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Welcome. Come join us on our adventure as we expatriate the heck out of Eastern Europe.

The Serendipitous Apartment

The Serendipitous Apartment

Sometimes things just happen. Good things. You put a request out there and the answer just falls right in your lap. It’s amazing.

This is the story of our apartment hunt. The Mrs. and I are on a boat. We decide we need an apartment in Warsaw. The city appears to be nothing but apartment buildings. This should be easy...

Track One

We start with an agent. That’s what one does here. We send him our criteria. He sends us listings. We cull the herd. He sends us more appropriate listings. We cull some more. Then, we go to showings.

Immediately, we sense some trends. Trigger warning for the coddled millennial types. I’m going to make some ethnic generalizations now.

Generalization One: Poles love new buildings. And they love perceived security. Most in demand are newly-built apartment versions of American gated communities. They look like architectural renderings brought to life. Nice. Sterile. And a little scary. Like the Truman Show, or Minority Report.

Generalization Two: Poles do not care about exteriors. Communism was not kind to this country, aesthetically speaking. Lots of massive buildings. Lots of balconies. Lots of beige. And avocado green. And beige and avocado green stripes. Or avocado green and beige stripes. All in concrete, of course. Linoleum and random pipes everywhere. And crappy signs. No one seems to care, so it’s no surprise that very few apartment listings include exterior shots.

Generalization Three: Apartments are owned and rented by individuals, not companies. Furniture is often included. Can you imagine? Colors. Comfort. Quality. Positioning. All chosen by someone else. Let’s just say that the chosen décor does not always hold up to the finely honed aesthetic sensibilities of your humble author.

Examples:

We go to more showings. We meet owners. We meet owners’ agents. We nod. We guffaw. We shake our heads no. There is an occasional maybe. But nothing grabs us. Nothing feels right.

Has it really come down to a Sophie’s choice between a smiley, sanitized, yet Blade Runner-esque complex proudly starring the owner’s back-lit purple bed, or the beige and avocado green striped palace of the proletariat featuring the (I’m sure) lovely owner’s penchant for a butterfly incorporated into the design of every room. Is this really it?..  

Track Two

We go to a party. A housewarming party of a friend of a friend we’ve never met. She’s the hostess. We meet. Instant warmth. She says she’s moving in with her boyfriend. Today. We ask about her old place. She’ll be renting it next week. It’s not listed yet, but she has pictures. Why, she asks, are you looking? Why yes, yes we are. My gut says this is going to work out.

The next day we find photos have arrived from the friend of a friend. We open them. With trepidation. We don’t really know her. Will it just be more of the same? Instead, we see this:

And then this...

And then this...

There is instant connection. We go to see it. It’s even better in person. We ask about the price. Right on budget. Move in timing? Perfectly flexible. Lease terms? Same. We don’t even have to think about it. We now have an apartment in Warsaw.

Serendipity. The universe. God. Flow. Whom, or what, ever. Thank you. Dziekuje. 

PS. We have an extra bedroom. Come visit.

Looking for Polish Food in Warsaw

Looking for Polish Food in Warsaw

We're On A Boat!

We're On A Boat!