This picture shows the living room of the apartment we rented in Paris. Emma took it standing up high, through the terrace window, utilising the same techniques used by the people who post these apartments on home-stay websites – making best use of the space and lens angle to make a tiny space look large. The apartment is cosy and cute and clean, and we loved it, but it was really small by the standards of a Canadian family of four. It technically does sleep four – two in the bedroom and two on the foldout sofa – but really it’s an apartment for one person or a very intimate couple.
You have to plan how to move around in this place. Off the tiny living room is a miniscule kitchen, and at the end of that is the world’s smallest bathroom. If you’re in the kitchen and someone else is in the bathroom, you have to leave the kitchen so they can get out of the bathroom.
You would also not want to gain much weight if you lived in this apartment. In the middle of the kitchen, I had about two inches’ clearance on either side of my hips – the counter on one side and the sink on the other. The tiny shower stall has sliding doors that open just enough to allow an average-sized adult to squeeze through, but that’s it.
Remember that whole “French Women Don’t Get Fat” craze of a few years ago? How French women eat all these rich foods and fine wines yet don’t get overweight like North American women, and we all wanted to know their secret? Well, I’ve got it.
French women don’t get fat because they’re scared to. They’re afraid they’ll get stuck in their showers and won’t be freed until the building is knocked down. That’s all there is to it.