Or in our case, isn’t.
The apartment has lost its magic this holiday season because things only kind of work.
Take the heat. Our building has a boiler. Our apartment has radiators. Somewhere in time and space, the two are supposed to get together and provide warmth to apartment number 9. Unfortunately, this isn’t happening. The hottest we’ve been able to reach, and I use the word loosely, is 16 degrees. About 64 degrees in America, sweet, sweet land where I remember heat magically coming into my apartment year after year. Even with the radiators cranked up to 5 (even the number sounds puny), this is it. So it’s oldie-timie here. We’re wearing thick sweaters, puffy slippers, sometimes hats. Space heaters are in effect, but it’s a careful dance to not overload the finicky circuit breaker. Two heaters maximum–and no running the dishwasher at the same time. Ditto for clothes, which is fine because we’re wearing most of them anyway.
Then there is the elevator, which in Italy is called a lift. Actually it’s called an ascenscore but always translated in the British style. What’s important is this: ours works 80% of the time. This figure may seem like a lot but the 20% failure rate packs a punch. It’s usually out of commission just as I’ve gotten Phoebe bundled up in her stroller, Carter collared and everyone out the door. We press the button and…nothing. Or, even more frustrating, the elevator comes but the door doesn’t open. From the 5th floor, it’s not possible to bump down the steps out the door. And let’s face it, Carter isn’t much help. So, it’s back inside to unbundle, repack and break out the Bjorn. Sometimes this involves changing my outfit to accomodate the new demands of the errand, almost always my coat. Mid-process I think to myself, Without the stroller basket, do I need pockets? What about a big bag? If I can’t carry everything in one trip, what’s most important to get now? When is this kid going to start walking? When is this kid going to start walking the dog? And so on.
These annoying failures, coupled with the neighborhood yelling and the general mediocre feeling I’ve always had for the pad have caused quite a stir this weekend. Our landlords have been notified, repairmen are on their way…and we’ve started looking at other places. As always, I’d like to live in an oasis of quiet and green; Paul would like something more lively, with interesting things just outside our door.
We’ll see what happens but either way, I will say one thing. It will be warm. If I have to start wearing a Santa costume around the house just to keep cozy, you’ll see me at the Big Belts store first thing in the morning. They’re probably on sale now anyway.