Being an important alien…

It’s so strange being an ex-pat. Particularly because the job I’m doing is quite senior, so I suddenly find people running around after me with a deference that makes me quite uncomfortable. I don’t need car doors opened for me, nor do I expect to be called Señora on a regular basis!

It’s been particularly strange looking for an apartment. It’s partly a cultural difference – there seem to be very few small apartments or houses here – presumably because people live in larger households here than in London. So I’ve got used to the idea of being in a big apartment. But the style of furnishings believed attractive for foreign staff is really rather strange – a combination of luxurious and kitsch!

One apartment I saw had a stunning view of the city, but the decoration was weird! Some really lovely and luxurious solid wood furniture, but incredibly kitschy decoration. Pictures of angels everywhere, including an unbelievable fountain/font effort with cherubs sitting on rocks… utterly bizarre! The front room was designed for formal entertaining for about 40-50 people. It even had its own bar! And it was so big that I nearly got lost… It seems virtually impossible to find an apartment with less than three bedrooms (not even counting the bedroom and separate bathroom for the maid, which is a bit silly as I certainly don’t want a live in maid!). Trying to find something that is a reasonable size but has the things I need has been really quite challenging.

Anyway, I think I’ve finally found a place I like – it only has two bedrooms, is not overdecorated, and has an astounding view of the city! It was the first place that felt like I could be at home in for six months.


4 responses to “Being an important alien…

  1. I was just noting that I like kitsch, but I’m not sure I’d want to live with it, especially in the form of cherubs and angels sitting, floating, flying and otherwise taking up most of the decorative space.

    I’m glad you found a place you can feel at home in. 🙂

  2. Thanks Robin – kitsch can be OK in the right place – but this was an extreme of kitsch that would have had me jumping out of windows had I attempted to live there!

  3. Still, to have the ability to make choices over where you want to live, and to be in the position of turning down the grander places!

    It sounds like they are into baroque or even rococo,
    which is very Latin. They like to dress their saints and madonnas.

  4. Oh, I’m not really complaining – I enjoy creatures comforts as long as they don’t turn into ridiculous levels of luxury!

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