Nailing Down the Big Three

As this third week in Innsbruck comes to a close, many things are falling into place. The little things (hair appliances, special skin care products, etc.) are wonderfully easy to come by; shopping and dining out appear to be an art form in this small city. I haven’t braved shoe shopping yet, but as I couldn’t find any in Victoria, it won’t be much of a change if that is a problem. And Munich (where there are lots of tall Germans who have, I’m hoping, big feet) is as easy to access (2 hours by train) as Vancouver, so same same. Scrapbooking supplies continue to elude me, but I haven’t given up yet. And paper and stickers ship easily when ordered online.

Most importantly, details are shaping up on the big three: apartment, daycare and computer. I’ll start with the computer. I made the leap and bought a MacBook. Everyone I know who has a Mac loves it, so thought I’d check it out. So far so good. Well, sort of. Our internet provider, T-mobile, sold us a package with a modem that didn’t include Mac software. You have to download it from the internet. Which you can’t access because you have no connection. Nice. Markus, my knight in shining armor, figured it out for me after several attempts and a few curses. So here I am catching up with friends and family and blog on my light, fast and sleek new computer. I couldn’t figure out how to make the Safari browser full-screen, so switched to Firefox (hard to believe that I worked in IT for 6 years, but there you go.)

We have verbally committed to an apartment. Of course, there are pros and cons to the place we choose. Big, big pro is that it is right downtown…above a 3 minute walk from The Hotel. That means Rebecca’s high school, my German school, Annie’s daycare and Markus’ work will all be within easy walking distance (daycare is the farthest away at about a 15 minute walk, or very short bike or streetcar ride.) After the almost hour round trip to Teri’s to drop Annie off, this is a dream! Other plus is that it has enough rooms. Actually finding an apartment in the downtown core with a configuration for 3 separate bedrooms plus a living room is rare. And it is in a fairly new building so is clean and bright and modern. (One of the rooms I think was intended as a dining room, but whatever.)

The cons start with, of course, the bathroom. Back in Canada I said I would put my foot down about having  2 bathrooms. But even as I said it, I had a feeling that this was going to be a foot I’d have to go ahead and pick right back up. Europeans just don’t have the obsession with bathrooms that us, sane, North American’s do. I think it is a case of not knowing what you are missing until you have it. Oh, if they only knew. Anyway, one tiny room with toilet and sink and one slightly larger room with bathtub, sink and space for washer/dryer it is. The bedrooms are quite large, so we are going to compromise by setting Rebecca and I up in our bedrooms with hair dryers and make-up mirrors so that the bathroom will only be used for bathing. We’ll see how long I last before complaining here. Don’t bet on this one folks.

Another sort of con is that there isn’t a ton of natural light. It is on the top floor (oh, that is a big plus as it is quieter, no one is above us and only offices below us so we don’t have to feel bad about Stompin’ Annie running across the hardwood) and has some slanted walls due to the grade of the roof. This cuts into some of the 1600 sq. feet. of space due to low ceilings and also means that the windows are really more like slanted skylights with no view. Views from even the second or third floor can be amazing in this town, as all of the view is looking up to the mountains, and I was hoping for at least a view from one window. Oh well…not a crisis.

But overall I think it will work for the family as well as for any guests that we have. Already Rebecca’s Mom and Katherine are coming to stay over Christmas, as well as our friends Renata and Ryan. Very exciting!

Daycare will start on the 22nd, as mentioned before. (I talk about daycare far too much; poor Annie is going to have crisis when she reads this in a few years. I love you, Annie, more than the air I breath, but I just am not good as a 24/7 caregiver. And frankly, you are dying to get together with other kids, so it is for the best.)

So overall with some luck, some determination and Markus’ patience, we are stating to make a real home here in Innsbruck. How grateful I am.

One Response to “Nailing Down the Big Three”

  1. DavidO says:

    Interesting you speak about the bathroom obsession – Indeed North American’s are obsessed with the number of bathrooms – my wife (Scottish) noted this while we were looking for a house. Sounds like the config in the apartment is pretty good – especially since the flat is only 1600sq ft! Count your lucky stars! We ended up with 3 bathrooms – but we generally only use 1! I would be more concerned with living in 1600sq ft with a teenager!