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Day 3 - Rishikesh

The weather looked gloomy with an overcast sky as we woke up. We had breakfast at the hotel and decided to visit Rishikesh today. Again we headed back the way we came yesterday and after crossing Rajaji National Park the road divides and one goes towards to Dehradun and one to Rishikesh. The drive was pleasant, as we opted Laxman  Jhula as our destination google map smartly took us via highway bypassing the main city.But at the end the roads started to get narrower lucky for us we found a parking lot packed yet as we early risers ;)
The weather was little cold compared to the planes of Dehradun with lots of breeze coming from Ganga. We walked to Laxman Jhula to cross it. Oh boy! We have no idea what local authority allows two-wheelers, cycle to cross the hanging bridge which is meant for a pedestrian. And top of it you even have some cows standing in the middle.
I am sure the people coming all the from abroad to Rishikesh for peace, meditation and self-purity do get a complete shock wi…

Welcome to Paris an unofficial guide by Malc

Here is a set of stuff about flat hunting, contributed from many sources. One note. Most of this is for finding a flat on your own.Don't go near
  • Hestia.fr (many a tale of woe has originated from here) Get your 'dossier' together straight away. Needs photocopy of
  • Present employment contract
  • Last 3 pay slips
  • Last 3 rent receipts (or in my case my 1 year mortgage statement from the UK)
  • Last 3 utility bills (I put in my quarterly bills for water, Electricity and gas)
  • Birth certificate (Not a must)
  • Passport
  • RIB (i.e. bank details)
  • Last years Tax statementIt's like a competition; the person with the fullest dossier gets the flat.Sort out your guarantor. Due to French tenant law, it is not legal for a landlord to kick you out during the 3 main months of winter. Thus you can stop paying and they can do nothing ?till spring. In Paris landlords protect themselves by demanding a guarantor who will pay your rent if you default. To be eligible the guarantor must be on the French social security system. For most this is a parent.Foreigners can look to French friends, but beware, there is a big stigma to this. Since it is generally your parents that do this, asking someone else suggests that your parents are poor. Generally people will be shocked to be asked.Another alternative is 1% lodgment. 1% lodgment is really looked down on. Makes you seem poor. Poor people do not get flats in Paris.Last option is get your company as guarantor. Personally I?d push this. If you are family members in France talk to them.Apartment sites
  • www.acheter-louer.fr
  • www.explorimmo.com/static/figaro/ (Monday paper) Check regularly through the day
  • www.locat.fr
  • www.proapart.com
  • fr.123immo.com
  • www.alouer.com
  • www.pap.fr Des Particuliers a Particuliers (Thursday paper get it by 7:30am)
  • www.immostreet.com
  • www.immostreetpro.com/etude_saint_lambert/hab_spe.php
  • uk.seloger.comcheck regularly through the day (_en is English)
  • fr.classifieds.yahoo.com/fr/rn(tends to be a bit far behind, pretty much everything is gone by the time it appears)
  • The American Church (Quai d'Alma, go in person to notice board)Sites if you want to share. Not very common in France: -
  • www.coloc.fr; www.colocation.fr; www.bonjour.fr;www.fusac.fr they sometime say they are looking for English speaking flat mates on colocation.fr. Fusac has both short term contracts and share ads. Best to get the Magasine, has more in it than the website.Finding where it is - Maps
  • www.maporama.com
  • www.ismap.com
  • www.mappy.fr
  • www.france.com (metro/RER/SNCF maps etc)Understanding the classifieds
  • www.paris-anglo.com/housing/guide/housing_word.htmlMight be worth checking the Fusac site. Fusac is a free magazine mostly for the ex-pat community. Great for buying second hand furniture etc, but apartments will be expensive, because most will be short-term.
  • www.fusac.frFurniture, etc.: -
  • www.ikea.fr (the classic)
  • www.habitat.fr
  • www.conforama.fr
  • www.mezzaline.com (seems to be pretty kiddy orientated, but there is furniture)White goods: -
  • www.darty.fr
  • www.conforama.frOther things to note:
  • You pay the insurance on the Flat.
  • The difference between furnished and unfurnished is pretty big. In general it is more than 250 euros per month for a 1000 euro flat.
  • The notice period is 3 months, for an unfurnished flat. 1 month for furnished (I think).
  • The deposit is between 2 and 3 months
  • You pay the agency fees, all of them. These vary. Can be up to 12% of 1 years rent.
  • For unfurnished the standard contract period is 3 years.
  • For furnished the standard contract period is 1 year.
  • You can escape your contract without penalty if you leave the country.
  • You must have a bank account. Can be awkward, as you need an address before you can have a bank account.
  • If your French is poor, try running these through Babel fishbabelfish Specify the address in the web site box.Drinking and eating: -
  • www.parispubs.com
  • www.theauldalliance.com
  • www.mooseheadparis.comArrondisementsGet used to the Arrondisement (district) numbers. It?s like a snail; the 1st is the very centre of Paris.And it winds out in a spiral to the 20th.Good areas are the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 11th, 15th. Though of course not the whole of them, they have their bad and their good parts.However, the 16th and 17th are only good if you happen to like little old ladies wearing fur and dragging ratty little dogs around (you know, the types with tartan jackets and yap lots, constitute a light bite for a proper dog).The best areas that you are likely to be able to afford are 3rd, 5th, 6th and 11th. Families might prefer the 15th The 5/6th is the Latin quarter. It is probably the liveliest part of town, it doesn't have a bad part.Lastly: Think about buying. The loan rates are pretty reasonable. The housing costs are much cheaper on the purchase side than on the renting side. You can get English speaking notaries to make life easier for you? Down side. Even after you find a place, it will be 3 months minimum before all the paperwork is sorted out.
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