This is Zund-Zund. Despite looking exhausted and somewhat bedraggled in this picture, Liz’s new kitten is well on his way to becoming roly-poly and looks to have a promising career as an acrobat/parcour athlete, which I guess is the hoped-for result when you take an animal from living on the streets of Morocco to the posh life of sharing an apartment with two doting Americans.
The arrival of this little was the second of big changes in our lives and will forever be inseparably connected to the first – moving to a new apartment.
Since coming to T– and moving out of our host family’s house, Liz and I had been sharing a two-bedroom apartment on the first floor of a building. Because it was situated in the center of the building, the apartment remained nice and cool in the summer, somewhat like a cave. Unfortunately, it was also cave-like in that it had no exterior windows, only a central courtyard that extended up through the center of the building to the roof.
Thanks to a member of our extended host family moving, however, we began to hear a lot more about different apartment options in town, and ended up taking look at the one above where our host uncle moved to.
It has not only five windows, but a significantly larger kitchen, and three bedrooms, which seems like a palace.
Deciding we wanted the place, however, turned out to be the easy part. Heck, hauling all our stuff between the two places seemed like the easy part compared to the feat of mental will-power it is to get your utilities changed to a different address.
In the U.S., of course, rentals usually come with a water and electricity meter already installed. Just call the appropriate company and have the bill switched over into your name.
The Moroccan system is that every new tenant must bring their own water and electricity meters, and when they leave, those meters are removed.
All this meant a careful orchestration of timing to allow us to get the meters installed (which takes at least two days of solid running back and forth between the two offices filling out forms, making sure the right fees are paid, and that the meter eventually gets attached to the right apartment.
Very luckily for us, our host uncle gave up several days of his busy life to walk around with us and get everything arranged. Without him, I’m pretty sure we would still be living in a water and electricity-free zone.
We began the process on Monday, Jan. 27 with the signing of our contract with our landlord and the initial trips to the water and electricity offices. That took most of the day.
On the 28th, we began sweeping and getting rid of dust, just about the only cleaning we could do without water. That afternoon, Liz looked out the window and saw a trio of impossibly tiny kittens running confusedly through our alley. Running down she caught one and thus was the coming of Zund-Zund.
On the 29th the water was finally on and everything got a good scrubbing, at least by our standards. On the 30th electricity was finally on and just in time for our moving truck to arrive in the late afternoon.
Ever since signing our contract and getting things marginally clean, however, we had started carrying smaller items over by hand – things that could be easily put in bags, clothing, drawers, kitchen items – anything we could carry to feel like we were making progress. Our bigger items, like our fridge, beds and tables, were put on a truck and driven over. The loading and unloading of the truck took less than an hour.
Our Internet took until yesterday to get set up. Today, we had a friend of ours come over and fix the drip in our bathroom sink and install a light fixture in the living room.
Any time you change residences, a lot of work is involved, but it takes significantly more patience and finesse to do here. I’m glad we did it and I’m even more glad that the process is over. And now we have an extra bedroom, in case anyone might decide to spend their extra money on flying across the ocean to visit us…