Today we sealed the deal, paid the money and got the keys.
It works like this.
To get the keys.
We paid the deposit , which is three times the rent. Then the commission was about the same . Then the actual rent. Then you get keys--- We got the keys.
And this advice to my South African friends. It is fracking expensive to move. First from Southern Africa to St Maarten, about $80,000, then once we recovered there financially, another $50,000 to get to this point.
We have spent nearly 4 months living in Frankenfurter.
Frack, that was six weeks walking these streets until our feet hurt. We just walk into shops and ask if anyone knows of anything to rent. It is amazing what one can ferret out doing that. And the people are by and large very friendly here. So they quite willing to tell you the who’s who of the zoo. But you got to have a skin like a rhino, trust me.
And always there is this super high anxiety level, caused by not having a base, no focal point and no potential income.
But we learnt the ebb and flow of people in this area. We pierced and prodded and then on the internet we found this one.
Old, slightly wonky picture when Google drove past. Taken from Google earth. Google is handy, because it sometimes gives a snap shot of what things were like a year or two ago. Like this---it used to be an old bookshop.
From the back. Bucket full of work to make it up to standard. The front carpet we rip out first and tile the place out. At the back of the picture, which is the actual entrance of the shop, is a stair case that has to be remade.
As a normal shop it would fail all standards.
But Anne and I like this kind of placing.
We fix up the bathroom at our own expense and next week we start the major mission of moving the workshop from the Hague to Dusseldorf.
After Anne and I got the keys we went and toasted our new shop inside. We were both bubbly and slightly delirious with excitement.
From the other side. It is going to need a lot of work.
And then we planned and plotted and schemed….ha ha ----actually, all we went from there to the local hardware store called the Bauhaus, which is a giant hardware store that sells everything from roll of barbed wire to slightly used toilet paper. OK, not the last part, but anyway, we bought paint and tiles and stuff.
And a new vacuum cleaner. A wet or dry one. There were quite a few make and models. Anne chose the one that has the umlaut in the name. That way we know it was made in Germany—ha ha . I am FINALLY in a place where I don’t have to but Chinese made products. The quality of the products here is amazing compared to ST Maarten, which is a haven of grey and forged goods.
Tomorrow, we start ripping up the carpet in the front and check out how the colour of the tiles we think we want. We bought a single pack of them to give a square meter of colour. We like a sort of Terracotta colour tile. But now the immediate thing is that we paint everything white. I like having a white background before final colours come in. Once it is painted and carpet removed then we go to the Hague to fetch the rest of our life.
Check out the hand print on the bricks.
Lots of them. When the bricks were wet, before being put into the oven for firing.
Look, when one starts a business, it is always smart to have a good business model.
In this case the business model is hot.
These gentlemen are discussing the price of a ride. Note the disk brakes on the trike. That means she can stop in time……….
I am thinking of starting a separate blog of beautiful buildings. This one was built in 1854.
Note the rubbish modern building on either side.