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Real Estate

In Plenary, Production on January 28, 2012 at 6:08 pm

There is still a week to go and it isn’t as if we’re moving far (four or five streets away) but life has already changed. It starts the moment the first picture is removed from the wall, the first box filled with books; we are unsettled, not sleeping well and thinking differently.

Taking a new place makes a person think about time and, more specifically, time scales. Nebulous wish thinking finds itself slotted involuntarily into the concrete schedules of feasibility. It’s a healthy process I suppose, but it feels like a bad case of malaria.

For example we wouldn’t undertake this – packing, redecorating, heavy lifting – for the sake of a mere twelve months of relocation, so that pretty much means we will be in Tarifa for a minimum of a further two years. Puts a shape on things.

We are dealing with two different orders of time scale on two different…eh, scales. Firstly, micro; for the next week we will be pottering around an increasingly chaotic apartment busily surrounding ourselves with boxes and bags where once there were books and personal bric-a-brac. I have called our internet provider and been informed with some confidence by their English speaking department that we cannot have adsl in the new place. I think you can imagine, given that I run a blog and two other websites, just how welcome that little nugget was. Not to mention surprising.

It’s the kind of thing that, in the year 2012 and where a perfectly modern home in a modern, family-oriented neighborhood is concerned, one might have expected the real estate agent to mention.

“And this is the kitchen. Compact, isn’t it! And this is the patio; the tiling is typically Andalucian, you know. You have an outhouse for storage and the washing machine and freezer, and all of the  bedrooms have ample wardrobe space. By the way, your online life is over.”

Something like that. That’s the real pitfall of making a move, or a change; dealing with the kind of people who want as much (money) from you as they can get and who work hard to deliver as little as possible. You see, the thing is, we think there’s been a mistake. We think we can have adsl in the house. We think the street name of our new address has been incorrectly entered in the records of our internet provider – that the whole thing is a simple misunderstanding, a clerical error, and that there is in fact no issue.

So we’ve asked for that to be confirmed, and now we’re waiting. And waiting. It doesn’t seem unreasonable to us that before we hand over hundreds upon hundreds of euros to someone who appears to make a living by swanning about making phone calls and generally lurking around the place while prospective victims – I mean clients – inspect the kitchen cupboards, could pick up the phone (again) to get some information, and then get back to us in what I would call a timely manner, and answer a simple. fucking. question.

Breath, Robin. Back to the happy place. You’re floating on a sheet of ice. All is cool and blue and quiet. Polar bears frolic, at an appropriately safe distance…and exhale.

Secondly, macro; with all of this going on, and in a week during which the behaviour of my younger students has been positively atavistic, the long term has shimmered beyond all the turbulence – either a distant oasis or a mirage. Both privately and together, we have been thinking about what we want, and the increasingly urgent need to give the how-to-get-it side of things some consideration.

Goal or process? The self-help sector has sidestepped the question by coining the term “process goal”. Nice move, if you’re in the business of selling books. They’re different though; for one you concern yourself with the question of what you should do. For the other, the question is how you should be. Once you frame it like that you can see how reductive both terms are, and how spurious the dichotomy. Both, is the answer to the question. I’m not sure whether to coin the term “proal”, or “gocess” – what do you think? And hands off – they’re both ©Robin Graham 2012.

We will concern ourselves with all of it – there are items on our to-do list that dwarf this week’s packing or next week’s shopping. When are we going to have these children we keep talking about? We’ve been telling people we are engaged for a few years now; we should probably get married at some point.

So it turns out that our agent has actually been busy making calls on our behalf, going as far as tracking the landlords down on their foreign trip to inquire about previous internet accounts. It makes my rant above seem a little unfair. Still, an anti-real estate person diatribe is ever entirely wasted, is it?

We can have internet after all. The life blood of my digital aspirations will continue to flow. It feels good, at the end of a frankly unpleasant week, to get the issue out of the way. Having put it behind us we can concentrate on what lies ahead.

Relocation, reinvention.

 Adventure.

Exposure. Sacrifice. Realisation.

Reproduction.

Breath, Robin…

[tweetmeme source=”@RobinJGraham” only_single=false]

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  1. Well if you want to pawn any of your old stuff on to me I’d be more than happy to take it off your hands. I definitely need some more stuff from the personal help field too.

    As you can see by this comment…

  2. I relate to your move. There are always surprises. For me never finding the left shoe or the top to the frying pan after the move actually happens. How can things get lost? Are they in the cosmos with socks lost in the dryer? At least you have internet. And you can order a new frying pan lid.

    Do you make those fab little drawings?

  3. Moving is hard work. Internet? Yes, you need it. It can’t be true that they can’t hook you up! Do you want me to call? I am good and going off on telephone companies in Spanish, a skill one must aquire to have Internet and a cell phone in Spain. Good luck.

  4. Moving ranks somewhere in the top 5 of things I least enjoy. Maybe my life simplification strategy and reducing my role in consumerism over the past 2 years will help the next time I move. But I still never want to deal with moving ever again.

    Good luck! At least you got the internet worked out. That would have probably sent me over the edge.

  5. XD I get stressed out too when I move. But hell yea, if I find out where I go the internet will not work, oh, I be angry too. (just instead of taking deep breaths, I probably be doing exercise to vent off)

    Hey good thing your agent helped you ^^ may be the agent deserves a tiny box of chocolate?

  6. Best of luck with the move. We’ve been in our place for the nearly 9 years we’ve lived and have no intention of going anywhere any time soon. We’re too lazy. 🙂 Sooo glad the internet thing was sorted out. I was worried for you there for a minute, till I got to the final paragraphs. A life without ADSL – I can’t even bring myself to imagine it.
    Julia

  7. Moves are never fun – we’ll (hopefully) be right in that space very soon. Wait, why am I wishing that upon ourselves. Good luck with it! And the kids. We’re hoping to get onto that one this year too.

  8. This is all a very interesting perspective. You see, I have moived home more times than I can remember and as I have very few personal possessions, I’m packed and moved in a jiffy. That is because I am a nomad at heart.

  9. Good luck! I hate moving. Even when it’s just a short distance.

    Hoping you can avoid the inevitable moving day fight.

    ~ Emme

  10. Oh dear. The concept of no Internet frightens me. I can’t even fathom how frustrated you must’ve been. I would’ve been furious with my real estate agent. Surely he/she had to have known you run a website and blogs and that’s something important? Or maybe it escaped them to ask because they just assumed you’d have it tool. At any rate, I loved your attitude at the end of the post. Way to hang tough!

    • Well it didn’t turn out to be an issue with the agent but I think our feeling at the time was that in this day and age such a problem should be mentioned regardless of what the prospective tenants do for a living or how they have described their needs!

  11. I hate to sound so shallow, but I saw “no high speed internet” and everything else was just a blur. My mind was racing. Certainly this doesn’t mean there will be less posts from Robin!

    Glad to see my fears where for naught.

    Now, go make some babies.

  12. Moving can be annoying in so many ways, but in the end, I quite like it. It’s the best way to get rid of unwanted rubbish that seem to pile up. Good luck 🙂

    • We don’t seem to be dumping that much this time actually. I can never bring myself to let go of a book and K can’t bring herself to let go of a shoe…

  13. Whew — I’m relieved. I enjoy your blog too much to find out that we’d be hearing less from you due to lack of internet access. Moves are very emotional for me. I’m always excited about a new place, but I suffer from nostalgia about the places I’ve lived in the past. Best of luck in the new home — keep us “posted”.

    • Spot on Cathy – it is emotional to leave the old place. People want us to be jumping up and down with happiness and pleasure but actually the feelings are very mixed. The love affair with our new home will happen over time…

  14. Moving is always a big pain, even if it’s nearby. And no internet would be a definite no deal in my book. I’m glad that in the end they’ll be able to fix it. Good luck, and just think of how much you’ll enjoy your new home once all the hassle is over.

  15. Moving can be so stressful! It sounds like you have a lot on your mind besides the move. Good luck with getting it all done and find some time to relax! 🙂

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