Friday, June 18, 2010

Our apartment (and Luke's executive decision)

We have a place to live! I never thought this day would come, but in 2 weeks will will finally be able to unpack our suitcases and not have to worry about packing them up again... at least not for a long time.

I only have a few pictures because when we went to visit this place I knew right away I didn't want it (we'll get to that when I tell the story of Luke's executive decision). But for now, here are some pictures.

This is the front of the house. It's actually 3 tall skinny apartments in one big home. The pinkish one is our area:
The main reason I didn't want this place is because it is out in the country. Here is the view from our front yard of our 2 neighbors:
It does have an awesome kitchen
Our master bedroom
And the view from our backyard. The flattened out area in the bottom left/middle is our private "garden" where we can put a play set for Jack or use it for whatever we want.
We move in July 1st!

Now on to the "behind the scenes" story about how we ended up with a place I didn't want...

I guess I have to start out by saying that picking out our apartment was my job. Luke's work offered to fly him out weeks before our scheduled move date so he could pick out a place to live and then when Jack and I got there, everything would already be set up for us (looking back now, this would have been the BEST decision). But... Luke denied the opportunity because he wanted me to pick out our place since I'm staying home with Jack, and I agreed that it would be best if I got a say in where we lived. So we got to Switzerland and started looking for apartments. I really only had 3-5 things I wanted

1. A building with 6 or less families (no massively huge apartments with 300+ people living in them)
2. Walking distance from the butcher/baker/grocery because I didn't want to have to buy a car
3. Walking distance from a bus and/or train stop so I could get around easily
and 2 optional requests
Optional 1: A good size yard for Jack to play... or a park nearby
Optional 2: Walking distance to the lake.

I never thought that I was being too picky, but I guess here in Switzerland if you don't want to be crammed into the big apartments like a sardine you are considered picky. So I spent the last 3 weeks or so combing through all the apartment listings and visiting tons of places. The first place I really liked was right on the canal (I posted a picture in one of my previous posts) and it had everything I wanted. But by the time we put our application in it had already been taken. We found another great apartment shortly after this, and again before I had a chance to put in an application the place was taken. The 3rd apartment I liked (the apartment "with character") was in a great city and we made sure that no one else had applied for it and we still got denied... because we had a child. By this time it was mid-June and anything left for a move-in date of July 1 was slim pickings. I decided to concentrate my search in the city of La Neuveville because I fell in love with the city. I even decided I would take a place I didn't really love just so I could be here, and then in a year we could move into a place we liked better. I had our relocation consultant show us what was left in La Neuveville and our only option was a tiny apartment (80 square meters) next to the train station. I was ready to sign up for it. Being by the train station would mean we would only need one car, plus I was a 5 minute walk to the lake and 5 minutes to town center. Plus, this place was really cheap so we would have lots of extra money ($1,000 or more extra each month) to explore Europe. But I made a big mistake, I had Luke visit the apartments with me. At the time I didn't think taking him was a bad idea, he had said all along that I would be able to pick our apartment, so I thought bringing him to see the apartments would just insure that I had his blessing when I finally picked one. But somewhere along the way Luke fell in love with one apartment we saw way out in the country. As we were driving away from La Neuveville that night and as I was discussing with our relocation consultant about the possibility of putting in an application on the apartment by the train station, Luke tells her that we are done searching and that we'll take the one in the ifs, ands or buts, end of conversation. As my face grows hot and steam starts pouring out of my ears Luke tells her to drop him off at work on the way back to our hotel. At this time its 7pm and I know he doesn't HAVE to go back to work. He's just trying to get away from me so he doesn't have to listen to me b*tch all night. So he goes back to work and I go back to the hotel to fume alone.

I try to stay mad. Really mad. I couldn't believe he came in and called the shots when all along I was the one who was supposed to pick our apartment. By the time Luke got home that night it was past midnight and we were both really tired so I didn't get my chance to give him the evil eye or some good ole fashioned tounge-lashings. Then, he was at work all day the next day. I'm not the type of person who can stay mad for long, but I did my best. I really was irritated that he chose an apartment that is in the middle of nowhere. Now I will have to buy a car to get ANYWHERE. Plus, I'm worried that it will be too easy just to stay isolated in this big (expensive) apartment and not go out and meet people and learn the language. When Luke got home that night I was finally able to let loose and whine and complain for a good hour or so. Unfortunately he was calm and optimistic about everything so I had a hard time staying in a bad mood. Somehow he tried to convince me that his executive decision was in my best interest, but I'm not sold on that one...yet.

Towards the end of the second night, as hard as I tried, my bad mood started slipping away. I had wanted to stay mad for at least a week just to make Luke feel bad. But after almost a whole 24 hours of frowning I felt my smile just itching to come back. And then, as I was trying to think of everything I hate about the country house...somehow...things I liked about the country house started popping into my mind. Like the fact that Jack will have LOTS of room to run and play, and we will have LOTS of room for guests (please come visit), and I guess I will have more freedom to explore Switzerland with a car and it is really serene and quiet in the country. Blah. But I want to stay mad. I don't want Luke to think that executive decisions are okay. I even told him that I since he did this, I now have one free "EXECUTIVE DECISION" card to use any time I darn well please. And believe me, I'm going to save it for something good.

But I guess there's nothing I can do about being an optimist. I can't help it when my mind starts thinking of all the ways living in the country will be better. I can't help it when I start to smile thinking about how much fun Jack and I will have exploring the forest behind our house. And I can't help but smile (and giggle inside) when I think about my one EXECUTIVE DECISION I have stored up to use anytime :-)

1 comment:

  1. Dang! That is awesome! I want to visit real bad.