On December 30th 1996, I landed on San Francisco airport. Michael and our friends Sylvia and Richard welcomed me properly. Since I arrived at night, I could only admire the lights of the city. I was quite excited of our apartment and I have to admit that I wasn’t disappointed. Despite of only having two rooms, the apartment is spacious enough for the two of us because we didn’t bring that much furniture. I guess we’ll get pretty comfortable. We’ve already bought a futon-couch. It can be used as a bed for guests at the same time: You can tell, we’re thinking practically.
Our kitchen is -- as Michael already described -- sort of American-uglyish. The most fascinating to me is the extra large stove and the refrigerator. Also a funny thing are the obligatory emergency stairs that can be abused as a balcony in summer. The view out of our window is stunning. We can see palm trees, Victorian buildings, the skyline of San Francisco and, on a sunny day, we can even see the Bay and the ships cruising there.
There are seven parties living in our house, most of them young people, all being very nice. The house belongs to a Chinese man who never shows up. He lets his estate agent handle everything. The house quite ressembles my student home during my studies in Münster. The neighborhood where we are living is called Noe Valley and is one of the most beautiful parts of San Francisco, because it has so many Victorian houses. 24th street being situated in front of our house has a lot of nice tiny shops (boutiques, florists, a great stationery shop, a supermarket that is open till midnight, a post office and so on). Another positive is that there’s plenty of little cafés and pretty good restaurants. Michael and I are testing them out one by one, which is a lot of fun.
By the way, I forgot to mention that there is a laundromat across the street from our appartment that we use frequently since we don't have a washing machine in our appartment or in the basement of our house. My friend Sylvia told me that it is a common thing to use the laundry salon if you rent an apartment. I guess presumably we’re not going to buy a washing machine, since it’s pretty exciting to watch the people that go to the laundromat. Unfortunately, there is no dishwasher in our apartment. Usually it is quite common that the installed kitchen already has a dishwasher and a microwave. Due to our house being pretty old, we'll be missing out on this luxury. Those of you who know Michael and me, know that we don’t like washing dishes and this condition is not gonna last for a long time. At the moment we manage the dishes well but this is because we only borrowed a few from Sylvia. This is because our container hasn’t yet arrived in the US. That’s why Sylvia provides the most important things to us: a table, chairs and a bed.