Friday, September 14, 2012

Our Cambridge Apartment

I've had family and friends asking to "see" our new diggs in Cambridge.  I've taken a few pictures and panoramas (with the fantastic and free Photosynth app) and hope you can get a sense of our wee abode.

Remember, at the moment our Big-Box-O-Stuff hasn't arrived so everything you see in the pictures was either:
A. Already here (furnished apartment)
B. We brought with us to survive for the next 3 weeks (sleeping bags, camping kitchen gear, etc) or
C. We purchased at the giant Tesco (similar to a super Target/Walmart)

We already have some plans for where we want to hang photos and artwork, and with luck we'll make this place feel more home-like once our box arrives.

The Foyer: Doors from L - R: Front door, Kitchen, Bedroom, Bath)
Kitchen & Living Room
Standing in front of glass doors looking back.

Bedroom (complete with sleeping bags!)
View from Bedroom/Living Room Windows
Favorite Tesco Purchase: Turbo Fast Electric Tea Kettle.  (Flag Artwork by Kate Stirr)

Things we've learned so far (re: apartment & other):
  • The water in Cambridge is very hard.  This leaves lime and calcium deposits on the floors, sinks, glass, chrome.  It also leaves your skin feeling kinda chalky and dry.  Good times.
  • Many doors in our apartment don't have hinged latches, so in order to close them you kinda have to slam them shut = loud.
  • There are doors hung in each doorway to compartmentalize the apartment.  This is going to be a good thing come winter when we need to insulate/heat each room, but it can feel like a jungle of doors with each one propped open at the moment (hinges are spring loaded to auto-close).
  • The windows and glass doors have this handy thing where they can open two different ways.  Hinged at bottom letting air flow in from a ~3 inch opening at the top, or hinged at the side allowing them to open like a door.  The bedroom window opens a full 180 degrees so you can flip it over to clean the outside panel.  Very handy but a bit freaky when you live on the 4th floor (3rd floor by English standards).
  • Electric Tea Kettles are the bomb!  Boils ~6 cups of water in under 2 minutes!!
  • Hot water heaters run on a timer system.  You set the heater to come on during morning/evening hours (or whenever you anticipate you'll want hot water), and the rest of the time you leave it off.  If you should decide you want hot water during the timer's off hours you use the "booster".  This heats water in about 30 - 40 minutes after you flip the switch.  So far we've only run out of hot water once.  Poor Devin, the one time it happened he was in the middle of his shower.  
  • When biking or walking keep to the L.E.F.T.  Still trying to get the hang of that one.
  • Tipping: 10% not 20%
  • There's no outbound mailbox in our building.
  • It's common to have your groceries delivered.
  • Cell phone service is much cheaper here, and many plans have unlimited text and data for a mere £7 GBP a month!!! (that's only $11.20 USD!)  Sure beats my current AT&T rate of $70!
  • There are two tea times each day.  One in the morning, one in the afternoon.  I've not experienced this in a workplace yet, but Devin reports that it is awesome.  There are biscuits (=cookies!!)
  • There are foot and bike paths everywhere.  Cambridge is super easy to get around on foot or by bike.  Thank goodness we decided against a car.
That's all I've got for you so far.  Of course there's much more about the actual experience of living here that I could go on and on about, but I'll save that for another post.  I must pop out to the store now.  We're in need of a couple of plates to eat from.  Eating from plastic camping bowls can only get you so far.  Cheers!

1 comment:

  1. Wow...when I visited England in 1978 the hot water system was the same....It can be a rude awakening when one runs out of hot water!

    Beautiful view..