Saturday, January 24, 2009

New Furniture

On Thursday afternoon, Roxi and I got ourselves motivated to head to Enschede for a late lunch and to continue exploring. We decided to make two stops on the way that changed our plans for the better. While trying to find the grocery store on our first full day on campus, we ran across what appeared to be a furniture store. We were in a hurry to get essential items at the grocer so we decided to save the furniture store for another day; after all, our apartment was already furnished! On our way off campus Thursday, we thought that it might be a good day to swing by the furniture store just to check things out. We got more than we bargained for!

I noticed a sign in the window in English, but before I could read it, the proprietor greeted us and told us about her shop. The shop consisted of two rooms: one containing second hand furniture with no item priced over 50 Euros; the other containing a mixture of new and second items also under 50 Euros (roughly $65). We began looking around the showroom and were impressed by the quality of the second hand furniture which included very nice desks, entertainment centers and couches. The owner informed us that people in town give her the furniture that they no longer want so that she can sell it to students at greatly reduced prices. People get rid of stuff they don't want, poor students get a good deal on used furniture and she makes a little money in the process; everybody wins!

While walking though the store, we saw several things that would have been nice if not for our limited space. One must have that I spotted though was a very fancy looking coffee/espresso/capucino machine for only 25 Euros. I myself do not drink coffee, but it is one of Roxi's daily beverages. She's been getting by with a stove-top percolator that does quite well, but once I saw the very inexpensive second hand machine, I knew that we were not going to leave without it.

We also found a small couch for only 30 Euros that would fit perfectly in our living room and could replace the makeshift couch that Roxi had made out of two minimalist armchairs.

Two great purchases for a mere 55 Euros!

The store also offered delivery service for a fee of 35 Euros. I was not ready to blow our profit margin by spending that much just to move a relatively small couch a few hundred yards across campus. I asked the owner's opinion, and she agreed that we would be better off saving the money and carrying it. So we decided that we'd make two trips back to our apartment: one with the couch and one with the espresso machine.

The day was clear when we headed over to the store so naturally on our walk back with the couch it was overcast and threatening rain. We had barely carried the couch a few feet when I first felt rain drops. It turned out to be freezing rain which under the circumstance was a little better because we could at least brush it off the couch before it melted. So we made the trek back to our apartment cutting as many corners as we could along the way. The couch was not extremely heavy but it was a little awkward to carry. Eventually we got it to our building, up the stairs and in place. Of course a little reorganization of the apartment was required, but we found a place for everything and it even feels like we have increased our floorspace somehow.

We made a long detour on our second trip first stopping at Roxi's office building to take care of a a few administrative things. Following that excursion, we headed back to the store to retrieve our new espresso machine. By the time we got it back to the apartment, at least an hour and a half had passed since we had originally left to go to town for lunch. We were both still pretty exhausted from moving the couch and decided that we were just as happy staying put the rest of the afternoon and making another meal at home. So it turned out to be another good day in the Netherlands even though we had no idea that by the end of it we would end up with two good-as-new items for the apartment!

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