Hey Folks! I am very happy today 'cause Christmas is approaching :)
Less than two weeks to family gatherings, presents, traditional Italian food, cats and snuggles with my boyfriend. Yay! I can't wait.
I am leaving from Amsterdam on the 20th and will be off for 2 full weeks. How nice is that!
Also, some changes will be waiting for me when I am back: I will leave my current room and move into a nice apartment in the very city-centre of Utrecht! I am very excited about that, although of course I am not looking forward moving again, especially after less than 3 month since the last time I did. But I really haven't brought much stuff to the Netherlands, it all fits into one single box...so it should be pretty nice and fast.
I have already packed everything that I am not bringing with me to Italy, and this Sunday we are going to bring it into the new house, where it will sit waiting for me until January.
My housemate J. is going with me, so she can also see the house. I feel pretty sad about not sharing the house with her anymore...but I know we'll still be friends and that is such a nice feeling :)
As for the new house, I got quite a nice deal since the girl who's renting it is leaving for some volunteer work in the middle east, and she was looking for a sub-renter to keep her house until her return. She pays a low rent since the apartment is part of a social housing building. Social Housing in the Netherlands (sociale huurwoningen) is very common. Basically, private housing associations manage low-rent apartments with the aim of providing affordable housing. In the past such buildings were owned by the government and only managed by non-profit organizations - after 1995, the law changed and these organizations became financially independent, started owning the houses directly, and began focusing on their role as social entrepreneurs. There is a minimum availability of social housings in every city of the Netherlands: this is often very high, bordering 50% of the city buildings (!) in cities such Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht. (source: Wikipedia "Public Housing")
Access to these apartments is of course restricted to citizens with low income, students, or people with other special conditions. The waiting list is pretty long and it can be years before you are assigned one of these apartments.
Me, I was lucky enough to get to sub-rent one of them (it is all legal, a sort of "house-sitting" contract where I only get to live in the house while the renter is away, called huisbewaarderschap). I am not paying such a low rent as the girl's one, but my fee includes all expenses and furniture...and it's still good compared to rental pricing in Utrecht.
I am a little scared by this new, umpteenth change, but I am sure everything will turn out fine. Stay tuned for more updates!
|a sneak peek into my new house ;)|