10 September 2006

Apartment Hunting

Today Varina and I went apartment hunting. We decided to just walk around and see if there were For Rent signs in windows. It was 104 here today, such a nice time to walk around the steep streets of Amman! Right near where we are staying we saw a sign, and Varina called the phone number. The fellow who answered the phone told her to wait right there, and he would meet us. He walked out of the building and met us. For rent was a studio for JD 250. It has no windows, and is the size of my car. In the same building a lady is renting a 3 bedroom flat that is 150 meters square. I don’t know what that is in American precisely, but the place is humongous! It’s a new apartment, and all the furniture was still wrapped in plastic. It has high ceilings and crown molding, and beautiful wood trim. And, it’s JD 900 a month. She wanted the year paid upfront. Ughhh. She said she’d take JD 800 a month. What a bargain! The place is beautiful, but we’d really need another roommate to make it affordable. It’s walking distance from school, and it has three bath tubs, and a balcony, but Holy Crap! We’re going to keep searching for the all-elusive two bedroom apartment.
The fellow who owns the studio saw us walk out and asked us if we wanted her flat. We told him that it is 4 times the size and 2 times the price we want. He invited us in for tea. We wanted to keep looking, but he said, “I need to talk to you about my flat.” So, we went in and met his wife who speaks no English, and his son who speaks perfect English at age 5! His wife served us apple juice (!) and this guy began to tell us that very soon he was going to move his wife and son to a different apartment, and he was going to go back to Australia where he has a second wife. He said, “My wife doesn’t understand what I am saying, and she doesn’t need to.” So, he said he’d be looking to rent his apartment out, but that his furniture is “not rental furniture,” so he wanted to find tenants who are not pigs. He is smart enough to know that he shouldn’t rent to boys. He has a beautiful apartment in this same building and it’s even bigger than the too-big one we declined. The kitchen is to die for, I have to say. He said he would charge us JD 800, which is a good price for this place, and we’d need to take care of his stuff. There is a big fish tank that is in between the reception room and the formal living room. All I could think of was Deuce Bigalow. You know, he’s looking after this guy’s apartment, and there is a big fish tank, and it’s trashed. I was just staring at this thing, and he said to me, “Have you seen Deuce Bigalow? None of that! Don’t kill even one of my fish!” Egads! What to do. We’re still looking.
We went to Jordan University and found the language center. It’s really a nice campus. There are trees every where, and lots of benches. People were occupying every bench and taking advantage of the shade. We had to go through security to enter the campus. The guy asked each of us where we’re from. I told him I’m from California. He said, “What are you doing here?!?” I told him I’m a student. He said, “OK, welcome.” I was a little surprised at this actually because there seem to be A LOT of ex-pats here. We walked around the campus, and then discovered that there is a tunnel that runs under the main street between JU and the Doughnuts Factory. Thank God! We crossed under the street and headed for coffee. Much to my shock the place has been totally redone, and it’s got central AC and shiny marble floors and over-stuffed chairs, and still really good coffee. Varina bought me a latte, and we talked for a long time. It was nice.
We did well today. After we left the apartments, we walked down to that main street, and got a taxi to the Suq. I treated us to Frostis, and I got some groceries and some bottled water. Varina still needs to learn to cross the streets here. She just wanders out into the road and assumes that cars will stop. We took a cab from the Suq to JU. It was great. The taxi driver backed down INTO on-coming traffic to make a U-turn during rush hour to take us directly to JU. Varina saw God, I think. I love this place. So, we’re going to keep looking for apartments. Tomorrow we’re going to the airport to get her stuff out of Customs. I may spend the next year there with her waiting for that. Then, to JU to register officially.


Blogger weeping sore said...

Wow, your adventures are already amazing! And what's up with Deuce Bigelow? I mean when apartment-renting bigamists in Jordan refer to a bad Hollywood movie as an allegory for bad acquaria practices, what IS this world coming to? Good thing there are air-conditioned donught shops and frosties at the souk.

11:13 PM  
Blogger Steven Kesler said...

Your story reminds me of just how funny that movie is. I think I will have to add it to our collection. At least you know where the important stuff is located like the donought shop, the frosty shop and coffee shop. After locating these necessities, all other things will shortly fall into place.

11:26 PM  
Blogger K said...

I can't believe he referenced Deude Bigalow! I'm glad you found so many apartments right off the bat. -K

12:58 AM  

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