Tuesday, February 10, 2009

What almost was would have been bad...

So if you've been with me since we first ended up in Switzerland, you might remember way back in October 2007 we were going through the stress of trying to find a place to live. Mr K's company was kind enough to provide us with a realtor of sorts who lined things up and served as our translator as well. We went to a total of seven or eight properties with the last one we saw being the place we ended up picking. Halfway through our hunt we saw a property unlike any home I've ever seen in my life.

The apartment was a loft-style two level layout in an old Swiss barn that was being converted into apartments. All the others were already taken but this, the most special one. We were told that the owner had been renovating this place to be the dream home for he and his wife - a project that had been ongoing for about two years. Each and every detail had been picked out by hand, from the hardwood cabinets hand-carved in France and then imported to Fribourg to the two side-by-side bathtubs with candelabras and a shelf for your wine. The kitchen was huge, with a built in steamer, coffee machine, and wine storage fridge. Even the front door was covered in hand-carved decoration. The whole downstairs was open. The upstairs was only an open bedroom and the massive bathroom, complete with an antique toilet on a stone pedestal - the potty-throne. However, in the time it took the guy to renovate the place, he and his wife had a baby and were forced to choose a more traditional home. You can check out a whole set of pictures of the place here.

Just as there was a lot to love about this place, there were also several factors that weren't so great. It was expensive, even by local standards, coming in at about 2600$ a month for a one bedroom. It was also located in a kind of suburb of Fribourg, meaning Mr K's morning commute would have taken about three times as long and involved changing buses a couple times. There was also no storage - no closets, and no cave (the bomb-shelter space that most people use to store their skis and wine). Mr K and I have a fair amount of random "stuff" that needs a home and, short of us spending a few thousand at IKEA, this place wasn't going to accommodate our things. Also, our furniture (being mainly IKEA) would not have begun to do this place justice and would have needed replacing - it was that kind of swanky. Lastly, we have to admit that the whole concept of a potty-throne turned out to be just a little bit scary - if you fell off the thing, you would break an arm or leg. (And yes, falling off a potty is a valid concern.)

So, after several agonizing nights, we decided that the pros and cons were too close on this one and we needed to go with something a little more practical and a little less unusual. When we first moved, I wondered on and off if we made the right choice. Our apartment now is completely amazing and utterly perfect for us, but something about that other one just stuck with me.

Today we found out that, right before Christmas, the other place burned to the ground.

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