Our house is our castle


Within the 48 hours Anna and I also found ourselves the flat of our dreams. I have to be honest here, two people in particular have been of tremendous help. One is sister dark fairy from the lowlands Jameela who brought us in contact with fellow student Ali (we all know each other from uni in London). Ali made this fantastic deal on this particular flat. He paid the deposit, but his wife Summaira changed her mind and didn’t want to live there. This flat is enoooormous in a lively neighbourhood not too far from the university. The flat is horribly grown up. Two -yes indeed, two-living rooms, three bedrooms, telly with 800 channels, large kitchen with two ovens, bathroom with washing machine, second toilet and two large balconies. The furnishing and finishing is immaculate. Ali arranged with the estate agent to pay 2200 LE (Egyptian pounds) a month which is currently 245 pound sterling or €270. We have internet too for which we pay a bit extra. Now if you are used to London rent prices this is absolute peanuts and even for Egyptian standards this is a very, very, very good deal. This deal was made between two men of the same creed. Ali was honest enough to tell us that kafirs, of which the polite translations is ‘non-muslims’, would be paying at least 50% more. Nice…

As said, Ali already paid a deposit of 1000 LE which is a lot of money and he would lose this. Now he had the change to get his deposit back. He negotiated with the estate agent and the landlord on our behalf since the estate agent didn’t speak any English and although we had had a little Arabic for business last term, there is no way we could have done the negotiating in Arabic. Although the estate agent wanted to charge us more money Ali arranged we would be paying the same rent as he had negotiated for himself and his wife. We paid Ali the deposit and paid a first month’s rent to the landlord. Apparently the owner, or the landlord –or both- prefers muslims in the flat. If it wasn’t for Ali we wouldn’t be living in this flat and if we were we would be paying double the rent and I don’t think we would have done that anyway.

I am sure that the landlord will be charging at least double in summer when half of Egypt and every Arab from the Gulf are flocking to Alex for its relative coolness. It can still be as hot as 35 degrees Celsius in that time of year if not hotter, but that is a minor detail. I am living in a goooorgeous flat and I am a very happy fairy.


About Lemba

Non-conformist Writing Soul and Language Geek from the Lowlands with a South London accent, currently living a nomadic, location- independent lifestyle. While executing the Big Fat Writing Plan I’m invading cyberspace with my views on 'expat living', travel and other lifestyle choices, current affairs and other randomness. Welcome to the Dark Fairy Zone.

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