Here’s our house for the next 12 months. It’s a little yellow house that is clean and well lit inside, which is more than can be said for many of the rentals. Our address is 70 Checketts Ave, Halswell, Christchurch, 8025, New Zealand (southern hemisphere, planet earth, etc etc). I had to pick up the keys from the landlord’s house in a ritzy part of Fendalton (Christchurch), and I got a taste of what it’s like to be second class. Their house is VERY nice, made with good materials and bedecked with expensive furniture. We’ve gone backwards in the general societal ranking, paying expensive rent to those who own the house. The realization felt lousy. There’s a tint to the word “renter,” like if you’re a renter it’s because you’re too short-sighted to save up a down payment and own a house, or to incompetent to maintain a house of your own. Of course this isn’t always the case, especially in cities, but it still doesn’t feel good. I have to ask permission to paint the closet.
Milo likes the house. The yard is fenced and the kitchen cupboards are empty enough for him to fit into. I set up his room while he was sleeping in the car, and when we first walked in he gave a little “ah,” like “oh, this is my space.” I put the cheerful red blanket Emily made him on the floor like a rug and our colorful beach towels on other floor spaces, and he has the blanket Omi made him in the port-a-crib.
The shipment containing our stuff (dining table, dishes, couch, beds, etc) won’t be arriving for another 3 weeks, so the house is a bit bare at the moment. The landlords generously lent us a mattress, comforter, two living room chairs and a couple dishes, so here we are, eating dinner on the living room floor the first night. Try eating noodles with no fork sometime….but since that night we found a set of passable silverware at a flea market that includes both forks and spoons, a good thing.