Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Apartment hunting in Egypt: definitely a new experience

This afternoon was crazy in a completely Egyptian (and less sketchy than last night) kind of way. I got a call from a realtor person around noon asking if I could look at some apartments with him at 3. Thanks for all the notice, but yeah ok, sounds good. I call Tamera and Matt to make sure they can come, then call him back to confirm. We meet at the Dokki (pronounced doh-ee) metro stop at 3. We look at a place that we really like, but it's too expensive. We look at a place that felt like the 70's puked on it. And it was wall to wall carpeting throughout. In purple. And one entire wall of the living room was mirrors. It was an odd place. Think we'll pass. We look at a place that seems okay, but I didn't really like it. They we're ready to say yes, but I just didn't really want it. I felt bad, but I would've been unhappy there. That was it for the afternoon, the next places we wanted to look at the landlord wouldn't be home until this evening. So we went back to Zamalek for a few hours.
We decided to order Chinese food. MISTAKE. We called the place to order because I had been having trouble with the website. Based on the website what we ordered would cost about 130LE for the three of us. We waited the hour for it. No food. We called. "Five minute." Twenty minutes later. No food. We call. "One minute." Twenty minutes and another call later, it gets here. LE 250. UH, NO. We bring out my laptop, which shows the menu. We call and argue with the restaurant. At this point we only have a half hour until we need to be in Dokki. We tell them where they can put their food. We were ripshit. And starving. We had waited almost two hours for this food by the end of it. And we didn't even end up with it. We got koshary and rushed to Dokki, fuming.
We are taken to an apartment a ways farther from the river, by Dokki's second metro stop. first impression: it's an alley. It turned out not to be, it was actually decently paved and private/too small for cars. Upon entering I notice something else: no elevator. We climb up to the fourth floor (not too bad, at least) and discover an apartment that I like at least somewhat better than the last one before dinner. this one has seafoam kitchen cabinets, rock hard mattresses and strange couches and chairs. There are two columns in the living room, which are hella cool, I'm totally a fan. And thw color of the kitchen is adorable. And its CHEAP. We were sold. We asked all the technical questions, turned on all the faucets, inspected (and questioned the realtor about) the strange looking thing that claims to be our washing machine. We gave our landlady (who seems nice) a 500LE deposit and we'll be meeting up with her on Friday to give her first month's rent and a one month deposit, and give the realtor people their commission (a half month's rent). I HAVE AN APARTMENT. It's very exciting. And we can move in anytime after Friday afternoon when we give her the money.

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