Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My closet walks faster than yours, a tale of bilingual real estate snafus.

Once again, I am thinking of moving. Don't get yourself in a snit about it because a) I hardly ever have people over, b) most of you don't even live in Santiago (yes, I do look at my referral log) and c) change comes very slowly to this one.

Among the reasons that I am considering moving include:
  • I am not cut out for carrying my bike up to the sixth floor when the elevator goes out (which it does with some frequency)
  • I am annoyed at paying so much to heat the hot water (I don't have a gas water heater, also called a califont, and the electric one costs a fortune)
  • My kitchen is only a few hundred matchboxes in size
  • In the words of someone who used to come over but doesn't anymore, my apartment is an "ice box" in the winter
  • My view of the Entel Tower was recently blocked by some 30-story monstrosity
  • There are wild cats that come in and break things, and wander around on the kitchen counters when I leave the window open and leave the apartment
  • Living and working in the same small space means I'm nearly always at work
  • I don't have enough storage space, and it's not entirely because I have too much stuff.
So I peruse the find-an-apartment-in-Santiago pages, which in my case is mostly Portal Inmobilario, mainly because they have pictures, and oh how I love a visual to go along with the marketing copy that will try to convince me that something that's on this side of the Alameda is actually on that side. And the pictures where someone snaps one of their bed, as though they were offering the furniture, rather than the room it's in.

And I tool around on my bike and check out available apartments, and ogle fancier buildings that probably don't have wild cats or the occasional drunken neighbor that shouts and slams things into walls or window panes that shift loosely in their frames with the breeze. I figure any apartment I change to is likely to solve some of the above shortcomings, because if it doesn't, I simply won't move.

So, in keeping with the last item on my handy bulleted list, I would like a bigger closet. It doesn't seem like too much to ask, as my current one is only barely wider than the door, and it's the only one I have, which explains the tension rod in the doorway where my coats live in the winter. Because I am very fancy and care terribly what you think of my housekeeping and organizational skills, and also really want you to comment on how many sporty waterproof jackets I have.

So back to the closet. Here's what one nearby apartment building offers. Not just a bigger closet, but a multi-talented one, and bilingual at that. If you live in Chile, you already know. But since most of you don't, please regard the fifth bullet point down in the following photo.

DSC_0454

This building promises me a large master bedroom with a bathroom en suite, and a walking closet.

Yes, you read that right, a walking closet.

I have thought about this many times, and have come to the conclusion that this is one of two things. Either it is a closet that wanders around the apartment, begging the question, "Where did I leave my other shoe" and changing it to "Where oh where has my closet gone;" or it is some kind of an endless closet, inside of which I can go on long walks. Maybe it has a treadmill inside, or maybe a strong air current that pushes me back against the opposite wall as I walk, like one of those endless "lap" pools.

And so in my current space, I feel cheated. I am nearly certain that nothing in my apartment can do any tricks or has any hidden talents, unless you include when the municipal gas hose to my oven caught on fire, or the fact that my under sink area falls apart if you so much as touch any of the plastic "pipes." In fact, if it weren't for the cats, (and the occasional 8.8 earthquake, both of which led to quantities of broken glass, so don't take your shoes off when you come over), I'd say nothing interesting happens here at all.

And so while it may yet be months, or even years before I move out of this altoids tin (minus the minty smell and hinged top), you can be sure that any new place I find to live will have at least one multi-talented, bilingual feature. It could be a talking toilet (s'il vous plait!), or perhaps a stove that frys its own beignets as you sleep (or as you're waking up). Or maybe a self-sweeping dining room, or curtains that wash themselves, or a shower that waters the plants on your windowsill without dousing the rest of the apartment, but only occasionally because I only have cacti, as they are harder to kill.

Because if closets can walk (or be large enough to get your daily dose of exercise), I'd expect nothing less from the rest of an apartment.

How about you? Can your depto (apartment) do any tricks?

5 comments:

Richard said...

Perhaps it is like the walking luggage in Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels? As I recall, luggage (or in this case a closet) that follows you around can be quite useful.

Better check it for lions and witches too. :)

Eileen said...

Richard, I don't know those novels, but I love the idea that my closet would follow me around, the clothing inside chanting, no, wear me! wear me!

There's a resto here in Santiago that has one of the women's bathroom through a wardrobe. I was very confused the first time I had to find it, and they were like, "um... in the wardrobe!" It stays in the restaurant though, as far as I know.

Anil said...

A walking closet is probably worth what ever they're charging for it. Although with a talking toilet, if you don't like what it has to say, at least you've got the perfect response. On second thought, that relationship might get complicated, maybe a walking closet would be easier to deal with.

lydia said...

I used to teach at an architecture school and I remember going over furnature etc... and getting into an argument with my students about this one. They were SO persistant that I left class wondering if it really was "walking" in English and i had misinterpreted it as a "walk-in" my whole life!!!

Margaret said...

I have always loved (or hated) the famous walking closet line! This is not a one-shot deal... people really, really think that's what it's called!
And speaking of neighbors' cats- someone upstairs has a new kitten that they toss into the hall to roam and moan outside my door and I sooo don't want to open my door and fall in love with the little thing!
BTW- my verification word is "quede" which you (Eileen) means "stay"... is that some kind of a sign that once again you will NOT be moving any time soon?