Thursday, 25 July 2013

House Hunters International

Welcome to another edition of House Hunters International!

Meet John and Pam.  

John and Pam along with their two daughters, Emileigh and Aria, left their life in America and made the move to Africa in 2009.  They have found wonderful (sometimes interesting) living arrangements through the years, but most recently had to leave their favorite location in K-toum, S-dan by request of the government.

Our last apartment in K-toum...

Goodbye sweet, heavy books...

Saying goodbye to their friends (as well as household goods) was very difficult, but now they are looking forward to settling in for a bit in their new location of Aswan, Egypt.  Aswan is a city of 400,000 located in the southern part of the country right on the Nile.  Aswan has a long history including Pharaohs, ancient temples and more recently the Aswan High Dam.

Aswan along the Nile River

The Tomb of the Nobles

John and Pam's search began by meeting a real estate agent named Waleed.*  Waleed has lived in Aswan his whole life and has a good sense of matching his clients' needs with the available market.

House #1 Tired in Downtown

Pam:  We entered a reception area of the apartment building that was covered with giant paintings of pharaohs' heads.  A security guard waved us through and we were told to step onto the elevator.  I could see the ground outside between the elevator floor and the hallway.  I stepped into the elevator and the whole thing wobbled.  John stepped in next and I thought for sure we would plummet to our death.  The agent squeezed in, pressed the button and I began to pray…"Don't let the cables snap…Don't let the cables snap…"

He directed us to the apartment and opened the door.  Words cannot describe, but I'll try.  It was like Napoleon's Frat House.  Papers and bags were scattered on the floor while red velvet, gold gilded sofas lined the entire perimeter of the room.  I smiled at John and we took a walk through the rest of the place.

Everything was tired and dusty; still we tried to keep an open mind.

The landlord came in and began to tell us all about the amenities.  I'm not sure we were seeing the same things.  

He showed us the "spectacular" view and then turned to reveal the large closet that was included in the apartment.  

Landlord:  I know Americans like storage.

We thanked him and began to make our exit.  He followed us to the death-defying elevator and gave us his card.  We told him we'd let him know, but actually I already knew…no way, Jose…er, Ahmed.

House #1

Conveniently located to Downtown

Tired surroundings...Forgot to take a picture of the Napoleon living room

Spacious closet!

House #2 Fancy and Modern

Pam:  This apartment building had everything upon first viewing…marble floors, lucid security guard at the door and an elevator with all its parts.

We stepped onto this elevator with much more confidence.  As we proceeded up to the apartment, I heard the Koran being recited.  I thought our agent had an app on his phone that would automatically sound the call to prayer.  Actually I was wrong.  The elevator had a speaker system.  Whenever the doors closed a man reading the Koran would begin to play.  When the doors opened, it stopped.

Waleed ushered us into the "Fancy and Modern" apartment.  He told us that this apartment had been designed especially for foreigners such as ourselves.  He gave us a tour.  I'll let the pictures do the talking.

It was indeed fancy and modern.  And it seems that every possible color on the Pantone Color Guide was somehow incorporated into the decor.  Truly a sight to behold.    

The rent was at the high end of our range, however, all furnishings were provided complete with dishes, pots, silverware, etc.  (Which we need because we weren't able to bring many things out of S-dan.)  Move in ready sounded very appealing...

House #2

Curtains included...

Colorful living space!

Kitchen with all the amenities!

Perfect for entertaining!

House #3  Fixer Upper with a View

Pam:  Waleed had exhausted his options so we asked our 8 new friends if they knew of anything.  A couple suggested that we look at a place in the same location they lived.  We agreed.  They talked with the landlord who greeted us and gave us the tour.

This apartment was on the first floor of a three floor building.  The landlord and his family live on the 3rd floor.  He opened the door to a spacious room, but little else.  He began to tell us that the apartment had not been occupied for some time and needs some work.  He was speaking much truth.  

As we walked through each room, I noticed bubbled paint and exposed pipes.  The furniture that was included was frankly barely holding on.  I thought I had seen enough when he opened the shutters of the windows in the living room.  Behold the view!

20 feet away was the Nile River…a clean Nile River.  The Aswan High Dam filters the water so that by the time it reaches this location, it's crystal clear.  I began to rethink my position.  Maybe this had potential after all…

House #3

The apartment is on the first scary elevators!

The step up kitchen!

Beds included...

Pink porcelain!

Right by the Nile!

The view from the patio!

So which one will John and Pam choose?

House #1: Tired, but Convenient Location?
House #2:  Move in ready?
House #3:  A Lotta Work with a View?

(Voting closed.  We chose House #3.  Now the work begins!)

Cast your vote in the comments below!  

*Not his real name

Today's BOGO Blog:  Delightful Domestications

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