As an expat, I feel life is very transient, and could ripped out from beneath me at any moment due to a vast number of predictable and surprise circumstances.    I don’t know if other expats feel this way, but because of these feelings, I did not have much interest in putting any effort into creating a living space which I really felt at home in.  But finally, I couldn’t take the cold space with a complete lack of any personality.

I had to re-do the living space in my flat.  There was no way around it anymore.  Although not without its own unique beauty, it’s undeniable that the desert is also stark and bland, and I was hoping to create somewhere to come home to that feels more lush and tropical.  You know, to make do until I can up and move to a fab hut but-not-really-a-hut in Bali.

So, for the past couple of weeks I’ve made some pretty big strides in changing the appearance and feel of the living area.  In addition to painting bamboo on the walls, we went in on buying a new couch and a small dining room table.  A trip to the plant souk yielded some more indoor plants, and finally – a more interesting, comfortable space has come to be.  Which also smells strongly of honeysuckle.  I had no idea a honeysuckle bush would end up ravaging my noseholes as badly as it has, but I seem to have gotten used to it now.


Generally, I’m done redecorating the living space but I still may paint in a random bamboo stalk in other parts of the flat for continuity’s sake.

I would looooove to get my beloved Shag print (‘She Dreams of the Alps’) back as well, which is currently hanging up at my parents’ house.  Problem (1) is, with the frame, it’s an outrageously heavy, large and tricky thing to take overseas.  I may try to work on a plan to bring it back from my June trip home.  Maybe give up the frame and just bring the print, then have it re-framed here?  Problem (2) is, the walls of our flat are so hard you can’t nail/screw anything in far enough to hold up anything substantial…like curtains, for example.  We tried, in vain, for a very long time.

I’m very sad to say, I don’t think I’ll ever have a flat that I liked and felt was as “me” as the flat I had in the Old City district of Philadelphia.  That flat was incredible.  Brick walls, exposed beam ceilings, wood-burning fire place (s’mores!),  25 feet across of floor-to-ceiling arched windows and in a killer part of town, t’boot…it was amazing.  As an added bonus, you could easily watch all the goings-on of the people in their condos across that street.  Man, I love being creepy.  Yes, I realize that also means people across the street could watch me just as easily.  Creep and let creep, I say.

As a side note: if the buyer of my old sofas is reading this, come pick them the fuck up already, I’m over seeing them clogging up my hallway.

2 thoughts on “Redecorating

  1. I can relate to the transient feeling. Lovely job with the bamboo. I kept telling myself I should paint the walls but I didn’t know what I was allowed to do. Instead, I finally starting framing and hanging up paintings, fabrics, and souvenirs I’ve accrued…. two years after the fact. I know I’ve succeeded when my friends visited and remarked that it actually reminds them of my home back in DC, even though none of the furniture here is mine.

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