Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Oh No - all that shit in the basement!

 One of the things we discovered a while ago here was that we were liable for anything that went wrong in the apartment – except for the air conditioning.

That is – when the water heating system – or anything else stops working – it is our problem. We thought this was a bit unusual at first – but so was everything else here – so paid up a few times because we were told this was the normal thing. But then we got a fairly large bills because one of the 3 toilets clagged out and the water heater exploded and we dug our toes and we said this is ridiculous.

We (i.e. Ducky Pharma) pays a colossal amount of money to the Landlord each month and we are being stung for repairs and maintenance – and I mean WE - Cate and Badger! (well Cate – Badger does not actually earn anything but contributes in oh so many other ways.)

So frothing at the mouth Badger got Rozalin to check the lease – which of course is in German – and probably runs to 600 pages – and sure enough is says in there that the tenants – US – are indeed liable for anything that happens in here.

And BTW – Rozalin is Cate’s faithful assistant and Girl Friday and is married to the delightful Holger who pretends not to speak English so he does not have to go out on double-dates with us. But we know he does speak English. He will go red when Rozalin reads him this.

She is a wonderful woman who speaks perfect English and is probably the worlds most fanatical AC/DC fan. Which of course is justifiable given that they are the greatest rock and roll band in the world and will shortly be declared a World Heritage Site.

I saw Angus Young interviewed a little while ago and I think he has reached the stage he will not be up to this speaking out loud caper much longer. I am sure he does not do drugs any more but many years of alcohol and head shaking have taken their toll. Still -  he could probably be a spokesman for the Tea Party – maybe even a leadership position awaits him.

Rozalin was once married to an American soldier and lived on an army base in one of the Carolinas but recovered her wits and fled back to Austria.

She is the owner of Sissi’s sister – Balu –and to embarrass her I have attached an appropriate photo of her with Mogli and Balu. 

Where TF was I?

Oh yes. So some nitwit in Ducky Pharma signed a lease that said we would pay for anything that went wrong in the apartment. Brilliant!

Now it is a sensational apartment. It is a Penthouse. It has 5 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms and a gigantic lounge room and 2 terraces with a view over the city and Stadtpark and I am guessing that if we wanted to buy it we would need about €3 million.

It is the sort of apartment that companies provide for expatriates who have to spend a few years in place – work their butts off – and move on. It is twice the size of our little house next to the city in Sydney and we are very grateful to live in it.

But it is old.

And it is starting to fall to bits. And the last thing I would have in a lease for an apartment like this is that I would pay for things that break. We simply do not want to be responsible for stuff that does not belong to us. Indeed we cannot imagine why anyone would put us in this sort of situation. Well we can but I cannot write why.

So I thought I would find when the lease expires to ensure that we fix the problem when  we renew.

Uh Oh!

The lease expires in August. The Landlord has not contacted us. I am guessing he is not renewing the lease and we are going to have to find another place to live.

That means I am going to have to move all that shit in the basement.

All those fucking towels.



  1. Why not do a free-give-away blog? People do it all the time to get rid of stuff.

  2. Having just cleared out our basement ourselves in preparation for the move, I am smiling (no, grinning) with sympathy! Yikes - good luck with that - and good luck with finding a new place as well since that can be a bit kooky too here. That could be a month's worth of blog postings right there!

  3. Tell him you want to renew. Landlords dread a lapse between tenants. They pray for a sure thing unless, of course, he has someone else on the hook about the place.

    Wait until you come to the States. It's so much easier here and there are laws bundled together, called "Tenant Rights". Our landlord puts out a bundle on our cottage because we pay faithfully on the first, we always renew our lease, and we have a history of longevity. He's not going to muck about with that.

    And we live in Dogspot, Bible Belt, USA.

  4. Why don't you take advantage of this end-of-lease situation to move out into the countryside? I'm sure there are delightful rural environments in the vicinity of the Austrian capital where "Ducky Pharma" (Do we win a plastic keyring for correctly identifying this Indianopolis pharmaceutical multinational?) could rent you a charming place enabling you to spread yourselves out a little. Maybe there are reasons (of which I'm unaware) that might oblige you and Cate to reside in the heart of the metropolis. Ah, the Wienerwald, what a romantic dream landscape!

  5. Merisi: Yes: Free Towels you can watch TV through


    SK Waller: Pray for us

    William: Well - Cate wants to walk to work - there is the problem!

  6. As a former Parisian (for some 30 years), I understand perfectly the charm of the notion of walking to walk… although I hasten to add that I never once had the joy of making this lovely concept a reality (unlike Christine, when she had her Albertine bookshop in the Latin Quarter). An updated variant, slightly more realistic, would consist of cycling to and from work. I don't know how you were accustomed to handling the commuting aspects of work in Sydney, where the spread-out style of existence, combined with lousy public transport and choked thoroughfares, has made moving around most difficult and unpleasant. And how do you plan to handle this question in Indianapolis? At one stage in life (surely the last, but probably the best), I believe that we need to descend from our crazy rat-race pedestals, take out a copy of Henry David Thoreau's Walden, and seek some kind of inner calm that puts us in harmony with the realities of our fleeting existence on the planet Earth. We need to jump off jets, bid farewell to expensive hotels and restaurants, put an end to all kinds of luxurious illusions, including exotic excursions to make-believe tropical or arctic paradises, and settle down somewhere, calmly, authentically and enthusiastically… with an unpretentious blog enabling us to talk about how happy we are.

  7. William: The days of walking to walk will end with Vienna. It is an indulgence made possible only in a city unique for its structure and size. I regret that Indianapolis is a vast metropolis ruled by the automobile. I am lucky that I did in fact remove myself from the rat-race but still enjoy the fringe benefits.