Initially when we talked about housing, Brandon and I decided to live in the compound. It had lots of storage space (amazing closets and a storage unit downstairs), it was very safe, and there were places for the girls to play.
So, when we were asked about our preferences for housing we indicated that we would like to stay at 55/17 a compound in a quiet area close to two vital things: the pool and church.
However, we soon heard back that 55/17 had no available 4-bedroom apartments (1 bedroom for us, 1 for Kathleen, 1 for Sophia, and 1 for Edwin). The other compound that did have 4-bedroom apartments was 11/11, which is in a much noisier part of town, being right next to the only bridge that goes over the metro for several miles. Not only were the only apartments in 11/11, but the apartments were actually 1000 square feet less than our ‘allotted’ space for our family size (housing is one part where fertility is on one’s side).
Suddenly storage space, safety, and a place to play were a lot less crucial. Who needs a grubby little playground when you can have 1000 extra square feet? Besides, we can always walk to the pool. There’s a nicer playground there.
True to our sexes, Brandon and I faced off on opposing sides. He was against moving and wondered why we really needed 1000 extra square feet. After talking to a friend who had just moved from Egypt and had not lived on the compound (who highly recommended local housing), I fell on the side of more space. I felt that really, I needed all of that extra space. We’d have more rooms for the kids to go play in, right? And when we had people over for dinner (in our roaring social life) then we could shoo the children off to another room for them to play with a babysitter. Really, it would be so much better. Ahh, greediness. If one is given the choice of 1400 or 2400 square feet, 1400 which was just fine before 2400 became an option, suddenly become paltry and un-livable. This is coming from someone who’s last real domicile was stretching to be called 800 square feet.
But, in the end, after I promised to do all of the unpacking and packing myself and promised not to complain about moving and cajoled and made sad eyes at him, Brandon finally threw up his hands and said something about whatever I did I should do quickly.
So we’re moving on up (on up) to that apartment in the sky. And just like the Jeffersons, we’re going to have to endure some strange looks from our neighbors because everybody knows (especially us) that we have no business inhabiting such exalted space.