We've had a busy day. The boys went to school and had Spanish Club after school, so they didn't finish until 4. So that was useful, because after dropping them off I was supposed to go and help a friend move out of her temporary house and into her flat. Well, I only had an hour, and I think I may have spent more of the hour talking than I did baby minding, which was my allotted task.
The reason I only had an hour was becasue we were (well, Bill was) signing the lease on the house at 11.00. We got picked up by Rebeca our relocation consultant at 10.30. Drove around the find a branch of the bank we needed to deposit a large amount of cash in - we had to have a deposit slip for the landlord before we could sign the lease....
Then to the Notary's office, where Bill signed each page of the 5 page lease, in quintuplicate. We also got a power of attorney in my favour while we were there, because as the spouse, I don't have much power of my own - I have to borrow Bill's!
After that, Bill went back to his software review meeting, and I walked back to the flat. A 20 minute stroll. Um, it was noon. This is Santiago. I was almost back here when I realised that I wasn't going to make it, I was too hot and tired, so I found a nice shady bench to sit on for 5 minutes and regroup. And to remind myself to ALWAYS put on sunscreen.
When I got back to the flat the Mucamas were here. They are Elena & Eliana, and are really nice women, but they seem to always be here when I get home, and this is a very small flat, so it is very difficult to keep out of their way. They look after this flat, and a couple of others on this floor, and they seem to do it in a sort of assembly line fashion - so they do the kitchen, then the disappear for a while, probably to do the kitchen in the other flats, then they do the bathrooms, go away again, you get the idea. So they can be in and out for about 2 hours. And they don't knock anymore - they just come in, shout Hola! and that's it. Aargh. I miss my privacy.
But never mind - Bill came back at 3.15 and we went to collect the boys, and then we went to the HOUSE! Our house now! But it took 2.5 hours to get it "signed over" to us. The owners' daughter Francisca was there, representing her parents, estate agents from the two agencies that had been advertising the property, us, Rebeca, our relocation person and Paola, the Nana. So the first half hour was spent with Francisca and Paola showing us how to work every thing. The hot water (there are three separate boilers, and yet another one for the radiators!), the alarm system (we will have panic buttons, eek! but the family lived there for years and never had a problem), the washing machine, the fridge (it has ice and water dispensers!) oh and probably other stuff.
Then the estate agents turned up, and we went round the house with fine tooth combs. That took the next two hours. Bill took the boys away to get drinks and snacks, but I had to stay there for the whole time.
We checked light switches, whether the laminate floor was glued down properly (not in a couple rooms) whether the sinks leaked (one did) whether the toilets flushed (there are 7, hee! Are you listening, Colleen?!)
The house is big. It was listed as a 4 bedroom, but it actually has 6. The reason that the other two weren't listed is because they are the "servicios" - a room for the Nana, or maybe for 2 Nanas, I don't know.
Um, the house is big. But we saw it and I fell in love with it. Pictures soon, of course! We have a two year lease, which *should* be renewable. The owners have moved to Mexico.
We finally got away from the house at about 7pm, which is a bit late when you haven't had any tea on a school night. We went to a restaurant in a shopping centre for a quick meal, then back here to the flat to put the boys to bed. They went down at 8.30, and have to get up at 6. oh dear.
We have now been here three weeks. I think getting a house, especially a house that I LOVE in that time scale is pretty good.
The only blot on our landscape is the non-appearance of our air shipment. It's here, in Santiago, but there is a strike in the government ministry that handles customs clearance. So we don't have it. We're going to hire some stuff so that we can move into the house - so the air mattresses and sleeping bags won't be getting used after all! Never mind. At this rate, we'll probably get the sea container before we get the air shipment!