This year-end marks a half-way point in my life. I was born and raised in Durban (South Africa), and spent the first 18 years of my life there. After finishing High School, I made the move to Cape Town – … Continue reading
“A place called home”
When we first got married, my wife and I lived alone – in the same flat – my family’s – I’d been living in (alone) prior to marriage. However, that was only temporary, because events transpired weeks later and we were soon looking to move into another place.
Initially, we were looking to buy. And this is where the adventures begin.
One rainy Sunday afternoon – for Sunday is the day of property shows in this part of the world – we set off on our quest. Our strategy was to find areas we wanted to live in, then drive around looking for agency signs. It seemed a bit ludicrous to do this in the pouring rain, but we didn’t really mind. After all, what’s a bit of wet weather when you’re scouting for your future home?
We saw many “For Sale” signs, yet only visited one: a townhouse that was conveniently located (for us). We called the agent – well before showtime, we now know – but she kindly came early just to meet us there. We went in, saw it, and liked it – but the joke came when she told us the price: it was roughly triple the price we were looking for.
Disappointment for the agent; and funny for us. We still call that place “Our townhouse”…
After more events, we found that buying was not the way to go. We began to look for a place to rent. And this led to more memorable experiences.
We saw a separate entrance, which was reasonably priced, but felt a bit claustrophobic. We didn’t want to feel closed in like that – and it doesn’t seem a good idea to share someone’s home space, as separate entrances commonly do.
The worst of them all was a decent flat – on the inside – located on an extremely busy corner in a bustling community. With a butchery downstairs, fruit sellers, street vendors, and various other shops – not to mention major security risks (rumours of criminal elements living in the complex) – it was far from suitable. We declined.
Then came our saviour – the agent, a kind old man who was a bit quirky, who seemed to have many, many properties and an ever-burgeoning client base. He first showed us a bachelor flat that was being refurbished. Clearly meant for a young, single person, it had a massive space for an entertainment system, and no actual ‘rooms’ to speak of, other than the bathroom (it was all open plan). It seemed promising, but we waited to see what else he could offer.
Next, he took us to a nice-looking security complex; which contained townhouses (some double storey, some single). The first flat there was a duplex: run down, dirty, with awful red walls and gross-looking carpets. We were desperate, so we didn’t rule it out.
Then we saw a 3rd floor flat in the same complex. From probably the moment we walked in, my wife had an instinct, a feeling, that this was it. The place had awesome views, very neat built-in furniture, and a lovely, cosy feel to it. We liked it, and were almost certain we wanted it.
But I’d made another appointment, to see a granny flat also in the area, the next morning. I went, with my parents this time, and eventually got in (the landlord was busy so we had to wait a while to get in). We went in, saw one big bedroom – with the current tenants (and their dog) still there – a small kitchen, and a bathroom; again, all open plan. I think we must have been in there less than 2 minutes before we swiftly walked out. It was a joke. No way would we want to live there.
As we were driving away, the landlady called to ask where we were. We hadn’t even waited to meet her – since it was so out of the question. We told her it wasn’t for us.
And so, after sorting out some details, we chose our home – the one my wife fell in love with soon after going in.
More than a month later, we moved in. And this has been, up to now, our beloved home – which we began our life together in, and treasure up to this day.
However, as time progressed, circumstances arose that caused us to not stay so loyal to it…
To be continued… (Part 2 is here)