Just This Side of Chaos

I must say, this side is much better than the other side! Which is where we were last week, packing up all our earthly goods to move across town. Yes, it is a mid-tour move! I went into the reasons we were moving a few weeks ago, so I won’t repeat them here.

Even though this week has been pretty awful, I have to say, it has been totally worth it. I did decide, though, that next time I get to a post and the housing just isn’t right, I should not expect the embassy to fix it. Clearly, the system is not set up to deal with that. Instead, I should insist on a change of assignment before the HHE arrives, and save myself a lot of trouble and the taxpayer a lot of money!

Anyway, I’m sitting on my terrace right now, listening to the city sounds and the birds in the park below, enjoying my coffee and decompressing. The apartment is about 90 percent done, and the parts that aren’t done are mostly my son’s room and my husband’s office in which I am only peripherally involved.

See, I hate chaos. I am not a person who enjoys moving at all. I want it over with as quickly as possible. Not a fan of big men stomping all over my house, either. So, I’m the type who tells the movers to just unpack everything, put it wherever it fits, and then git. Which means the place looks like a bomb dropped on it. But it also means I can see everything, and I don’t have to trip over packing material all the time while I am putting stuff away. It’s a system, OK? And it gets it done quickly, which is the most important thing to me. Because I really, really hate chaos.

In this case, a lot of stuff needed to go to Caritas! The apartment is smaller than the last one (though the space is much more useful, not being mostly a massive foyer) and there are NO closets. Not one. There is a dungeon in the basement, but I don’t want to put anything down there that might get moldy. We each get exactly one dresser and one free-standing wardrobe for our clothes, for example.

So, we were ruthless, and altogether, about two packed carloads of clothes, dishes, and other stuff were donated. Because you know, there was some stuff I unpacked, looked at, and thought “do I care enough about this to find a space for it?” And the answer was NO. It’s just as well, because our house back in the States doesn’t have a lot of storage space either. And you know, this being my fifteenth move—I just counted, it’s a masochistic ritual I engage in from time to time— I’m kind of over unpacking and organizing junk!

Anyway, we are just loving the compact size of the place, the spiffy kitchen, and most importantly, not having to lug stuff up that stupid spiral staircase anymore! The neighborhood is great, too, with lots of restaurants. We had takeout Indian from around the corner (that was actually good and spicy!) one night, Greek from around the other corner the next night, and yesterday evening we went to a brewpub about ten minutes walk from the house. Could get expensive living where the action is, but we are going to enjoy it!

Finally, though Vienna is having a warm snap (temps in the 80s), and I am sure our old apartment is already stifling hot, this place, not being on the roof, and having all these built-in cooling mechanisms, like metal blinds and air shafts, not to mention bedrooms on the shady side, has been quite tolerable. They haven’t even turned on the “green” air conditioning yet, which pumps cold water from the Danube through the ceilings. The gearhead in me really wants to see how that works! I know it won’t be as powerful as a big old Carrier unit, but it has to be a lot better than squat-all, which is all we had before.

A few pics of the “done” parts of the house…

New cabinets that I can actually reach without standing on the counter!  Space for a table. No yucky fake wood floors or countertops. And POT DRAWERS.
New cabinets that I can actually reach without standing on the counter! Space for a table. No yucky fake wood floors or countertops. And POT DRAWERS.
Happy with my 89 Euro Ikea cabinet to round out the storage space.
Happy with my 89 Euro Ikea cabinet to round out the storage space.
Nice, big living room where more than two people can comfortably watch TV.  Ikea slipcovers on the way. No pictures up yet because the husband insists that they be perfect.  I am giving him a week...
Nice, big living room where more than two people can comfortably watch TV. Ikea slipcovers on the way. No pictures up yet because the husband insists that they be perfect. I am giving him a week…
What, no dining room?  Nope, we decided this space would be much more useful for my office/studio, and it has good light. And I detest the giant Drexel dining set, anyway.  So, looks like it's casual dining only from here on out!
What, no dining room? Nope, we decided this space would be much more useful for my office/studio, and it has good light. And I detest the giant Drexel dining set, anyway. So, looks like it’s casual dining only from here on out!
Daughter's room/guest room. The bedrooms here are small, but we like them that way.  Cozier.  Also, they are at the back of the apartment so they are cool and quiet.
Daughter’s room/guest room. The bedrooms here are small, but we like them that way. Cozier. Also, they are at the back of the apartment so they are cool and quiet.
Southwest facing terrace.  Lovely in the morning, a bit warm in the afternoon!  But there are many days in Vienna when that could be a good thing.
Southwest facing terrace. Lovely in the morning, a bit warm in the afternoon! But there are many days in Vienna when that could be a good thing.
I'm going to grow herbs and tomatoes along that wall.  The blinds are mechanical and really cool.  They do a great job keeping the living room from getting too warm on a sunny day.
I’m going to grow herbs and tomatoes along that wall. The blinds are mechanical and really cool. They do a great job keeping the living room from getting too warm on a sunny day.
View from the terrace.  Yeah, I know :)
View from the terrace. Yeah, I know 🙂
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6 comments

  1. Your new apartment is beautiful and I am glad it is working better for you and your family too! I am a just-leave-it-and-unpack-as-quickly-as-possible type person too! Chaos is evil 🙂

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  2. Except for the last move, where the American Truck driver didn’t want to hang out and unpack…. he had more deliveries to make across the country… I always had them unpack and stow stuff too. Glad to see you are getting settled!

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  3. Fantastic! Love the idea of ditching the dining room Drexel. I think the balcony would be my new favorite breakfast nook as well — looks like you are well on your way to thoroughly enjoying the new digs!

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  4. Excellent use of the dining area. I’m going to show this picture to my husband and tell him this is what we’re going to do with ours in the next house 🙂

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