Friday, August 15, 2014

New apartment

Hi family and friends!

So I know, I'm remiss on finishing telling you about last year's trip to Provence, much less this year's trip to Provence (to see my parents) but we do have an excuse; we've been preoccupied by moving! No, we aren't back in the US (although I'm starting to apply for jobs, so if you know anyone looking to hire a genetics or microbiology professor let me know). Rather, we moved to a different apartment in Marburg.
 Our new apartment is fabulous, even better than we'd thought.  Moving here is a bit of a tricky proposition, partly because the inexpensive rental apartment market is incredibly tight with the large number of students (and a number of factors conspired to lead to higher than normal numbers of students right now) but also because apartments are rented a bit differently here.  There is no guarantee that apartments will have stuff in them.  I don't mean furniture, I mean things like sinks and stoves and even lighting and flooring.  I visited one apartment that had no paint on the walls, no flooring on the floors, and you could only tell the kitchen apart from the other rooms by the bits of pipe sticking out of one wall where water could come out/go back in.  Needless to say, that wouldn't have been so practical for the amount of time that we'll be here in Germany.  But, we really lucked out.  We found an apartment with flooring and super nice landlords and these:

In case you can't tell, that's an oven!  There are 4 burners that all work and a place for baking things!  You may wonder what have we baked with this marvelous device? Well, I haven't actually baked all that much, but Sasha made blueberry muffins...although he might have temporarily forgotten that ovens are actually big, and may still have made them in 6 muffin batches because that's how you do it, right?  I think it will take a while to get used to this luxury.  And the picture on the right? Well, do you see, it's a whole room devoted to the preparation of food called a kitchen!  Luxury of luxuries.  And it doesn't double as our entryway, and our large toaster oven is no longer competing for space with our shoes.  And look, it also contains both a dishwasher and a clothes washer.  We haven't heard from our landlord that the dishwasher is connected properly, so we haven't used it yet, but we will any day now. Now, I'm sure some of you own houses and have such marvelous devices and don't realize how exciting these things are.  But if you'll remember, our previous apartment had only these resources: so you can see why this new apartment seems like such an upgrade.

For furniture, we are using a number of things from our landlords (did I say super nice already) and need to make an Ikea run for a few crucial things like a dresser for Sasha, but we did find a nice bed at the used furniture store in town, and splurged on some nice mattresses (since apartments and stairwells are so narrow, 2 people beds often come as 2 smaller mattresses that you put next to each other, which can be really nice, since then you don't have to compromise on matress firmness, but can each get the perfect one).

We own a piece of furniture that didn't come from an Ikea now!! We may even try to take it with us when we move back to the US.
But, even better than the kitchen, the fact that we no longer have to listen to the main entry door of a big building slamming at all hours of the day and night, and no longer have a view of the dumpsters out of our windows, we have outside space to use.  Every night that it isn't raining, we sit out on our terrace eating dinner, watching the swifts playing or feeding in the evening air, and watching the sunset reflecting off the castle.  Which is really pretty grand.
Which is better, Sasha, the view or the food?

Come join us for dinner.  The view is hard to beat.