Farewell Vlad

After much pain, a little tug-of-war, broken English, and dolling out way too much money…we have our new flat (apartment). This program is pretty demanding with most down-time spent lesson planning or studying. So, to have to look for apartments, figure out everything necessary to get our work permits, and apply for jobs….while doing all that other junk. Uh, no. Not my favorite.
So, we went through someone that the director of the school knows….a realtor. Yes, I cringed too. She’s nice enough but gets very angry when I don’t pick up my phone…you know, when she doesn’t call me. It was pretty weird. I trusted her opinion of most of the apartments we were looking at…I mean, I don’t know the neighborhoods or the streets so I trusted her decision when she said the street was too noisy or not a good place to live.
Then, she had us look at this amazing place. It was on the ground floor, which made me a little uncomfortable, but it was two stories with new appliances, a washing machine, our pick of the furniture, and a back patio. It was a dream and in a pretty good location….but it was also just outside of our price range and in the middle of negotiations with another couple. Thanks for wasting our time, anyone?
The second place was super shady. We took a tram to this section of town that looked abandoned. I was wary enough beforehand since it wasn’t anywhere near a metro but I decided to give it a chance since the 20 other options I gave her were shot down. The apartment was right next to an overpass – several of them, in fact. And when we were walking from the tram stop all I could think of was, “Do they sell pepper spray in bulk over here?” Safe to say, we shot that baby out of the sky and into the grave. No, thank you. Creepyville can stay with those homeless people under those overpasses.
But then we found it. A beauty. 5th Floor. Two blocks from four metros in the middle of Prague 1 but on a quiet side street. Too good to be true? Don’t even say it. In our price range and absolutely fantastic. Some of us have their qualms…specifically about the gas stove…but we put the deposit down last Friday and visited the corner potraviny to share a celebratory sour straw as we stared up at our new apartment.
I have been grateful to our old apartment. It has been good to us…just not good enough. Not the best location and right on top of a bar where people like to sing Mamma Mia loudly at night and smoke so heavily that it manages to waft up to the third floor and into our windows to ravage our air. The potraviny below us has been wonderful and oh so convenient. But it is time for us to move on. Thank you, Vlad (our first flat). We appreciate the good times. The twenty minutes spent trying to figure out the stove and why the oven went up to only 250 degrees…only to realize several minutes later that the temperature was in Celsius not Fahrenheit. The giant spider framed on the wall just inside our front door – what a wonderful way to be welcomed home every day. Stepping outside our apartment door and being met by the many faces of our neighbors across the way in a very Rear Window-esque fashion (see photos below). Or the lovely horse puzzle in a glass frame across from our bed. Or the random calendars from 2006 hung around the flat. Or the twenty minute walk to the nearest metro station. Farewell, you creepy nuzzling horses. Farewell, Timmy, the bizarre tarantula spider. Farewell, weird neighbors who stare so intently. Farewell, Vlad…I probably won’t miss you.

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