Something Only Adults Do

About six months ago I decided to become a grown up. I’d done lots of grown up things in my life before; I’d emigrated to Reunion, opened a company, had children, killed a chicken, but all of this was child’s play compared to: ‘Getting a mortgage!’

You don’t have a word for mortgage in French, you do have a word for ‘re-mortgage’ though, which I’ve always found odd. The English word ‘Mortgage’ does have French roots, the word literally means ‘Death Pledge’. Scary stuff.

Anyway, enough of that. Once all the boring bank stuff had finished, we started looking for land. Our stipulations were simple: The land had to be cheap, big, and close to the coast. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Well, you’ll be surprised to know that land like that does not exist in Reunion!

We wanted to move out of St Louis to somewhere in the west so that the wife could be closer to her job, teaching in St Paul, also so that we could be near the beach for the kids’ sakes. We visited some land in the St Leu area that looked promising; 500 square meters for about €100,000. Right in our budget! The only problem was that it was in La Chaloupe. If you’ve never been up there, it’s high. Really high. So high, in fact, that it took forty-five minutes just to reach the route du tamarins. Back to the drawing board.

Anyway, weeks of stressful land-hunting continued, until we found the perfect spot. Just the right size, just the right price and only ten minutes from the route de tamarins. We found it right around the corner, about one hundred meters from our current place. Now I know we said that we wanted to move to the west, but hell. I love the south. I love going to St Pierre with the kids, I love the new school that my youngest started in this year. Also, of course, I love being near my parents-in-law. Who, not only look after the kids free of charge, but who cook the second best rougail saucisse on the island. (Second only to my wife’s, of course).

So it looks like I’m staying in the south for the perceivable future. No worries, the girls in St Gilles won’t miss me that much. Plus, to be perfectly honest, I much prefer the lagoon in St Pierre to that of Hermitage. There are far fewer tourists taking up the space! And you show me another free babysitter that cooks rougail saucisse on this rock!


grown up – adulte
child’s play – un jeu d’enfant
mortgage – prêt immobilier
pledge – gage
boring – ennuyeux

land – terrain
to move out – se déplacer
promising – prometteur
to reach – atteindre
to go back to the drawing board – retourner à zéro

size – taille
but hell ! – bref !
parents-in-law – beaux-parents
worry – souci
to miss – manquer
space – place

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