Apartment, sweet apartment

 By Vita Forest

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Last year’s veggie garden

I once read a statement from a would-be local politician, that people didn’t want to live in apartments. These “people who live in apartments” were really “people who wanted to live in houses” who just weren’t able to yet. My children and I were a little bit amused and a little bit outraged by this idea.

Circumstances mean that I (and every second week, my children) live in an apartment. But I’m not sure that if I had the choice, I would change this. This is what I like about it:

  • Less cleaning. Yes we only have one bathroom. But I only have to clean one bathroom…
  • Every space is meaningful. We use our space, there is no room that we never enter, no corner that doesn’t serve a purpose.
  • More contact with our neighbours. Perhaps you live in an area where you know all your neighbours. When I lived in a house, this was certainly not the case. People tended to drive in and out, often to a garage encased in the house that was opened by pressing a button. There was not much opportunity to engage. But in my apartment block, I chat to the neighbours on the way to the laundry, on the way to the letter box, as I water my plants. It feels friendly without being invasive. My kids are thrilled that they can gather a gang of friends without having to leave the building.
  • Sense of connection. Even when I am here by myself, I can see people, hear people. There is something comforting about observing the lady across the driveway feeding the lorikeets on her balcony, hearing a child practising piano next door or listening to a toddler sing as he splashes in the bath.
  • Affordability. I can live in an area that I certainly could not afford to if I were in a house. I am close to my family, close to the city, close to my work, and close to a train line.
  • Less maintenance. I no longer have to remember what day to put the garbage bins out. Someone else does that for me. I do not have to spend my weekends mowing lawns, fixing gutters, sweeping paths. I have got back some of that most valuable resource – time.

So having been A Person who lived in a House, and now having become A Person who lives in an Apartment, I would say to that politician that there are some of us who actually prefer living this way.

You might be interested to know that the politician did not get elected…

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