OMG, people, I realize I left out the best part of the apartment story!
Remember (and I know you remember because you hang on my every word and commit it to memory) that the first apartment I looked at in Bamberg was a one-room studio overlooking a courtyard in a semi-industrial area. Across from the apartment was a fitness studio that was being built out and would open soon. It was this construction that made the area look not quite so beautiful when we looked at the room.
Anyway, I had been so disappointed that I didn’t get this place. But, of course, now I have the larger place in Bischberg and that’s working out fine.
What I haven’t told you is this:
Two days after finding out that I didn’t get the studio apartment, I was having breakfast with my German friends at their house where I was staying. We were reading the local newspaper with our coffee. I always used that opportunity to maybe improve my German reading skills. It isn’t always clear to me what the articles say, but it has helped my comprehension somewhat.
I picked up one of the sections of the newspaper and there was an areal photo of the apartment building where the studio apartment was, along with the courtyard and fitness studio. The headline said something about Bavaria’s Biggest Brothel. Now, my German isn’t perfect by any means and I was sure I read it wrong. So I read a few lines of the text and it seemed to be saying that the “fitness studio” that was under construction was actually going to be a huge house of prostitution when it opened in June! The “fitness studio” part was apparently a smokescreen.
I still wasn’t sure if I was reading it correctly so I asked Hilde and Adi about it. They freaked out, which confirmed what I had thought. Bamberg was going to have a big Sex Park in June! And it would have been directly across the parking lot from my apartment! Wow!
About that time the phone rang. It was one of Hilde’s friends who knows me and knew I’d been looking at that room. She called to make sure we’d seen the article in the newspaper. Then Hilde’s brother called from next door to make sure we’d seen the article. Oh, this was the talk of the town for days! Hilde’s brother’s wry comment summed it up for me: “Good, Catholic Bamberg.” Bamberg was built as the Rome of the North back in the day and is very proudly, historically and emphatically Catholic. In between the sex shops!
Hilde delighted in telling people about the details contained in the article. They were importing professional Asian prostitutes (and I just want to teach English and am having delays over MY work permit!), it will cost 60 Euros ($75) just to get in. Then apparently there will be a sort of buffet line where customers can choose what they want a la carte and pay additional for whatever those things cost. Maybe I should have stated my profession as something more exotic on my work permit application!
Thank goodness I didn’t get the room. Just goes to show you I need to have faith in what happens to me. I can imagine the landlord of those apartments is pretty pissed at what all this will do for the property values there. And there were many follow-ups in the newspaper in subsequent days about debates in Bamberg’s City Zoning Committee and why this permit was given to the brothel without being publicized, etc. I don’t know whatever came of the issue, because the next week I moved into this other apartment and didn’t see a newspaper for a few days. By the time I did, there was no mention at all of the situation. Typical for the media, I suppose.
Anyway, just wanted to fill you in on “the REST of the story” (apologies to Paul Harvey). Things are moving along really well for me and I will send you that info as soon as things are definite. I don’t want to jinx anything!
Also, sorry that I have no photos to post, but I’m just not going down there to photograph the brothel just so you can see it!
And stay tuned for my adventures in the Czech Republic at the end of March.