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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Price Tag Event

After scribbling down the number of the corner lot house with a "For Rent" sign, I wasn't even sure what to do.  I know that God is more and more calling me to live in down town Soroti and so I'm keeping my eyes and ears open to available spaces.  Having the contact number in my phone was at least a start to seeing if this house was available.
Yesterday afternoon some people came over to play music at my house.  We spent the afternoon jammin' together and as the gathering was coming to a close I mentioned if I should contact that landlord, or if it was better coming from a Ugandan, especially in determining a price.
Well, the guys decided to help me out and called the number.  At first the landlord was hesitant to give any information because he only wants to rent out the house to an NGO (Non-Government Organization), but then he told us to come "now, now" so we could see the place.  Three of us went straight to the house and got there just as the landlord was pulling in.  His cousin, the gardener, was struggling to open the gate and the landlord was getting impatient, so he just said, "Go ahead, look at the house, and when you are finished, we can discuss the price."  All I want is a rough price in the first place... is the house going to be 500,000 UGX or 1,500,000 UGX because one I can afford, the other I cannot... so then I don't even want to discuss the issue.
As the landlord pulled away, my Ugandan friends said that we should look at the house and begin the discussions over time... as bargaining is an event in this culture.  I don't want an event.  I just want an estimate.  If the estimate is even close to my budget, then we can discuss the price tag.  Ah, now my patience runs thin. 
I didn't have a good impression as the landlord walked away, and when we finally entered the yard, I realized how big the house was.  It's actually 2 houses stuck together, with two bedrooms each.  I'm not even sure I can move into that property, the house is much bigger than I thought.  After looking at the house though, the landlord called to see what I thought.  I just kept asking for a budget, and he went on about how he wasn't sure he wanted to rent it out as a residence, and he still needs to fix the electrical wiring, and paint a few rooms.
Aarg, it's now been four phonecalls, discussing who knows what... except that he's still not willing to give me a rent price, but he doesn't want me to walk away either.  
Apparently he didn't want to hire the house out as a residence, knowing that NGO's bring in big money, but now he is reconsidering because mzungus potentially pay a little more, and they take very good care of the property... so he's re-working his figures... he'll let me know after some time since he just arrived in Kampala.
I'll keep you updated.

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