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Only do. -Yoda

Yesterday did not go at all as I had planned but it ended exactly where it should have. The plan was to go to work for the day, meet the agent at the apartment to sign the papers and get the keys, then end the night at the National Ballet. Sounds easy and straightforward but the day ended up going every way but straight or forward.

I had packed a full, large suitcase to drag along to work and to the new apartment as the owner gave me the go-ahead to move my things in this weekend. As I left for work, I gathered all of my crap, put on my coat and headed out the door. About halfway to work as I was sitting on the metro I realized I’d forgotten to put on my blazer. High of 6 and I’m wearing a sleeveless blouse under my coat. Awesome.

Halfway through the day I called the agent to confirm our meeting after work at which time she told me she couldn’t give me the keys because I hadn’t paid the deposit, first month’s rent, and agency fee. When was I supposed to do that? I’m used to just handing over a check. I’d forgotten that people here don’t use checks. You don’t get them when you open an account and I’m not sure that I’ve even seen one since I’ve been here. Everything is cash, PIN, or electronic transfer. So now I have to leave work early and find a bank branch somewhere between my office and their office so I can get out the cash and pay what I owe.

Thanks to Google Maps I found a location near a metro stop halfway between work and my destination. I get off the metro dragging a big suitcase, a laptop bag (with laptop), and a shopping bag full of miscellaneous junk. As I round the corner I realize that this location, though owned by the bank, is not a branch with cash. It’s their IT center. Great! Turn around, back on the metro, on to plan b. Too bad I didn’t have a plan b.

My savior for the day was my Brit expat friend who found me a branch (with money) and let me leave my suitcase and shopping bag with her while I figured the rest out. Found the bank, got the cash, then hiked a country mile to the agency office. Once I paid up the agent and I went to the apartment for the walk through and key ceremony.

After the way the day had gone and the number of times I felt like there was something trying to prevent me from getting this place and all the stress and worry, I walked into the apartment and picked up a note the owner had left behind. It said:

Dear Rachel,

Take care of our “cloud nine.” He has been witness of many beautiful moments. These house has a special soul, it has her own life, you’ll understand why soon.

We do hope that are as happy as we have been in these wonderful place.

Open the windows in a sunny day…sit, look, and enjoy. ¡Pura vida!

That’s when I knew I was exactly where I was supposed to be. I got the keys, left my things and met my friend and her parents for a nice dinner and a beautiful ballet followed by a night cap. By this time it was after midnight and the metros were no longer running back to the burbs. Instead of taking the night bus (a one hour ride) I went back to my new apartment, walked around flipping switches, opening doors and drawers, and unpacking my bag. Finally, around 1am, my motor cooled down. I climbed in my new bed, laid my head on my new pillow, and drifted off to sleep. Now I’m back at the old place having made a hearty breakfast and planning my attack on the rest of the move.

Friday was insane and there were a million times I felt like I should just give up on the whole thing. Like things were getting in my way for a reason, as a sign. But just to prove to myself that sometimes you just have to make things happen, I did. I pushed forward, ignored what was going on around me, and went after what I wanted. And I got it. And when I walked in and saw that note, all the stress of the day lifted.

I am looking forward to the next 10 months in my new home.

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