We moved apartments – from a pretty nice flat into a non-descript concrete building that houses many teachers from the college. People thought we were mad to do it, but I think it was the right decision. Dave wanted to move sooner, but I had to admit I didn’t want to give up this:
The main reasons we moved have to do with connection. First off, we now have internet in our home! This has made life so much easier and more pleasant. I can chat with friends, catch up on emails, and surf the web all from the sofa instead of having to cram in my online time at the school in between teaching and lesson planning. Then, in the old place, I would come home and have little to do except read and watch Al Jazeera. Unwinding is nice, don’t get me wrong, but being able to spread out my online time has been wonderful. For example, I am posting this blog entry from home as opposed to school — so much nicer.
Second, we are near “stuff.” We can walk to food stores and restaurants. Within the first week, I’ve already wandered over to the fruit and veg store (yes, they have these specialty stores apart from the hypermarkets where you can get all sorts of stuff – think mini Targets for those); it’s great not having to get into the car just because I am short on onions. The one closest to us isn’t the best, but within 10 minutes I can get to a bunch of places nearby.
Most importantly, however, is we are near other people. We have already had our friend over to shoot the breeze, been invited to the new teacher’s flat for ice cream floats, and been surprised by a gift of homemade Caribbean lentil soup, courtesy of another teacher who simply made too much. Last night, a few of us went up to the roof to have a couple of drinks and admire the view.
So, yes, the place is not attractive (hence, no pictures of the interior). But it feels more like home. It’s smaller/cozier, accessible, and comes complete with a great neighborhood within its walls. Besides, how can you not love a place that has this crazy dress shop on the ground floor?
I don’t regret not moving in here sooner, but I am happy to spend the second half of our year more connected to people both near and far.