In the next few weeks, Andrew and I will move to a new apartment in Barcelona. We haven't yet found a place, but now that the landlords and brokers are back in the city after their extended August vacations, Andrew has started visiting some possible new homes. It's exciting to think about moving--a new place to call our own--and it's always nice to get to know a new part of the city. We know a lot about Barcelona now, and have a good idea of where we'll be happy. It will be fun to apartment-hunt together when I return next week--a perfect way to see the hidden parts of people's Barcelona lives, taking place beyond the etched faces of the buildings.
When Andrew moved to Barcelona last August, finding an apartment was a different story. Neither of us knew the city, and Andrew didn't yet know what the neighborhood around his school was like. And we felt rushed to get settled; we were staying in hotels and spending hours in the EasyInternet cafe, looking at apartment listings online. We saw so many apartments, and Andrew found one he loved; but the broker wanted six months' rent, in cash, up front, as a security deposit. Heartbreakingly impossible. The apartment he finally chose is the one that's now ours. On moving day (suitcases lugged from hotel to apartment), Andrew got food poisoning. We had no sheets for the bed, not even a glass to drink from; we made a desperate trip to Ikea to buy the essentials. And I went back to the U.S. two days later, a difficult departure to say the least. Ah, memories.
Last week, Andrew looked at a place in the Barri Gotic--in the same building, strangely, as an apartment we looked at and liked last year. Last year, the apartment's flaws were a too-high price and overly girly decor; in this year's apartment, the ceiling of the very cute apartment was four inches from Andrew's head. We both want to live in this building--it's charming and old, in a lively, cafe-filled part of the city--but perhaps it's not meant to be. Our home, this time, will be elsewhere.
We'll miss our apartment. Today Andrew found it on a listings site, a description and photos right there for anyone to see. One of the photos is the view from our bedroom window, the view that always makes me feel like I'm really in Spain. Both of us felt very sad.