Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Big day today

Today was a big day.

We got the keys to the new flat and got our settlement papers finalized.

First: The flat. It's traditional to have a formal handover with the landlord on the first day of a lease. He is a very distinguished looking gentleman and she is his very sweet, rather elegant mom. Turns out, I knew the man, he worked in the same building as I do! We saw each other all the time in the elevators. Oslo is a lot like Austin in that regard, it's small enough that you start to recognize faces after a while. But to have one of those faces become your landlord...that's pretty co-inky-dinky to say the least. The landlords are very nice, and there is a full time caretaker on the property, which is rare and AWESOME to have on site. The building is big, but so are the apartments, and it seems to be well run by the family who have owned it since it was built, I believe. The mother of the landlady was born in our flat in the early part of last century.

But yes, we got the keys. BOY did we get keys...21 of them! So damn many keys. Keys to about 10 different doors (trappebod, kjellerbod, kjeller, kjøkkentrapp, porten, entre, kjøkkendør, front door, main door, and some others), security key, post box key....oh my god there are KEYS. I'm going to have to be like one of those Victorian chatelaines with the ring of keys at her waist. I'll have to use four keys just to get into the apartment. A far cry from our 'one key fits all' apartment now.

BUT I CAN'T WAIT TO GET IN THERE. (Even if the cellar is VERY SCARY. I'm pretty sure that will be Rich's job, to get anything from down there that needs gettin'. Boo scary.)

After the handover, we went to the UDI to get our settlement permit finished. We applied for (and got) 'permanent' settlement in Norway. It lasts for 10 years. For the past 7 years we had to reapply every year for our work permits, at great cost and inconvenience, with the rest of the huddled masses and refugees. We won't have to do that any more, and oh what a relief of both time, effort and our nostrils (some of the huddled masses really smelled.). And, oddly, the UDI said it would take 9 to 10 months to get our settlement finalized...and it took one and a half months. So, wow.

In one day we got a new apartment and a new country.

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