New home

This blog doesn’t have nearly enough apartment idiosyncrasy posts. With that in mind, I present the following.

So we moved across town yesterday. We’ve managed to live rent-free so far this summer, first by sharing an apartment with the program director and then by apartment-sitting for a friend. Last night, however, we moved in to an apartment of our own. It’s in Jebel Webdeh, near Downtown.

Jeremy agreed to take the apartment before I had even seen it. His text message telling me so summed up the situation by stating the location, price, and that it was “clean.” This is something unique to Arabic – whereas in English, we would say an apartment is “nice,” they describe it as “clean.” One of the first things any landlord will tell you upon showing you their apartment is that it is clean (whether it’s true or not).

We moved in just before Miriam’s bedtime, and let her roam around a bit before putting her to sleep. Bad idea – the apartment wasn’t as clean as it looked (I mean clean in the English sense) and her feet, legs, and hands were black. Yuck. I guess that means we’re operating on a clean-when-you-move-in, not when-you-move-out system.

It was time to figure out sleeping arrangements. The two bedrooms and the living room were all in the running for where we would sleep. An ideal sleeping situation would be quiet, cool, and on a bed. When we took stock of our options, we quickly realized that none of the three rooms met all three of those criteria.

One bedroom has a bed and a ceiling fan but its window faces the main road and thus was very noisy. The noise of passing traffic is especially bad because there’s a speed bump right outside our building. Every car and truck that goes by brakes heavily, goes over the bump, and then accelerates rapidly right in front of our apartment.

The other bedroom doesn’t face the road, so it’s quiet. And there’s a nice bed in it, too. But there is no fan at all. Strike two.

The living room: our last resort. There is AC in the living room, which is a rare treat. And the shutters on the window block out most of the noise from the street, so it’s reasonably quiet. The problem is that there is no bed.

We finally ended up doing what we did in Syria for our last few months there – we pulled the mattress off the bed and set it up on the floor of the living room. By doing so, we managed to meet all three criteria for a good night’s sleep.

At least in theory – the postscript to this story is that after all that fussing over where to sleep, Miriam woke us up at 1 am and wanted to explore her new home. She didn’t go back to sleep until 4 am. We’ll hope for better luck tonight.

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