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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Moving on up....

About 2 months ago, the owner of our apartment sold the unit that we were renting so we had to find a new place to live.  I LOVED our apartment and thinking about trying to find a new place was stressful.  We live in an apartment complex in a quiet neighborhood with beautiful gardens, a swimming pool (always freezing), 3.5 bedrooms, big living room and a big open style kitchen (best part since in Kenya most kitchens are closed off from the rest of the house).  We even liked the furniture that the place came with.  It's nothing that I would buy myself but it also didn't look like it was taken from the set of The Jeffersons - so like I said, we liked it.  There is nothing really like it in the area that we wanted to stay in, plus it had to fit our safety requirements, be furnished and fit within our allowable price.
View of our previous apartment from the balcony

View of the outside from the balcony

Our selection criteria for the new apartment included:
-The complex must have a generator since the power goes out every day for hours
-The furniture must be decent.  Additional points were given if the furniture did not smell like body odor or looked like a bass fisherman's living room..for some reason old weird ugly furniture reminds me of bass fishing. Growing up in Texas you get a lot of like paintings on circular saw blades as art or things like THIS weird ass picture:
And  I feel like it's sort of the same here - sort of starving artist meets the Super 8 motel (c. 1983)
Okay on with the list of requirements:
-The area must be in Westlands, which is where my office is because the traffic in Nairobi will turn you into a demon and i try to avoid that.
-There must be guards at the gate that seem relatively vigilant - not that I would stand up to an armed gang with just a simple baton if I was in their shoes..but some of those guards could easily get lured away by something as simple as a lollipop - it's nice if they have a little gusto.  I should do a whole other blog on guards in Africa.  There's some funny stuff there.
- Must have 2 or more bedrooms - in case one day I get a visitor ;-(

Well, we lucked out!  After seeing many crappy apartments and calling every single property manager in Nairobi to find out who manages other units in our current complex, we found someone who was about to have 2 vacant units! AND they were being rented by the British High Commission which meant they had some additional security features that our other units did not have - extra steel doors, panic buttons, extra locks, and a security system. So now, we live in a different unit in the same complex and the apartments are identical...except the furniture...and that's the KICKER!
Here's the furniture that it came with:
This is a CHAIR

The photo doesn't do it justice...these sofas were HUGE and the color of dookie

I was able to make an entire workstation on the ARMREST! Complete with little desk decor.
Those things had to GO! One of the sofas got stuck in the elevator on the way down
We were lucky that the owner had another vacant apartment that we were able to raid. People love big giant puffy sofas here...so the pickens weren't idea but we snagged some black sofas that are the same style but on a much smaller scale - so it worked out.  I'm not too picky about furniture but seriously those brown sofas were a little African extreme. So here's what we have now:

View from the balcony - We face our old apartment and the same courtyard

The swapped out black sofas

View from the kitchen - the guard station and road

One of our guards just chillin - it's what they do best...besides sleeping
So, we have a really nice apartment - and we are ready for visitors!!!

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