Saturday, August 7, 2010

Apartment Hunting

We have yet to meet the colleague, who is on vacation. It’s an apartment; kind of like our 2 family- there is an owner who lives downstairs and then they have the top 2 floors. It’s nice to have a home base with a kitchen, etc. It feels a bit out of the way tho- we walked to the supermarket yesterday and the trip there and back took us about an hour- probably 30 minutes of walking, and 30 minutes of shopping. We came home with some things that I’m not sure about. Nate thought it was Raman noodles, and threw it in the basket. When I picked it up, it felt too heavy to be Raman- maybe more like a big bag of some kind of MSG laden flavor packet for Raman noodles, since there was a picture of Raman type noodles on the front of the bag.  We haven’t opened it yet. Jack chose some Hungarian type ice cream instead of Hagen Daaz, much to Kent’s disapproval. Nate said, “You can get Hagen Daaz anywhere- c’mon Dad, be adventurous.”Could be another bust, we'll see...

I went house hunting yesterday. It was enlightening. And kind of horrifying. We need a place in 9 days. No place even looked CLOSE to being ready in 9 days. Most were inhabited by people who looked as if they were not renting their house at all, but would be spending Christmas and indeed, the rest of their lives in this very same house.  One place was particularly crazy. The landlady had broken up her apartment because her daughter wanted her own place. But the daughter had moved out, so if we wanted the whole place, they "could put it back the way it was. "

We walked in from the patio to her sleeping room- "Really it’s the dining room, but what do I need a dining room for? You can put it back the way it was if you want.” Then into the living room, where there were clothes hanging all the way up the stairs on the banister, including a three quarters length fur coat. I’m assuming since it’s August, it’s been there for a while.  At the top of the stairs was- nothing. A wall.  She looked unperturbed. “It will be a 2 day job, that’s all, if you want both units, or if you want just this unit, you can decide. (“This unit was her dining room/bedroom all in one, a small kitchen, and the living room with all the clothes displayed up with stairs, and a laundry room/ bathroom.  She also thought we should keep all her furniture and send ours back. She mentioned that we should keep her two cats too, and since we had three, now we would have 5 cats. "But, my cats are outdoor cats, so they will meet their fate."

There was some warren of hallways too, all stuffed beyond passibility with years of “saved” things. So, we went outside to the upstairs apartment, which had a family happily living in it. What the....?? They also looked like they were never leaving, and in fact were just returning from holiday. The apartment was full of drying racks with all their holiday laundry. It was very lived in- not in a bad way, just in a way that said they were also never leaving this place, particularly not in 9 days.

I talked to some other new faculty at an introductory dinner last night and several people had similar experiences- houses that weren’t finished, but “of course” could be ready in time, if someone wanted to rent it. One woman said she thought that they would only finish if it was rented, otherwise it would stay unfinished. And of course everyone claims it can all be done in a week. Having lived through home repairs, I know this is not true. 

We made the mistake of taking the kids to one house- the farthest away from the village, but also the most grand. We would have said no, just for the distance from the bus, but the kids fell in love with the bathroom with the jacuzzi, and the rooms and the view. It has a lovely view. It's complete (Mostly- there is some kind of repair going on out on the patio) The owner lives in the US but is here until next week to rent the place. I think we might have a winner. I worry about the cost of heating it- it seems huge and too wide open. Not my style, but the best thing we've seen so far. And the clock is ticking....

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