather festive anyway.

My last day with my host family was rather... indicative. The grandparents and I had been getting along quite well the last week, even more so, actually, after they found out I was moving out. I think they had a little more respect for me then. I certainly had more respect for them than the rest of the Araignouses because they gave me hot meals and even homemade chocolate mousse in a well-kept apartment, like a normal host family.

It just so happened that I was leaving the same morning as the grandparents. I had heard them talking about going somewhere the night before but when I asked they assured me they would be home for dinner at 8:30. I thought it was a little weird that the grandparents wouldn't take them out to dinner the last night they were there, but I planned my day around them being home anyway. At 8 p.m. I get a text message saying "oh, sorry, we're going to a restaurant." 
Oh well, it's probably better that way. I was just about to feel nostaligic, and that made me go: "Oh yeah, that's why I'm leaving."
The next morning as I left I shook hands with the only person in the house and the only person I've really been living with the last three months – my pothead host brother – and walked out the door with all my stuff. It's kinda weird to just not live there anymore. 

But my place is still way better.


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