Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Homeless no more

At long last, I finally signed a contract for a room (Zimmer) I found in the prettiest part of this town. This happened after three weeks of active and painstaking search for a room, mostly through the free, bi-weekly newspaper Zypresse (/tsu-pre-se/). The contract already starts next month although I am still assured of a dorm room which comes with the Sprachlehrinstitut package. Passing up for the opportunity to stay in this room is just not option. I'm now trying to wiggle my way out of the next month's dorm accommodation and see if I can get a refund even just for a portion of what I paid to the Sprachlehrinstitut.

The room may have imperfections like not having a proper kitchen, a shower that is two floors down, and the absence of a washing machine. However, these are all overweighed by the location, environment, and owners of the house I'll be living in. Simple provisions remedy the shortcomings of my room (wow, it feels so relieving to say that. So once again- my room!). A personal refrigerator and microwave comes bundled with the rent, plus a faucet and sink which for other rooms can already be considered as luxury. I don't think going down and up the house to take a shower would be a chore, and a laundromat is just seven minutes away by bike.

I will be living in one of four rooms being rented out in the attic of a house located in Ober (literally, "top") Wiehre in Freiburg. The vicinity of Wiehre reminds me of Forbes Park, Dasmarinas Village, and Ayala Alabang- exclusive residential areas back in the Philippines where I used to not live. Suffice it to say that most Freiburgers would like to retire in this part of the city. Wiehre is divided into three main yet borderless parts namely the Hinter (behind) Wiehre, Mittel (middle) Wiehre, and Ober Wiehre. Ober Wiehre lies at the upper part of the area going east near the woods. Most streets of Wiehre are lined up with tall and century-old trees which forms an arch over the streets that seem to welcome and usher you into its serene alleys. Most houses have manicured lawns. Some, on the other hand, have weeds and overgrowths, probably owned by pensioners and retirees who cannot anymore tend to their gardens. The house where my room is situated is owned by a young couple perhaps in their mid-30's. The man inherited it from his father who built the house back in 1965. Compared to the other old houses in Wiehre characteristic of the older houses in Germany, this particular house compares "newer" and has a country-suburban feel to it.

During my three-week search for accommodation, I've convinced myself not to get a room in the attic/Dachgeschoss (DG). I've stereotyped those rooms as crummy and cramped based from watching too much TV and the rooms I have personally visited, and therefore it is for the frustated. It's the flat-hunter's last resort. I'm glad that the owners didn't advertise the room as a DG , otherwise I would have struck it out of my list outright. As someone who comes from a tropical country, I fear that the roof might have poor insulation and I might freeze in winter and fry during summer. But my landlord assured me that it has proper heating and insulation so I don't have to worry about that. It is probably one of the best looking and well-maintained few attics I have seen around.

Now, I am again in search. This time not for a room, but for affordable culinary gadgets like an electric stove and toaster, and of course a pot or a pan. Next are blankets and pillow cases, and probably buy many other toys and trinkets, until I recreate a sense of what I could call home.

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