Thursday, October 12, 2006

First night

After taking posession of the house yesterday, G. spent his first night in the new house. We had thought ahead enough to pack him his sleeping bag and mat, but not enough ahead to pack any paper plates or a cup. Fortunately there was at least toilet paper in the bathroom! He'll manage, this is the guy who has overnighted in caves in the past.

G. has a very positive opinion of the place and says that the new landlord sounds very friendly on the phone, so it's all good. I asked G about the floor and a couple of the little things we wanted fixed before we moved in and that's all been taken care of too. He said, "it's done, but not to German standard", which means it's fine, but it doesn't look brand-new. When you move into a property in Germany, even just for renting, the place normally has to be and is immaculate. Fresh paint, no dust or grime, no recent signs of repairs, no mold in the grout, no build-up on the taps, etc etc. I'm not much of a detail person, but after 13 years here, I can easily spot things now that other nationalities possibly wouldn't even notice. A couple of small chips in the paint on a stair bannister for instance. In Germany, that would need to be fixed. In England, I don't think anyone would make a fuss about it. Both attitudes have their positive and negative sides. With the German one, you get an apartment that is in tip-top condition. But it also means you have to do a lot of work to leave the apartment in the same condition when you leave. With the English one, there's a more relaxed attitude towards "wear & tear" damage, but it also means the place you get might be a bit run-down. I'll give you my opinion of how the place in Cookham looks once I get there...

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