Found a Place to Live!

We found a place!  It’s a flat – the second floor (or first storey) of this beautiful house.  Unfortunately for us, but I’m sure they feel differently, it’s Ramadan, and the landlords are Muslim.  This is the very end of Ramadan, so it’s impossible to get anything done quickly.  We’ll be signing the papers and taking possession on Monday, the 30th.  We’ll take a bunch more pictures as we slowly clean it up and add some furniture and such.

Basically, it’s a marble floored, beautifully teak wooded, seriously windowed (and positioned perfectly for cross breezes), and comfortably
spacious flat.  The owners do not live in the house at this time and might move back from Singapore in a couple of months.  So we have the whole house to ourselves – not that we have access to the whole thing, but there’s no one to be bothered if we stomp around.  Wait – with
marble floors, I bet they won’t be able to hear us anyway…

Okay, back to the description.  The basics:

Two bedrooms,each with attached bathrooms, ceiling fans, windows that swing out toward the wide-open space above the neighbor’s house, and built-in wardrobes of some dark-red wood of unknown type but with capacities that will shame our pitiful collections of clothing. They’re maybe 200sqft each, and the bathrooms are sizable, with sit-type toilets and the usual full-bathroom shower setup.  We’ll sleep in one and set the other up as a shared office.  There’s no hot water heater, but the water tanks are black plastic and situated on the roof, so the water gets hot by mid-afternoon and stays that way for a while after dark.  Not that I’ve ever, since we arrived, turned on the hot tap in any place I’ve been…

Kitchen, at the back of the house, has a ton of cabinet space (of which we’ll use a little, I imagine), black marble counters, a sink, but absolutely none of the appliances one usually considers part of a regular rental in the States.  No stove, oven, fridge…but we have a plan.  It involves spending a couple thousand rupees on a countertop, three burner gas stove (a little bigger than what we had on Sapien) and a couple of rupees on an old, red, rusted tank of propane.  It’ll be just like the good old times, except that someone will come to swap it out every few months…Again, good ventilation, and everything is well built.

There’s a back door that opens from the kitchen onto a small landing for the stairs leading to the roof.  Yep, we have a rooftop garden-to-be! We’ll probably not do anything super decadent with it (like install a hot tub or whatever), but it’ll be a great place to go stretch out, maybe do some morning exercising?  And I do plan to grow some basic vegetables on the roof too – tomatos, cucumbers, zucchini, hopefully some herbs…

Forward from the kitchen is the big room.  The part near the kitchen is clearly meant to be a dining room, as it has a hutch built into the wall there.  Though right now it’s very very dusty and completely empty, I hope that it will be nice looking when it’s clean and only mostly empty. It’s glass fronted, but not as fancy as the other built-in stuff.

Moving forward, the back bedroom’s door is on the left, then the front bedroom’s door.  This main room has two ceiling fans, and I imagine it very rarely getting hot because of the cold marble, flow-through air, and abundance of windows and doors and ceiling fans.  I think one of the things I love best about it is the windows.  They are all made with honey-brown teak frames.  The glass is frosted where it faces the neighbor’s house and has little overhang, but the ones in front are clear.  They have bars on the inside, which I think are to keep the birds out, since there are no screens.  They swing open like shutters and latch in the open position.  And there are dozens of them!

I mention the windows in front being clear…they don’t need to be frosted, because they open onto a balcony with a large amount of overhang.  They never get direct sunlight (so the frosting isn’t necessary to keep us cool), and there don’t seem to be any privacy issues.  The balcony itself is big enough to hang out on and snoop into the neighborhood beezwax, but the rooftop is so spacious we’ll probably hang out there more.

I skipped something!  Just forward of the front bedroom is the entry. At the ground level of the house, there are two marble steps leading to a lovely wooden door.  Inside that door is a marble staircase winding inside what looks like a tower from the outside toward our flat.  There are windows even in the staircase, keeping the air moving and the passageway well lighted.  Just outside the main door of our flat is a landing where we can leave our dirty shoes, in the Indian style.

Next – we have to get furniture!  We’ll get some of it right off the street.  No, really.  It’s a bunch of woodworkers who do rough-finished wooden furniture on the side of the main road here. They make it and pile it up on the sidewalk and sell it.  It’s mortise and tendon construction with the odd nail…we’ll have to pick our goods carefully.  We plan to get a kitchen table, some stools, work desks, and maybe a coffee table?  Side tables?  It’s the best price around and the stuff is actually built very well.  We’ll do some sanding, sealing, and painting (it’s a local softwood called anjali or jack wood and I’m not sure how it would take a varnish).  We’re spending a lot more on the bed – a pre-finished piece and a good spring-type mattress.  They don’t have much of that kind of thing – it’s mostly pallets with four-inch-thick pads.  I’m not sure what we’ll do about desk chairs – I’m tempted to buy a good one if I’ll be living in it for six months…

Then there are small rugs near the beds for our cold feet in the mornings, and maybe a big bamboo strip mat for the main room.  And ay-yi!  All of the kitchen stuff…I think we’ll keep it small…

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