The apartment, though very beautiful, was left filthy for us when we moved in last February. It was so discouraging to have cleaned our old apartment so thoroughly and then move into the new apartment only to have to clean again. And, although our landlord was NOT easy to work with, and we really didn't want to do *him* any favors, we wanted to clean the apartment really well for the next tenants. Sort of a I'm-sorry-your-stuck-with-a-pill-of-a-landlord sympathy gift. ;)
(When we first met the landlord, he seemed very agreeable, but I think it's just because he wanted us to take the apartment. But, as soon as we moved in, he would come in each month, inspect every room, and point out any flaws accusingly, even if they'd already been there before we moved in.)
Around noon, we were completely finished. We had done all our packing on Monday so that we could just focus on the cleaning on Tuesday. We pulled all of our luggage out to the hall by the elevator and wondered what we should do. Our landlord wasn't supposed to be coming for another two hours. We wondered if we should sit around and wait or go do something and come back.
I don't know if it would be considered luck or complete rudeness that our landlord arrived right then (as I said, *2* hours early!). I suppose it would be the former, since we WERE ready, but you could you imagine if we had not been ready?!
He brought two buddies with him. Who knows why. Maybe they were for moral support or protection (because he planned to be a weenie towards us). The poor guy is really short and petite, but he's still a bully and was slightly intimidating to me, even if I towered over him. So there would have been no need for bodyguards. :-)
The landlord marched through the door with purpose and did the water and electricity readings to see how much we owed him, and then instead of doing a full apartment inspection, like we were told he was going to do, he walked straight to the hall (where James had picked off paint), and then to the living room couch and complained about the wear on the leather.
Well, we were quite aware of James's destruction in the hall and we were more than willing to pay for it. However, the wear on the leather couch was there before we arrived and we had discussed that with him and his son, asked for a leather conditioner (which they never brought), and we even complained that the mattress in the hide-a-bed was missing so the couch was sagging and nearly unusable in that large section (but they never brought a new mattress, like promised). Shockingly, he had the nerve to demand $500 from us to replace the couch. We were not going to pay for damages that were not ours, but we were very willing to pay for what was. He would not listen that the damage was previously there. He would not listen to any discussion. We tried to be reasonable, but he would not. Then, his cell phone rang and he walked out of the room.
Discouraged, and knowing that there was no reasoning with this man, we left a large chunk of money (what we owed him for electricity and water, and what we thought was a generous amount for our damages) on the shoe cabinet near the front door,...and we walked out.
We gathered our four, sweet lambs, grabbed our luggage (none of us were unburdened), took the elevator down, said goodbye to the concierge, and though it was a tremendous struggle (and painful!) with all of our stuff, we kept on walking until we had a fair distance between us and our landlord.
We decided to stop at a park and let the children get some energy out, since we had been working from the moment we had woken up without any rest.
Thankfully, we had packed snacks (drinkable yogurt and popcorn). Our lambs were so happy to have some freedom! Jon and I were so happy to sit and rest our feet! :-)
Homeless in the park with our belongings.
One of the first things Jon did at the park was program his cell phone to refuse the landlords calls.
After a long, nice break at the park, we ordered a taxi and went to our friend, Spring's apartment. She had stored some of our luggage overnight. We're glad that we didn't have to worry about that luggage as well when we walked out on the landlord a few hours earlier!
Spring offered to watch the children so that Jon and I could have one last date in Moscow. It was such a generous, sweet offer! Of course, we took her up on it!
William playing with Spring's hat