It seems that for me, to stay in a city for a long time, I have to hate it on arrival. I didn’t like Bonn (3 years), Grenoble (4 years), Berlin (7 months but I started liking it after two months only), Brussel (ongoing) while I stayed only 3 months in Cape Town (loved it immediatly). But this only entre parenthèse.
Obviously, all these cities are quite different, each of it having advantages and inconveniences. Bonn is pretty small and since the government left, it’s getting more and more provenciel. Berlin is great, close to home but just like Bonn in Germany. Brussels has the right size for a buzzing, international not too big city and has many different faces to discover.
Grenoble however… The mountains alone are worth living there. The weather: Real season, i.e. hot summers and cold, snowy winters. The development in the city favouring ecological and handicap friendly policies. The universities, the theatres, the cinemas, the pubs, the people and, and, and
When I arrived, my French was hardly existing, my English was worse. The students’ hall I lived in the noisiest and inconvenienst place ever (until I saw others), university was almost impossible to follow and just everything I had to do – administrative, personal, professional task needed to be figured out first – where, who and how to say it en français. I hated it and was only waiting for the semester to finish to go home. And then I stayed for four years having some of the best and worst moments of my life. Que des bons souvenirs, quoi.