Saturday, September 17, 2011

The Villa

So when we first knew we were coming to Abu Dhabi, I had this vision of all the teachers being housed in villas next door to each other. I had no idea housing was so expensive! All last year, I'd look longingly at those high-walled, multi-storied buildings, then head back to our apartment building in the Tourist Club. I was determined to get us into a place with some outdoor space and parking.

We used an agent from Silver Lake Property Management. We'd hoped to rent directly from a landlord and skip the agent fee, but we couldn't find what we wanted on our own. Silver Lake had several villas advertised in our price range, so we were really excited. Then we met our agent, Joseph, and found out that the villas we could afford were all sublets, and so not allowed for our contracts. What a letdown. We almost gave up, but instead kept asking Joseph, "Do you have anything a little further out of the city?" He finally took us to the villa we are moving into now. It meets every dream I had about living here, except for a pool. And what a connection we've made with our well-connected landlord!

He's in the government, apparently, and also owns several businesses. When he says, "Jump," people do. He got our contract approved in one day and our electricity connected the next day. He is helping us get our stuff moved into the villa, and already arranged a cleaner to come daily, whom we will pay once a month. He is appalled that we would pay full price for anything, and insisted on ordering our bedroom furniture himself, so we are paying half price. Wow. Today, I mentioned that one of the outlets wasn't working, and he went to his car and brought me one in a package that says it is "24 carat gold plated". And I thought all the outlets were just a pretty, shiny, gold color!

We hope to be moved in by the end of next week. Anyone want to come visit?

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