So I had pretty much given up on going to YAPC::Europe this year, since I had put off calling the Paris institute missionaries for so long that I didn't think I could organise anything. (I had called them to ask whether they could help me find a space to sleep at a member's house.)
Then I sent them an email a couple of days ago and got a reply saying they had indeed forgotten about it but that they would ask the branch presidents in the area to announce it on Sunday. So there is still hope!
This means I may have to figure out how to get there. I'd prefer flying, as that's quickest, but that would mean I would have to stay till Sunday if I don't want to pay quintuple prices. Which more or less means that I really want to get accommodation sorted out before I book, especially since those fares aren't refundable. On the other hand, those fares require that you purchase them at least four weeks in advance.
When my home teachers came yesterday, Mario suggested Formule 1 hotels, which are fairly cheap—he said around €20 a night. Apparently, they tend to be a bit outside the city, but there are several around Paris at prices around €30; some of them are reachable by Metro, which is good.
The web site only lets you book for four nights at a time; maybe this is because (as Mario also said) they don't really cater to people who stay there as much as people passing through. Their standard is pretty simple (showers at the end of the corridor, that sort of thing), but they're apparently clean and decent value. I suppose I could get around the four-day thing by booking two different hotels, if I really wanted.
I also had a look at what HRS said, but most of their offers were in the €50–€60 range. Have to wait and see whether I get an answer early next week.
Bus costs around €110 and train about the same; the disadvantage is that these are both overnight and I'd arrive at 10:00 (bus) or 09:14 (train) on Wednesday morning and probably miss the opening speech and the beginning of the first tutorial. But that may be "zu verschmerzen", as they say. That way, I could also save two nights (which makes the hotel option cheaper) since I could leave on Friday night as well: 20:30 by bus and 20:46 by train should both leave ample time for attending the last session of conference and then heading to the station. Might have to carry my bags with me, though, but perhaps I can leave them somewhere.
So, difficult decisions. Especially since I have to decide by next Monday or, at the latest, Tuesday whether I'll take the plane and I may not hear back from the missionaries until later.
On an unrelated note, Stella recently gave her okay to ordering DSL. She had previously not been very fond of the idea because she thought it would cost more; however, I recently found that 2GB a month (unlimited time) plus the ADSL surcharge costs around what I usually pay for Internet anyway. Also, our rent went down recently and Stella will have finished school soon, which also means one fewer item of expenditure.
So I ordered it via a colleague who's a "power seller" for the broadband provider (they actually re-sell German Telecom's services), which means that while I pay the same price, he gets a little commission, which he said he'd share with us. So we save a little more.
Yay broadband and (potentially) always-on! (Apparently they disconnect after 24 hours, or 15 minutes of idle time, but one can reconnect immediately.)