Monday, March 19, 2007


Rather than take up my landlord on his oh-so generous offer to move into his flat for the extra cost, we have decided to move a few doors down and give the rent monies to a new landlady who is very nice :)  Besides not having to greatly increase the rent paid, I will have exclusive use of all the rooms in our flat without having to worry about closets full of the landlord's clothing (which they occasionally interrupt to take from the closets)!  Sharing my living space with a stranger's clothing and having their laundry draped all over my stairwell railings has really been a test of my patience.  I lasted about three months with them using the washing machine before sitting down to have a discussion about privacy :o)  So, to all my friends, get ready for a moving/house-warming BBQ coming on Sunday!

Smokey has stayed at the kennel a bit longer until we complete the moving.  I think last time when I moved from Gracanica, he kind of started to freak out when he saw me leaving with all the clothes and furniture.  He normally has a good idea that I'm leaving for a vacation when he sees the suitcases going out but still willingly jumps in the car to go to the "doggy jail".  I do have to admit that I have missed him over the past half week that I've been back!  I'll be happy to bring him over to the new flat where he will have a nice big balcony to play on during the days and no way to get onto the roof!!!

I'm going to be updating my Tips for Newcomers today because over the weekend I was out house hunting.  I have some new inputs for the section on housing that I want to share.  It seems the magic number for a flat in Dragodan is 700 Euros a month, all inclusive (sometimes with central heating, sometimes without.  Often no water tank but they will always try to convince you that there are no problems with the suppy!)  Some people are trying to get even more rent but those places are staying empty longer.  The problem is that some internationals don't bother trying to negotiate and the locals see that there is always a sucker that will take the place for an extraordinary price.  It really has become a renter's market, something that the local population hasn't figured out very well yet but for some it is sinking in.

In Dragodan the reality is that the flats are worth about 500 Euros a month at most.  I did find a nice flat a couple blocks from where we are now where the building is brand-new and so is the furniture but some of the renters are less-than-desirable neighbors...but everything was just 500 Euros.  When I went down the hill a bit further and looked at some really hole-in-the-wall type flats with basic furniture and few features people were still trying to convince us that 700 Euros a month was a good deal (special price for you my friend!)

Anyways, after meeting with the new landlady, I think I won't have any problems.  She seems very good at respecting renter's privacy and the rent does not change when there are more/less people living in the house.  Her son is also working to find some friends of his to help move my furniture down from my current flat as the person that is my landlord when I leave the mission will be gifted with the refrigerator, stove, dryer, entertainment shelf & matching bookcase, king-sized bedroom set with vanity and wardrobe, pantry, and china cabinet!  If I had to do it all over again, I think I probably would have insisted on my landlord furnishing better furniture or purchasing more acceptable things and deducting from the rent.  It has been a pain to move my things from one flat to another...and this is only the second time in six years!!!