Thanks to the kindness of our rental agent, we’ve had the keys to The Penthouse – Nordic (AKA "Home of Malmö’s Ugliest Kitchen") for a couple days now even though our lease did not actually start until March 15. Which is why, when we stopped by last night with our daily haul of possessions that can be fit into my mother-in-law’s Toyota hatchback, our names were listed on the intercom panel at the gate to enter the courtyard, on the intercom panel to enter the building, and on our apartment door.
I don’t think I can adequately describe how exciting this was for me. Not only because it made our upcoming move seem so real, but because I’ve never lived any place where my name was actually on the building. (Which is why I did Steve Martin’s "The new phone books are here!" dance from "The Jerk" when I saw it.)
Plus, my name never officially appeared on the residents list posted in our current building because I wasn’t on the lease. And given that our idiot landlord was not exactly thrilled about me living there anyway (he has a policy of not renting his one-bedroom units to couples…especially those of the same gender), we never pushed the matter.
When I first moved to Sweden, I was surprised to see the residents of apartment buildings listed on a sign near (or just inside) the door, and also to see the actual names of tenants on the doors of their individual apartments. I initially thought this was a huge lapse in both security and personal privacy, and couldn’t believe the practice was so common.
I quickly figured out (after mail I was expecting kept mysteriously going missing) that the names are there for postal workers, because while apartments generally do have a number assigned to them…that number is not commonly put on the door and is rarely used in the official address. (In fact, I lived here for years before I found out that our current apartment number is 28. Turns out it’s the same as the number on our storage cage in the basement. Who knew?)
Dr. Darling eventually put a small sign with my name on our door because of the disappearing mail problem, but that still didn’t prevent DHL from being unable to find me because I wasn’t listed in the directory by the building entrance. NOT ANY MORE! At The Penthouse – Nordic, my name is EVERYWHERE so the post, DHL/UPS/FedEx, the pizza delivery kid and all my stalkers can find me quickly and easily!
Now if only I could figure out how to use the intercom system.