Village Patrimmonia: Studio-Living at 72 Rue César Franck

[Week 75] Home in Brussels v2.0
[Week 75] Home in Brussels v2.0
Finally, room to breathe. The student kots next door were adorable at first, but are really too claustrophobic after you’ve reached a certain age. These studios though, are the perfect size for a single postgrad.

Despite my new studio being literally right across the hall from my old kot, it was necessary to bring all my belongings all the way down four flights of stairs, out the building, around the street, and all the way up another four floors to get them here. I am eternally grateful for the boy, who flew all the way from Gothenburg to Brussels to help, as well as Jasmin and Amber who I am sure had better things to do than lift twenty kilos of my groceries from one apartment to the other that day. Considering that the fumes of new paint and elevator varnish were still palpable in the air, it was a miracle I was the only one to fall ill that day.

So far this side more enjoyable than the other side, despite the obvious difficulties of the building also still being under construction and the lifts still not working. Being on the side facing the university aka “the expensive apartment side,” the view is much improved compared to what we had before— which was mostly half-naked fellow residents, to be honest. I suppose it would depend then on your personal preference, but I prefer the skyline. I now have an actual table to eat food on, and actual shelves to put books on, and an actual mirror to see my face in! Besides this, it’s much quieter on this side seeing as the drunkenness is generally confined to the courtyard.

Alas, we cannot escape the problems of questionable construction.
Alas, we cannot escape the problems of questionable construction.

There are some minor issues: water damage is what greeted me when I returned from the holidays, as well as a still non-functioning elevator, heating remains iffy, my IKEA shelf is not assembled correctly (the shelving is lopsided and a door hinge is unhinged), and apparently a hobo moved in to one of the empty rooms while I was away (and I accused of leaving the main door unlocked and letting said hobo in… from Manila?), but hey, small things.

Laurence, who manages Patrimmonia has been quite helpful, and indeed has already sent people to survey the water damage and fix other minor problems with the place. Some not so minor problems included the fridge— mine was completely non-functional, and when it was replaced with another fridge from an apartment downstairs, that fridge too didn’t work! My fridge problem was quite urgent as I keep my insulin in the fridge and obviously I had to not only throw away my vials from over the Christmas holiday, but also the vials that I had bought post-replacement of the original fridge. I did appreciate the hard work the men in the building did for me though, they replaced those fridges without the help of an elevator and as anyone knows, those things are impossibly heavy. In the end, the third replacement fridge worked.

We are still on the same internet system as the other Patrimmonia residents, so everything is slow and censored, but we’d been living there since October so one gets used to it. It’s actually cheaper and less frustrating for me to just keep topping up my Mobile Vikings subscription and use that internet than use my home one, which is a sad situation to be in.

At the point I moved out of my kot and into my studio, rent reduction negotiations for the whole Village Patrimmonia were still up in the air. We want reductions for all the months that construction was on-going, which included November, December, and January— imagine trying to study for your finals with men drilling concrete nearby!­— but as of writing this the answer was still ‘no,’ and the construction still on-going. Indeed, the fight goes on… and so do the construction works.

Not a
Not a “real” kitchen yet, but I’m loving having an actual table to eat on.
One of the few perks of living here: being forever-neighbors with Jasmin!
One of the few perks of living here: being forever-neighbors with Jasmin!
Sunset view over Brussels.
Sunset view over Brussels.

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