Househunting, Casablanca

Jun 4, 2011 by        Blog

A vanguard of three arrives to hunt for apartments.  When you don’t really know exactly what your activities are, its hard to know what to hunt for:  how important is it to be centrally located?  Should we be renting a warehouse in the outskirts or an apartment in the center?

Casablanca is a big city, with big city prices and big city real-estate infrastructures. Romantic hopes aside, we’re not going to stumble across that empty old house which some bemused and benevolent neighbor is happy to rent at a village price.

We see lots of apartments. We imagine all seven of us living and working in two overpriced rooms, growing feral as the temperature rises.  We comb the city talking to waiters, doormen, taxi-drivers, fruit-cart guys.  Every neighborhood has its lazarillo, the guy who knows how to find stuff.  He trots around, asking, contacting, locating.  Most leads go nowhere.  We drink lots of tea waiting.

In the end, astonishingly, the best deal is a duplex in the swankiest neighborhood in town.  Not really what we had in mind, but our peaceful and productive co-habitation weighs in heavier than the chaabi charm of smaller candidates.

Yesterday we tried to move in but found the house still occupied by last month’s renters: three bleary-eyed and very large Saudis come to party hard in the Casa nightclubs.

Today we are installed.  Beyond Digital has a basecamp, already a tangle of wires and words.


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