Our temporary housing is definitely not what I was imaging (and I'm very grateful for that, since we'll be in it through mid-July). It consists of a four-bedroom, three full-bath apartment, with five balconies, a full kitchen, a 12-place dining table, three couches, multiple chairs, five beds (four twin), and if I count them, at least nine closets. From our two-bedroom, one-bath condo in Maryland, which was so stuffed to the brim with, well, stuff, that we had to play the “square game” in order to move around (you know, the child’s tile game where in order to move a tile you had to move another one to free up a space), this current dwelling actually allows us to run up and down the hallway. Not that we’re doing that, of course, well, Ron does chase Chuckles up and down, but we’ve found it’s best if we exercise him daily in order to tire him out, Chuckles, that is.
Upon our arrival, we were provided with a “hospitality kit” that we could use until our stuff arrived. It held a wide assortment of household items, some very useful such as towels and sheets, pots and pans, kettle, coffee maker, paper towels, glasses and silverware, two bars of soap, an alarm clock, mop, broom and vacuum, etc. It also came with some mildly odd items, such as a cheese grater, serving platter, egg beater (though I think that may be the whisk I found). We were also given a set of dishes, plates and bowls, though the bowls we have to admit were rather small. To see Ron trying to eat a bowl of cereal out of these bowls was like handing a gerbil a thimble full of seeds. So we did opt to buy two new human-sized cereal bowls, but otherwise haven’t had to supplement it (though we did manage to forget to bring a travel mug for Ron’s coffee, so we’ll probably have to get one before our shipment of the 15 we already own arrives).
One of my tasks while Ron was at work one day was to review our hospitality kit list, and check off what we received and didn’t, just to make sure the eyelash-curler set had been unpacked (kidding about the curler, but not about the process). It was a list of over 60 items, and I checked and counted them all. It enabled me also to truly explore all the bedrooms, closets, dressers and unknown doors, in our apartment. There were only a few items I couldn’t find or identify, I mean, when you say “serving tray,” that means some type of wooden tray, right? Couldn’t find it. But I did find a laundry room, a full-sized dishwasher and microwave (neither of which I’ve been able to figure out yet – I did find a manual on the microwave, but it’s all in German and we already know my Deutsch limitations, so as a result, I’ve decided to not use the dishwasher, and just keep pressing the 30-second button on the microwave). I also found a slightly creepy storeroom that had another full-size fridge in it. When we got our delivery of water bottles I promptly and ever-so-efficiently put them all away in the new fridge. But apparently it wasn’t a fridge. It was a freezer. So by the next day we had over 50 bottles of ice blocks. Lesson #1.
All in all, our temporary housing is great. It’s safe (in a walled-compound with 24-hour guards), comfortable, more room than we know what to do with, Ron’s friends set up a TV and DVD player for us, we have Internet access and there's a sunroom set up perfectly for the cats. What else is there, right?