The Long and Winding Road

I get out of the shower this morning and the phone rings.

It’s the Mr.

“Guess what’s back on the market to rent?”

I hold my breath. “What?” I demand. “What?!” Patience is not one of my strong points.


Deep inside me, a little voice whispers a hope that I dare not say aloud. Please, please, please let him say it’s House that Shall Not Be Named.

House That Shall Not Be Named. We deemed it this after the catastrophic meltdown and emotional turmoil that ensued when we found out the dream place we had signed a lease for and were scheduled to move into two weeks’ time had been sold. I suddenly found I could no longer bring myself to say the address out loud, so we re-Christened it HTSNBN.

We did the unthinkable, by the way. We drove past it once a few weeks ago. Did I ever mention that? It was lovely. Even better than I had dreamed it would be, and that was only from the outside.

We never should have driven past. That was probably a mistake. It was better imagining it as it was from the online images that didn’t do it justice.

“Don’t you want to guess?”

I can’t bear to voice my fragile dream out loud, because I know it’s likely it will be crushed.

“Come on, mister – just tell me!”

“Flat That Shall Not Be Named.”


Crap. That wasn’t what I was hoping he would say.

Flat That Shall Not Be Named. We’re not terribly original, you see. FTSNBN is the one we viewed a few weeks ago in Frauenland that could have been a good find, but where it all went horribly wrong. The owner was pushy and wanted an immediate answer from us, the Mr. and I had some communication problems…it just went…wrong. Period. Thus the name FTSNBN.

And now it’s back on the market to rent.

“She’s now charging 150 euros more per month in rent, and she’s working through an agent so we’d have to pay those fees,” he explains. “Plus my guess is that she decided to rip out the old kitchen so we’d have to buy everything new. It’s a lot more expensive now. But what do you want to do? Should we still try to contact her?”

I’m torn.

I’m thinking back to the wide, grand entrance hallway. To the bright, sunny lounge with windows looking out into the beautiful and good-sized garden. The crown moulding around the ceiling. A garage for a car. A newly renovated bathroom and guest loo with shower. The ideal location precisely half-way between the city center and the Mr.’s job.

But then I’m also remembering that it will have carpet installed. And that the downstairs guest room is totally disconnected to the upstairs flat and has hideous orange carpet and strangely painted walls. And that the bathroom that comes with it is tiny and pretty run-down.

But the herb garden…the blossoming fruit trees….

And then I remember her. The owner. In truth, she’s the reason it all went wrong. Had we been greeted that day by someone warmer, friendlier and a little more patient, I am certain the entire day would have had a different outcome. We would have almost certainly said yes, and we’d have someplace to move into lined up and wouldn’t be living in limbo anymore. And I would feel good about it, despite hideous orange carpet.

So I say, “I know it doesn’t make sense in many ways, but I don’t know…it just doesn’t feel…right. Maybe it’s crazy to not try to get it, but my gut instinct is that we should let it go.”

And that’s it. The choice is made, I guess.

Are we stupid? Is it crazy to follow a gut instinct based on “feelings” rather than common sense that is screaming we’re passing up a great opportunity?


About bittenbythebug

I love travel and have always been fascinated by other cultures. Back in 2004, I began my life as an expat in Edinburgh, Scotland. Fast forward 5 1/2 amazing years later to 2010 and the new chapter in my expat adventure: Würzburg, Germany.
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4 Responses to The Long and Winding Road

  1. Lindsey says:

    Loved this post! Your writing is great. But in all seriousness, I think you made the right choice. Spending a lot of money on something you love and feel good about is one thing. And you don’t want to be contractually tied to a woman you hate to deal with. You WILL find something!

  2. Thanks for the encouragement. I also think we made the right choice, but sometimes I second-guess our pickiness for fear that we will be in this holiday let forever! I think you’ve made a great point: we should feel good about the place we rent, particularly when it is a lot of money at stake.

  3. Bonnie says:

    I don’t think you need to second guess your decision; I think you’re right. If the woman is difficult, you don’t want to have to deal with her for the foreseeable future. You are searching for a home, and you don’t need it to be with a cranky lady. I’m sending good karma your way that you’ll find a great place soon! In the meantime, I’m glad you were able to enjoy a holiday.

  4. Fenella says:

    Yeah, there’s being “difficult” and being downright unreasonable. Hold out for something nice.

    and mean Tom for making you think it could be the House That Shall Not Be Named.

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