Saturday, September 29, 2007



I have found our dream flat.

It is in a classic 1940s building complete with shiny glass and wood elevator. The apartment is on the 5th floor and two of the rooms have an adjoining balcony overlooking a lovely avenue which has a large median lined with cafe seating and play parks every few 100 feet. Children play there all day and old people read newspapers. At the end of the avenue is Plaça Espanya, which is pretty, but more importantly, is where Oli can catch transport to all his classes. Beyond the plaza is Montjüic, a mini mountain that overlooks the sea and is covered in paths and pretty gardens, a palace and an olympic stadium.

The flat itself is huge, with 4 bedrooms and has light filtering in from all directions. It has classic Spanish tile and tall wood and glass doors. Lily could run around all day and in the winter and be a happy little camper. Best of all, the monthly rent is within our price range. Old people who own flats seem to have a thing for keeping rent low. We like this.

On Monday, after returning from Almería, I went back to the big administrador´s (like agents but different) website and did a big search for 3-bedroom flats. Then I looked up their locations on the city´s online map. I grouped apartments that I was interested in by their nearest metro stop. Then that night I walked for an hour and a half past the 8 flats that were near my friend´s place, deciding based on the look of each building and neighborhood if I wanted to call for an appointment to see them. I did the same in another area on Tuesday and that´s when I came upon Avenida Mistral, which I never knew existed. When I saw the building and the location, I knew instantly that I wanted my Lily to live there. I called and got an appointment for Thursday evening, only after they made sure it was clear that the flat was not for students, the elevator functions in a way such that it only takes people up, not down, and that up to a 9 month´s aval bancario (like a deposit, kind of) could be necessary. None of this bothered me because when you find the right place for your girl to live, you just do what you have to do.

When I approached the building on Thursday, I was bummed to see three people out front. Often when seeing places, the administrador will set up like 10 people to come see it at once, which is instantly depressing. But alas, these people were two old ladies representing the owner and a very nice middle-aged lady who was the agent. They were extremely sweet to me, and even though the place could absolutely sell itself, they kept pointing out things that were great or classic, trying to convince me.

All we have to do now is turn in all our proof of identity, income and savings so the little old man owner can decide if we´ll have to pay a 6 or 9 month aval bancario and then sign a contract, and then do all the other fun things like buying some appliances on Craigslist/Loquo (yeah, there´s no fridge and washing machine), getting some basic furniture, and transferring the utilities into our name. Whatever, I could care less as long as we have a home we´re happy in!

Oli and Lily are coming out to Barcelona on Sunday afternoon and we´ll be staying in a duplex near the beach for three weeks while we sort all this out. The duplex belongs to a Canadian girl who´s going home for a few weeks.

In other news, as a thanks, I took Timo, Eddie and Carla out for a huge Indian dinner and drinks last night after we watched England kill Tonga in the Rugby World Cup. I am now tired and must buy groceries because nothing is open on Sundays (tomorrow) and MY FAMILY is arriving then!!!

PS - I often only blog when good things happen. The last couple weeks have been a real shit most of the time, and I will detail some of the crappiest highlights for you later.


Colin said...

the place sounds awesome Angie. Glad to hear that things are coming together. Miss you all very much!

Jay M. said...

Actually, the place sounds friggin amazing. I want photos. It must be nice after a couple crappy weeks. And it's true, we all miss you!

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Maiasaura said...

It IS really good written, Angela! :-)

That flat sounds amazing. Good thoughts coming your way...

Caleb said...

Good luck. Sounds great.

It sounds like Spainish landlords expect you to be able to afford to buy a home in order to be able to rent. This amuses me.

Ben Gorski said...


Megan said...

Hey guys I got the This American Life CD in the mail today. I'm listening to it right now. Thanks!
I'll return it if we ever see each other again in person. :)