Having decided to stay in Tallinn for a while, and quite content with the flat-sharing-with-Riho set-up, I’ve been looking on in fascination as he trawls through estate agent pages in search of a cheaper apartment for us to rent.
I am famously clueless at this sort of thing. I will never be able to forget some of the places I saw in Glasgow when I was flat-hunting during my student years: damp patches on ceilings; scary crazy men sleeping in stairwells; things growing in the dirt-filled gaps between ovens and walls; random loose wires hanging out of walls. That sort of thing. I remember arriving at one of them, taking a solitary depressed glance at the boarded-up window and rotting door, exchanging a glance with Red, and both of us walking away without a single word. And then there was the time I was looking for a house to rent by myself. I ended up in a really grotty little hole of a place in Cullybackey, with huge, wind-whistly gaps between the windows and their frames, where it took me approximately half an hour to get out of my parking space in the mornings, due to the fact that there was a previously unnoticed high school at the end of the street.
I don’t think things through, nor do I have even half the amount of common sense that would be needed to ask a question like “Is there any heating?” in a country where winter temperatures reach -25°C. And so it has fallen to Riho to single-handedly seek out the right place for us to spend the winter months. I have merely observed with great interest, making occasional constructively critical remarks like “I know this one is 2000EEK per month more expensive, but it has a dishwasher and a coffee machine!”. Someone has to consider the important matters, you know.
Tonight, though, having viewed a lovely city centre apartment that was already gone by the time we got home and decided to take it, and a beach apartment in Pirita that appeared to be falling down around us, I decided to have a little look-see for myself. I immediately decided that I was an excellent apartment-hunter, as the first place I found was absolutely perfect. It was compact (and therefore easily cleaned – these things are important to me). It was in the city centre (close to the Old Town, no need to spend a fortune on public transport). It was Seriously Funky. I mean, look at this. Click on veel pilte underneath the kitchen photo, and you’ll see all the pictures. How cool is that? A funky little microwave in a cool blue unit! Bar stools! Floor-to-ceiling windows with a harbour view!
I found myself rolling my eyes as I thought about how long it had taken Riho to find appropriate places. And here I was, finding The Place in a matter of seconds! Honestly – men. I called him over to look at it.
“Yes,” he said patiently, in response to my confident This Is The One assertions, “but you see, the problem here is that it has no bedrooms.”
And it doesn’t, you know. How can a flat have no bedrooms?! It’s not even like it’s a studio, with a bed in the living room. There are no beds whatsoever in this apartment! This was a little embarrassing, as realisations go.
“We could sleep on the floor…” I suggested meekly, staring wistfully at the funky blue kitchen. Riho looked pityingly at me for a long moment, and returned to his own, more practical flat-hunting.
I think I’ll stick to making helpful remarks about dishwashers and proximity to Chinese restaurants.