I am back home – back to the cosiness of my own place, the otherwordly clarity, tenderness, and complexity of sound my grand piano delights me with, and a nice surprise.

Actually, I am not the biggest fan of surprises – the idea of being in a situation and not having the slightest idea of what to expect, plus being under the pressure to react immediately and adequately to it and not being able to get away … No, thank you. Also, what pleases the one frightens the other, and many things other people may find or consider pleasing – “Hey, look, I baked a cake for you, and I want you to try it immediately!” ”Whee, we have a surprise party at your place!” ”I thought I would just come over, isn’t that a great idea?” – elicit a strong need of playing dead with me.

Moving on …

This surprise was a really nice one. If you have read my blog long enough, you may remember that I have quite the serious humidity problem in my apartment. In other words: My apartment is wet. Rainforest, washkitchen wet. This is not only uncomfortable and unhealthy for myself (I was starting to develop breathing issues), but it also gradually wrecks my grand piano – accoustic pianos do not like a high humidity of 70 % or above, and that was what I constantly had in my apartment.

~ at least it did not rain from the ceiling ~

The reason for this is that I live in an old house which is not optimally insulated. One of my neighbors just moved out because her apartment was full of mold, and she had to throw away half of her furniture because it was mildewed. Another one has mold in her kitchen and another room – this is the one I spoke about changing apartments with, but it turned out her apartment was no better than my own. At least I do not have mold, for some reason, probably because I air properly.

By recommendation of my piano tuner, I had bought a dehydrator a year ago, to go against the humidity. With having it run 24/7, and fetching 10 to 15 liters of water from my living room air every day (!), I got the humidity down to a nice mid 50 %. Over the months, I realized that the amount of water was gradually decreasing, and while I had to empty the water container twice a day in the beginning, I was down to twice a week in the end. I think that I somewhat dried out the complete apartment because there was not so much water coming after anymore. My landlady, however, did not believe me and said it was just due to the weather, and while that plays a role as well, it is not a sufficient explanation, since summer, autumn, and winter were very rainy this year.

Anyway, the ultimate test of whether or not I would have to consider a move was my two weeks of absence (and not dehydrating) during the Christmas holidays. I actually expected to come back to a washkitchen again. But when I opened the door, my apartment awaited me warm and dry, and the hygrometer showed incredible 49 % humidity.

~ this is almost too low ~

So it seems that I can stay in my apartment. This is nice because I really like my apartment, and for Heidelberg standards, the rent is very cheap – I could easily pay a much higher rent for an apartment half the size. However, the utilities make it rather expensive again: My energy company just sent me the most horrible electricity back pay bill I have ever seen in my entire life, and also increased my monthly energy expense. But anyway, if I moved, I would most likely end up with housing costs comparable to my current ones (lower utilities but higher rent) and a smaller or very peripheral apartment, and it is not easy to find an apartment suitable for a grand piano anyway, not to mention all the additional costs and stress coming from moving itself. So I will just stay here.

I also love that this apartment has a big kitchen.

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