My Life in a Box

27 December 2012

So, I've talked about my study abroad experience a bit (what to expect, how not to go broke, etc.) but something I've never talked much about is the fact that I lived in a box.

Now, usually when I tell this to people there first reaction is, "Omg, were you like one of those boxcar kids?!" Well, no but kinda. I did live in a shipping container which has pretty much the same dimensions. The apartment complex is known as Cité A Docks and it's part of student housing at the Université du Havre. The symbolism of the apartments is two-fold: first of all, Le Havre is a city based around the shipping industry so to create homes out of shipping containers is a nod to the city's heritage. In addition, recycling these old containers into new homes represents Le Havre's goal to become a green and modern city.

Things I loved about my box:
  • It was located right next to a park which was great for bike rides or relaxing by the water and watching tiny jellyfish swim by.
  • It caught the sun light perfectly so I only had to turn the heating on for extremely cold days. And if it was two hot, I'd open up the windows on each end and enjoy an amazing cross breeze.
  • It's just enough space for single living and easy to maintain.
  • You're right next to a bunch of other students which makes socializing easy. On nice evenings we'd pull our tables and chairs out into the court yard and enjoy dinner together.

Things I disliked about my container:

  • The complex was brand new so there were some kinks to work out. Sometimes the shower would back up, other times rain water would leak in under the door. 
  • The area was close to a shipping dock so I had to listen to the noise of machinery at all hours.
  • You're living in a tourist attraction. Camera crews and buses full of tourists are always trying to get in and see what your apartment looks like. Awkward!

But, regardless of those minor drawbacks, I loved my box! What do you say, would you give a container a try?
Take peak inside!

Photo Credits

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