Saturday, November 26, 2005

Indecision ...

Yesterday we rented a temporary apartment in the Belgian Quarter very near the center of town. We also submitted an application for an apartment in Sulz, where we hope to be living shortly after the first of the year. The process of getting the apartment will include an interview with the owner some time in the next few weeks, so it isn’t a done deal by any means. We will therefore continue to look at alternative spaces.
We like the Sulz area very much and had pretty much decided that is was our first choice for a neighborhood – that is until we decided to take a look at Nippes. Early in the day yesterday we met an owner, a man who was showing us another temporary space in Koln. He mentioned that he also had space in Nippes, in an old house, and we were intrigued. We decided to take a look. We drove to the area and parked the car. We were early so we stepped into a little café/wine bar just a few doors down from our appointment. We were met by the cool blue eyes of the young woman tending bar. She greeted us warmly and suggested a particularly tasty glass of Burgundy. As we sat chatting with her about why she loved the neighborhood, one of her friends came in and we began chatting with him about his take on Nippes. Eventually our circle widened to include an American ex-pat from Detroit who had been living in Nippes for the last 20 years and another German man who joined the conversation near the end. It was as if the community had opened its arms to us and invited us in – quite literally. This café was clearly the favored watering spot for this crowd and we just happened in at the right time of day to catch them all gathered at the bar. Now we were genuinely confused and dreaded indecision began to creep in. To make matters more complicated, the apartment was lovely – modern appliances and fixtures in a late 19th century building, one of the few spared the devastating Allied bombings during World War II. The price was a little high and it had one less bedroom than we wanted so we weren’t that tempted to take it – but we were certainly taken with the area and in the coming days we will be searching very hard to see if there is a space that calls to us as clearly as the neighborhood already has.


Anonymous lillian said...

The house we live in is by no means the best house in town. But we love the neighbourhood and I think on the long run neighbours are more important that a perfect house or appartment..... that cafe sound great !

12:33 PM  
Anonymous Megan said...

That's a pretty good sign for a neighborhood, particularly for Germany. You want to settle, naturally, but don't rush into any decisions. My experience is that a great apartment isn't much if the neighborhood isn't good. In Germany, where the people are just a bit more held back, you should seize on signs of friendliness and not let go.

1:22 PM  
Blogger alexandrg said...

I just found your site because of a comment on Keri Smith's site that your left, and agreeing wholeheartedly with it!, I clicked and found your blog! I look very forward to reading about your experiences and added it on my bookmarks. (I actually have a blog on this site too - - but since I'm not at my home computer its not letting me signin properly!)
Europe is looking more and more appealing the more the US heads in the direction it is going!
Keep up the good writing!

2:40 AM  
Blogger Maddy said...

I agree with Megan - find a
wonderful neighborhood...with
a late night cafe!

8:16 AM  
Blogger Sara said...

bYou can't buy your neighbors...Neighborhood is important. Hope you find the perfect one.

5:58 AM  
Blogger Flawed & Disorderly said...

I'm commenting to you without commitment, too. :D That's the way to be!

I learned Deutsch from Frau Dick in high school. And then I took it as a foreign language credit in college. I can't remember hardly a word of it, but I can sing you happy birthday in German. So now you know who to call if you're alone on your birthday, can't find another living soul, and absolutely must have someone sing you happy b-day in German. ;-)

8:34 PM  

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