|Isn't it normal to keep the wardrobe doors open all the time?|
|Is it Kabul? Is it a town in Morocco? No, it's Msida in Malta!|
A couple of months ago I did one post on my thoughts on everyday life in here but I think it's time to do one in particular about the housing here. One of the main aspects of living somewhere is, well, the place you live in, aka home. I have briefly mentioned that the rental prices in Malta are fairly high compared to the salaries and you can't be too picky when choosing the apartment. The demand seems to exceed the supply leading to inflated prices and having to accept that you are either going to pay a big part of your wages to the landlord, or live in a place less conveniently located, or in a tiny crappy flat or, in worst cases, all of the above. Like the case was in Spain as well, even the super-expensive, deceptively modern-looking penthouse apartments might turn out to be badly built and end up being just as drafty and damp than the older, less-luxurious-looking apartments that us mere mortals can afford. Speaking of damp, it is considered pretty much a normal thing for a flat - also our landlady mentioned the other time she had to investigate whether the apartment below us (which they also own) had a leak or if it was "just mould". That sentence covers quite well what they think of mould - it's just mould, nothing needs to be done about it. You can just wipe it off and if the paint peels off the wall because of the damp, well, you just paint over it and that's it. By now I'm kind of used to this way of thinking as well and I also wipe down the walls where the mould becomes visible with some chemical solution I don't really even want to think about. I also routinely keep the wardrobe doors and the drawers open most of the time to prevent the clothes from becoming mouldy. Dehumidifier that we used in the winter time was quite helpful, in the summer time we just keep the windows open as much as possible. In this post you won't see nice tourist-brochure-type of pictures but the raw reality of everyday life - pics from our flat and the view from the balcony, here we go!
|View over a typical Maltese town - dominated by the church|
Tänne muuttaessamme oli toukokuun loppu ja kesäsesonki aluillaan, joten monet vuokranantajat halusivat mieluummin antaa asuntonsa lyhytaikaiselle vuokralle turisteille. Oletimme, että talvella voisimme ehkä löytää jotain halvempaa, mutta mitä vielä. Olen pitänyt jonkin verran silmällä vuokrailmoituksia, mutta ei sieltä tahdo löytyä oikein mitään meidän kämppäämme halvempaa, ellei se sitten sijaitse suunnilleen niin kaukana työpaikaltani kuin Maltan puitteissa vain on mahdollista. Ettei nyt menisi ihan valittamiseksi, huomautettakoon että loppujen lopuksi olemme ihan suht tyytyväisiä pieneen valoisaan asuntoomme ja vuokranantajakin on ihan kohtalaisen luotettava - suurin osa lupauksista on pidetty kohtuullisessa ajassa ja esimerkiksi temppuileva pesukone vaihdettiin samalla viikolla kun siitä ilmoitimme. Sitä kuulee niin paljon kauhutarinoita hirveistä vuokrantajista, hukkaan menneistä takuuvuokrista yms. että pitää olla kiitollinen siitä, mitä meillä on. Ensi kesäksi pyysimme kylläkin vuokranantajia asentamaan ilmastoinnin, sillä viime kesä oli helvetillisen kuuma ilmastoimattomassa kämpässä! Näillä siis mennään, on sitä huonommissakin olosuhteissa asuttu.
When we were looking for a place it was the end of May, close to the coming summer season and we had the idea that maybe in the wintertime we would be able to find something cheaper. No sir. I have kept an eye on the rental ads just in case, but actually I have not come across any private flats (as in not sharing) that would be cheaper than ours, unless they are located about as far away from my work place as possible in Malta's scale. So that I wouldn't sound like an annoying complaining expat, I think we did pretty well with the flat and even the landlord seems fairly reliable - they have done most of the things they promised within a reasonable time frame, even replacing our washing machine the same week it started playing up. You hear a lot of stories of horrible landlords, deposits that go missing etc. so I think we have to be pretty grateful for what we got. For the coming summer we requested an aircon to be put in though as last summer was really hellish without it! It is what it is for the time being, let's not forget we have lived in worse places than this...