Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Home Sweet Home!

by Eric

As Karissa has written, we moved to our home for the year a few weeks ago. It is SO NICE to have our own place again! The hotel was okay for the transition, but after a month there, we were ready to have a little more space to live in!

A week before we moved in, we were taken on a tour of the place. It's a 5 story house, with one room on each floor. Not exactly a common design in the states! The first floor was a big empty tile room. The 2nd floor looked like this:

I would post 'before' pics of the 3rd and 4th floors, but they would look exactly the same. The layout of the house was tile room, bedroom, bedroom, bedroom, laundry/balcony. It looked nice, but it was missing some key things...like a kitchen!

Our contract outlines that our housing must include a kitchen. So we chatted with them about what floor we'd like make into a kitchen. We thought the third floor would be best because it has a built in wall desk that we thought could double as a kitchen counter. When we requested this, they landlord talked back and forth with our school rep in Vietnamese for a few minutes before we were told “The 2nd floor has the water pipes to become a kitchen, so they would like to build it here. It will take maybe 10 days.” We left the tour happy to know that we'd soon be moving out of the hotel and wondering exactly what type of kitchen you can build in 10 days.

Five days later, we got a call. “The kitchen is finished, so you will move in tomorrow.” Again, exciting but a little unsettling. What kind of kitchen can you put together in FIVE days??? At training, they stressed the importance of having low expectations. So as we took a taxi to our new home, I tried to picture as basic a kitchen as possible. Hot plate and mini-fridge basic... If we were going to be surprised by the kitchen, we wanted it to be a positive surprise.

So what did we see when we walked in to our new kitchen? A very positive surprise!


Some of the things in these pictures actually came a little later. The fridge and the table/chairs came later that day. And the cabinets were added two weeks later. Needless to say, our low expectations were exceeded by miles! Or maybe kilometers since we're in Asia...

The bed had been taken out of the third floor and some of the furniture that had been on the first floor had been moved up there. We're currently using the third floor as our 'hang out room' and Karissa uses the desk for lesson planning.

Our bedroom is on the fourth floor. This room also has a built in desk, so I use that for lesson planning. We're not the only 5 story building on the street, but we're taller than the buildings across from
us so we have a view of the river from the fourth and fifth floors.

The fifth floor is half indoors and half outdoors. Our new washing machine is up there. We still have to hang our clothes to dry, but we can choose if we want to have them indoors or out. Now that the weather is cooling off, we've talked about using the balcony a bit more for hanging out. We don't have any chairs up there yet, but we may be getting some after another pay check or two. It's a pretty cool view of the city up there!

So there it is! Our new home! We're very happy with the accommodations our school found for us. Our landlords are great. We have a great location. And we have air conditioning!


  1. Nice! Your kitchen has about 3x the cupboard space that mine has. Happy for you. :) :)

  2. Nice looking place! I bet you're LOVING having a place of your own.