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Journal Entry

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Okay, actually we've been here a little while.

But in between the new jobs, the new apartment, the trips to IKEA, the ordering of intertubes and tele(phono)tubes, the greeting of family and old friends, the wrangling with cell phone interfaces, the registering with the State, the general freaking out about changes big and small, the spot of touch rugby, and the biking of the weeks' compost bin to the little composting nook, open Mondays 18.00-18.30, where the old woman chides you if you feed the goats...

Between all these things: the blogging, it has not happened.

But now it shall, say I!

Our first evening here was kind of magical. We were expecting to come home, carrying our 400+ lbs of baggage1, to a dark and tiny apartment in the vaguely remembered concrete border precincts of the Basel suburb where we live; a three-room apartment with an attic space in which adults could not stand up, but perhaps kids, were they hardy, could play. We'd never seen the apartment; we rented it over the internet and phone, with our Swiss family doing the legwork.

(Aviva, it should be noted, was dead set against the apartment, until she had a prophetic dream in which it was revealed that the apartment contained a table which would genie up any food you desired on command, and a slide in the foyer upon which any dolls you accidentally flushed down the toilet would reappear, miraculously dry. After this she became optimistic. The attic, however, she reported grimly, was dangerous and full of splinters.)

Aviva was partly right. The apartment had indeed been furnished for us by unseen hands. There were mattresses. There were tables and chairs. There were dishes and spoons and forks and knives. There was food in the fridge, and candy, comic books, and rivella in a bright yellow box in the living room. There were handdrawn cards wishing us a good homecoming, and little handdrawn coupons inviting us to the park and to jump on trampolines.

We felt very welcome.

The apartment was much bigger than advertised. In addition to the living room, our room, the kids' room, the kitchen(1 2), the bathroom (1 2 3 4), and a central hallway, there is a big enclosed balcony we eat on (kids setting the table: 1 2 3 4) with a view of the city and the backyard (1 2).

And the attic is big and not scary: 1 2 3 (and from the pig's perspective)

View from the attic: 1 2 3 4 5

Plus, the vaguely remembered concrete turns out to be one block long, and a different block. It is pretty much all crazy red-tiled gabled rooves and stucco on our street.

That same first evening, Noah and I went for a walk and fell down a muddy slope, almost into a stream, and saw a little wooden city built by children, and broke up a fistfight.

But those are stories for another time.

1: I kid not; 4 people x 2 checked bags each x 50 lbs max per bag. That's not counting our overstuffed carryons. We seriously stood on a scale with them when we packed them, playing blackjack with 50 pounds.

Posted by benrosen at July 17, 2007 06:16 AM | Up to blog

Your backyard looks so magical. I am glad that you found such a fabulous welcome - and more room than you had expected. Three cheers for happy, spacious, welcoming new homes.

Posted by: Jeanne at July 17, 2007 11:16 AM

It sounds like so much fun, I always love moving into a new place. New apartment smell, figuring out what rooms will be what, getting to know the neighborhood. It's great that everything turned out so well, I'll second the three cheers.

Posted by: DJ at July 17, 2007 11:35 AM

The flat looks great, ben. Is there a lift? I always have the great luck to get courses on the top floor in any given building, which is great for keeping fit, but perhaps not so much fun when you have to carry all that stuff up the stairs. I've lost track; how old is Aviva. Will she be in the first grade now?

Posted by: susan at July 18, 2007 09:05 AM

No lift. But we are mighty.

Yup, Aviva is heading for first grade...

Posted by: Benjamin Rosenbaum at July 18, 2007 09:35 AM

Thanks for the three cheers, everybody!

Posted by: Benjamin Rosenbaum at July 18, 2007 09:35 AM

My back is killing me just thinking about those bags. But what an awesome apartment! I am truly envious of that attic.

Posted by: Jackie M. at July 18, 2007 04:26 PM
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