Chronicles of a writer abroad

Homing in


Our whirlwind apartment search is over, and we have decided where to live.  It feels good to think about having a place to stay long-term again!

The choice that I alluded to yesterday was between Apartment 5 that we saw with our agent last week, and the apartment above the donair place on Universitatstrasse. Not an easy decision! We really liked Apartment 5 when we first saw it, but the apartment on Universitatstrasse was bigger, and much closer to Stelian’s work (he could walk there in less than 2 minutes). Apartment 5 had a balcony (nice for us and the cats), and a nice location on a quiet street, while the Universitatstrasse apartment was situated on a noisy street, where we feared we might be bothered by traffic noise whenever we opened the windows.

So how did we decide? Well, I picked Stelian up from work last night, and we walked the 250 meters to Universitatstrasse. We stood on the corner outside the building for a few minutes, and listened. Trams and trucks went trundling by, the street was full of cars, an ambulance passed with sirens blaring — and not only was it difficult to hear eachother over some of the noise, but the exhaust fumes (from trucks belching smoke while trying to get up the hill that the street is on) were bothersome. Since the apartment was only on the first floor (that’s the first off the ground, here), all of this was a deal-breaker, and we decided to choose one kind of quality of life (peace & quiet) over another (walk to work).

In the end, we know we were lucky to have had a choice — friends and acquaintances here had led us to believe that we would have to apply to a multitude of apartments, and take whichever one accepted us, which likely wouldn’t be our first choice. In our case, we only applied to 3, and were accepted to two of them. This included the one that was our first choice, mostly because when we went into the apartment, we got a good vibe and an “ahh — I could live here” feeling. We looked at objectively “nicer” suites, but this is the one that had “home” potential for us. So we’re looking forward to making it our home, and to welcoming those of you who come to visit (this place, while on the smaller side, will have an office that will double as a guestroom).

This decision will become official when we sign our contract, which we received in the mail yesterday.  It’s full of hopelessly long German words — we’re lucky our agent is going to help us interpret it, since I already spend an appalling amount of time Google-Translating our mail.

Also, blog-writing will be on hiatus until next week, because tomorrow morning we leave for Saas-Fee, a ski resort in Canton Valais, in the southern, French-speaking part of Switzerland. It’s our first trip out of Zürich, and we’re excited! I’ll be back next week with a full report and pictures.


4 thoughts on “Homing in

  1. Hey Guys!!

    I’m happy to hear you found peace of mind and an apartment!!! That’s really good news!

    Also, it should be really fun travelling in a part of Switzerland where communication will be a lot swifter and less confusing! Despite the name Saas-Fee, it sounds like an amazing place to visit!! Have lots of fun, enjoy the trip 😀

  2. What wonderful news! Now you can enjoy your time at Saas-Fee even more, knowing your apartment search has been successfully completed.

  3. Apples and oranges. Apples and oranges. Funny how life serves up disparate alternatives, as you were faced with the two front-runners in apartment choices. Sounds like the “Ahh, home” gut feel was an important part of the process. Well done! Enjoy the pistes!

  4. Congratulations! I’m sure finding suitable (actually sounds like it’s more than suitable!) accommodation must take a load off both your minds. And you’re right to follow that gut instinct, especially since you both experienced it – it should never prove your choice wrong. We look forward to visiting you there. Wishing you lots of happiness in your new home!

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