Adam and I took possession of our first home last Monday. It’s an 80 square metre condo in the centre of The Hague. And it’s awesome. Before the official handing-over, we arrived at the flat to meet the seller and his real estate agent. As we did the final inspection they whispered to each other in Dutch, giving Adam and me an occasional nod and smile. I tested my increasing Dutch vocabulary by listening carefully for words like “dry rot”, “mice”, and “asbestos”. I knew those hours Dutch Spongebob would eventually pay off. Honestly, if you thought Spongebob was annoying in English, try him in Dutch. You’ll want to tear your own ears off and stuff them in your ear canals.
Anyway, everything looked good, and I didn’t catch the Dutch version of “dead body hidden behind that wall” so off we went to the lawyer’s office. There, we drank some coffee, signed some papers, shook some hands, had the ceremonial handing-over of the keys, and that was it. We were now home-owners.
We started the walk back towards to our old flat in stunned silence.
We took occasional glances at each other.
We cleared our throats.
Someone eventually muttered something about getting lighting fixtures.
And how, “Did you see the bottle of champagne the estate agent brought for the seller?”
And like, “Why don’t we have a bottle of champagne? It’s our money that bought that champagne, dammit.”
And then, “Naw, it’s the bank’s money.”
And, “Heheh, true…”
Heheh… hehehhehehe… HEE HEE HAAAAW HAAAW HAAW!!!!
We stopped at McDonald’s on the way home and each had a celebratory Meal Deal. We clinked our giant cups of coke and said, eff you champagne! We were giddy enough without it.