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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Home is Where the Bath Is

...and the ambiant lighting.

After some issues with being able to get my cash together, which point I'll get to some other day, I moved into the casa today, so this is the place that until Nov 1 will be home.  SOME PEOPLE were requesting photos; I'm pretty sure these aren't the kind they meant, but it's all I have at present.  I'm also quite sure there's a better way to show all these, like say a Flickr slideshow; but I am lazy, and the hour is late.  And I have some serious solitaire to play before bedtime. (And no that's not a euphemism, you sickos.)

So welcome!  I'll give you a tour.  Here's a floor plan:

I haven't gone out and measured anything, but eyeballing it, that looks about right. So we start at the front stair.  The main house is on a cul de sac; this house is behind the main house, not on an actual street, but there's a cobblestone lane, for lack of a better word, between it and the houses in front. This is what you see standing in the lane, with my front gate open:

Er, well, you would see more, except that it's twilighty when these pictures were taken and also I am not a match for my camera.  Nevertheless, we continue by perusing the terraces to either side of those stairs. To the left we see this:

And strolling over into that far corner to look backwards, we see this:

Excellent! Let's go inside, shall we?  First we'll take a look at what is immediately inside those windows you can see up there:

Ah, a dining nook. Steve is a man after my own heart, in that he has little mood lights all over this place.  I opt for those over overheads as much as possible.  I can't imagine entertaining 5 other people for dinner, but at least I have the option.

Panning back a bit, you can see the rest of the main room - a couple of leather armchairs, an armoire with regulation TV/audio/DVD player, and a bit of couch.  Let's swivel for a better shot of that:

MMm, lovely.  Large enough to nap on, and comfy enough to enjoy doing so: the critical elements of any couch.  Note can of coke and book on floor.  Just behind the couch, you can see the breakfast bar and the kitchen, but we'll hit that later.  First, turn to your right and enter the doorway just ahead:

Where you find the bedroom....

There's a matching mood light on the near side you can kind of see, but that bulb is burnt out.  New mattress and linens, per Steve.  So comfy! I took it for a test-nap this afternoon during a short rainstorm.  But this room is bigger than it looks here, so keep looking to your right...

Who can resist a room decorated mainly with books? Not I.  So heading over to this bookshelf and looking backwards, you can see the entire wall of closets, european style, just like all the IKEA catalogs show:

Holds a crapload of stuff. Handy! Too bad I'm only here for three weeks.  Okay, moving along - opposite the bookshelf is a piano - a piano? Yes, a piano.  Which I am afraid to touch.

And those windows are the mirror of the ones by the dining nook, and look out over the right hand side of the patio as you come up the stairs. Got it? okay then, let's leave the bedroom and head to the kitchen.

That breakfast bar on the right there is directly behind the couch.  Steve assures me that when the time and money come along, both the bathroom and kitchen are slated for remodeling.  Whatevs. It's fine.  (Not as nice as MY kitchen, of course.  Though his fridge is a much better size for what is essentially a one-person flat than my crazy behemoth; and his is a Bosch.)  Here we look out over that breakfast bar into the main room (or "lounge", as they call it in the real estate ads around here):

And then we look behind us, to the counterspace (abundant!) and wall cabinets (particleboardy!)

And that concludes the kitchen. Let us now forsake this area, where I will likely spend little time, for one that promises to be much more utile (stopping on the way to peek behind a pocket-door into the utility room:)

Ah! Laundry! which is more than I can say for my mother-effing condo back home, but that is a different rant.  Meanwhile, let me introduce you to my friend:

His name is Tubby. I spend a lot of time with him, so I hope you like him as much as I do.  He can seem cold at first, but he warms right up to you.

Tubby's friends Terlit...

....Sink, and Shower.

The problem with living in a condo is that you don't get the joy of discovery about new living arrangements, and their kinks and charms, anymore.  As I mentioned, Steve is fond of his mood lighting - dimmer switches, little lamps, both kitchen and bath have skylights, too - so I spent more time than one might think traipsing from one room to another, turning lights on and off to acquire optimal mood-glow.  Here is the dining nook, a little softer:

Also, how supercute are these original flavor house-keys (shown here with one of the odd carved wooden balls from that bowl on the table, as I tinker with the zoom setting on my camera)?  Note reassuring modern-style remote lock and panic button.

And here is a note I found in one of the bedside table drawers:

You are excused, Mark.  Ultimately, it was the eye for detail that made me like this place over all the glorified bachelor pads I saw for rent.  Love you, calla lillies and white furry chenille pillow on a dusty blue couch!

I'm sitting in exactly that corner as I type, wrapped in the orange blanket you saw earlier on the bed, and contemplating heading off to that new mattress and those crispy white sheets. Which certainly prompts one to ask: did i come to Africa to sing the praises of high quality linen?  Does this crazed need for a comfortable environment contravene the very idea that I want to work in the third world?  Perhaps I am just showing my age?  And speaking of the third world, given all the high quality linen and ambiant lighting, does this place even qualify?  Steve was just lamenting that he just got back from vacation in "the first world" and was having a hard time readjusting, but his pad certainly seems to suggest that you can close yourself off from most of the third world no matter where you are. 

And speaking of Steve, I wonder....  he shows a remarkable talent for detail and design that you don't find in every guy.  And a few other clues, like the ultrasuede curtains in the dining nook that he was raving about...and that picture you can see just past them there?

Let's go in for a close up on that, shall we?

Oh yes.  No straight man alive has this picture in his house.

Okay then! That completes our tour.  I hope you haven't fallen asleep; personally, I'm about to, but then, all this house-hunting and discovery has plum wore me out.  Perhaps tomorrow I'll actually take pictures of something on the OUTside, something that might indicate I've actually left home, like a mountain or a baboon. Or something, you know, uncomfortable.


  1. Steve is totally gay, you lucky devil. Too bad you have to move in, like, a day. I like the lamps. What the hell is that think bolted onto the side of your fridge?

  2. Oh, I love this entry. You are the Martha Stewart of home comfort!! It's ok to be comfy. It's ok to help others and then go home and get snuggly.

  3. mikey, next to the fridge is a pantry type deal, which is also where the garbage can is. unfortunately, since it has a door, that means anything kept in there also smells like garbage. Bon appetit!

  4. SNORT! What the...AFRICA!?! Why wasn't I consulted?
    What's that? You did tell me? Oh.
    I've read all your posts, and as I am very busy, I'll thank you to not inconvenience me by making me come over there and claim your body. Safety first, eh?
    Nice pad. Here's hoping you don't spend too much time there. Have you hopped a bar or three yet? Good heavens, woman, enough with the domestic goddess routine. You're an exchange student. I don't think you're allowed to be sober. When does "school" start?