Story Time

My Husband Stressed Over A 2000 Euro Key For Years

This my favorite story to tell because honestly, it’s hilarious to me. If you ever meet me in person ask me to tell this story. I get so passionate about it with hand gestures and voices. So this story is the key story.

When I met Onno he was already in his apartment in the city for a few months and at first, he always said that his second key is with his parents. I didn’t really care as I was only going to his place on the weekends and who needs more than one key anyway? About a month after we started dating he finally confessed that he lost the key and when I asked him why don’t you just say hey I lost the key and get a new one? His reason was very sound. In his contract, he signed that in the case of a lost key, he needs to pay for the replacement of the entire building. It is one of those special keys that can open the front door and your apartment. That is quite a mind-blowing, probably only to me, that they were able to do that for five different apartments in our building like wow technology man. Anyway to replace all of those keys is ridiculously expensive; over 2000 Euros. So you can understand why admitting that he lost the key is the last thing that Onno ever wanted to do.

Months passed and I went back to South Africa for a few months and the one key problem was completely forgotten. It was only when I came back for three months and actively lived with Onno that the one key thing became a problem. Oh, wait there was this one time while I was au pair that we got locked out of the apartment for a few hours in the freezing cold weather. Onno had a friend stay over and while he went out to meet me halfway (I was angry at him and didn’t want to come over like always did so he came to pick me up halfway completely and utterly hung over.) she went out shopping. Onno left the keys with her as he didn’t know how easy it would be to get me to his place (I was really angry.). What ended up happening is that she didn’t answer her phone for a long time and we had to wait for her to finally get back to access the apartment. Of course, this didn’t make me any less pissed at Onno. It was a bad and awkward weekend. The poor guy. Anyway back to the future where we started living together. At that time I was on a three-month Tourist VISA and you’re not allowed to work on this said VISA. So I was mostly alone at the apartment while Onno worked. I had enough to do with keeping the apartment clean, doing the grocery shopping and all that jazz…who am I kidding? It was pretty boring and I watched a lot of Netflix. In my defense, I was working out a lot back then. It was when I was still doing BBG, something I’m restarting today (it didn’t stick though. I’ve been trying to restart BBG for months now and it’s not sticking. I made a new game plan that by the time this blog goes up, should be in action for 3 weeks.) and I think I was writing. Who knows. It’s two years ago.

I’m getting off track. So Onno would leave the keys at the house while he went to work so I could go in and out. He would ring the intercom when he got home and I would ring him in. It was a system and it worked but it would’ve been nice if we both had our own set of keys. Other than having the real fear that if we lost this key we’re completely and utterly screwed all was right in the world. It really wasn’t a problem as I would go back to South Africa before we could blink and it would be a few months before I’m back to live here in the Netherlands permanently.

Wait, let’s put a pin in this blog. As I’m writing this, this story is coming off quite boring. I just feel like I have to give some back story to it otherwise it might not make any sense but in the process, it’s coming off as well not funny. Sorry about that but I’m almost 800 words in and it’s too late to go back now. Alright let’s return to regular programming in 3…2…1

Flash forward a few months and I’m officially back in the Netherlands. I wasn’t even here for a week before we started talking about finding a new place. It was a subject we touched on before but we just had to wait for me to well live in the country before we could really consider it. At this time I was also convinced that I would most likely study in Amsterdam or Utrecht and since Onno works in Utrecht we figured moving to a place closer in that area would be the smartest move forward. We started looking for a place to rent and this is when the dreaded key problem came up again. One, over a year later after Onno lost the said key, he still didn’t want to call the realtor company. He was convinced that our downstairs neighbor also lost his key as the two very awkwardly had an interesting conversation about the keys a few weeks back. Basically, Onno was in a faceoff with our neighbor. Who is going to call first and pay the 2000 Euros? So basically who is going to give in and move first?

Although I wasn’t exactly eager to hand over 2000 Euros for a key, I also really wanted to get out of our small apartment and into a place with a yard. We looked around and saw a few places but ‘altemilately’ – Here is where everything derailed. For the life of me, I couldn’t spell this word and autocorrect wasn’t coming in to save the day. Normally if I can’t spell a word and auto correct is useless I would retype my sentence so I wouldn’t have to use the said word but I was stubborn. So here are my attempts to spell this word correctly. Altemitately. Ultemitely. And finally auto correct saved the day and helped a girl out, ultimately – I refused to spend so much money on a place we would only rent. The rent was also ridiculously high. So to explain myself more, even though this might make perfect sense to some people but to me (a South African this literally makes no sense) it’s bonkers. Here in the Netherlands when you rent a place you have to put in your own goddamn floor and closets. The one place we found we even had to put up our own fence and it wasn’t like oh never mind we could live without the fence type of deal. It had to be done or your backyard is open to the public. They also expected us to plant the entire garden (it was newly built) and basically make their shitty place nice. Coupled with the deposit, moving costs and the really expensive rent it was just not worth it for us. I honestly just refused to basically throw all that money away on a rental house. It’s not my house. Why the hell should I put in the floor? It just blows my mind. Anyway back to the story.

In the end, we just didn’t have the money to pay for the rental place and for the new keys. We decided that hey let’s wait a few more months. Maybe the neighbor will cave and move first. Months went by where Onno would ‘occiosanely’- and we’re derailing again. Come on Cassandra. You use this word all the damn time why the hell can’t you spell it tonight and also auto correct why aren’t you helping me out tonight? Occosian. Occasianly. occasionally – ask the neighbor without actually asking about the key and his said living plans in the future. The one key story was forgotten for a few months before we decided hey we’re at a good place in our lives let’s buy a house.

It took Onno three months after our offer was confirmed, papers were signed and we ’re basically one week shy from receiving the keys before he finally made the call. A call he was supposed to make a week prior but ‘forgot’. I had to press the call button for him. Onno was a bundle of nerves and went into this long story that his parents were cleaning out their house over the weekend and couldn’t find our extra key and they couldn’t tell how long it was lost and blah blah blah blah. The lady on the phone basically asked Onno to get to his point as she didn’t have the time. Begrudgingly Onno said that we don’t have a second key and would like to get one. AND GUESS WHAT? For only 40 Euros we could get a new key in a week! I repeat. FOR ONLY 40 EUROS WE COULD GET A NEW KEY IN A WEEK. You can’t hear my laughter through the screen but I assure you, I laughed my ass off when he told me with this stupid embarrassed look on his face. I’m chuckling now just remembering it.

Nearly two years of postponing this call out of pure dread, putting our life on hold a little bit and having this awkward face off with our neighbor who had no idea, we got our second key for 40 Euros. It turns out that the management of the apartment went to a new company and they didn’t make a big deal out of the whole key thing. Onno is convinced that if he called them sooner (if only with a few months) we would have had to pay the 2000 Euros.

Now that I think about it…maybe this key story is only funny to me?

Update from future Cassy

I wrote the first part of this blog months ago before we even moved. We had to wait however for our deposit before I could share it online. We didn’t want to take any risks when it came to such a big deposit that would really help to smooth things over at the bank after the renovations. Getting the deposit back was anything but easy. Now that I think about it, I can probably write another blog just about the troubles we faced to get back our money but I will spare you all on the details. We moved on the Saturday with all of the big things, the bed, couch, table, desk and etc. Basically the entire apartment. That Monday I went through to Rotterdam to fully spring clean the apartment while Onno did a few things around the house. It was a boiling hot day and anything but pleasant. It was a lot of hard work. The next day we had to return the keys. Onno went through as he had to be present for the check up from the rental agency. The person was late and it was a long and boring procedure. They basically walked through the entire apartment and took pictures so they could send it back to the owner who would then see how much of the deposit we would get back. Let’s say the shower door was broken. The owner would then hire someone to fix the shower door and withdraw the amount from the deposit. He would need the pictures as proof.

They promised that we would receive the deposit within two months we finally closed that chapter of our lives. Life got pretty damn crazy soon afterwards and before we knew it, it was just shy over two months later without a single peep from receiving the deposit. We called to hear what’s going on and that’s when we found out that the company received the pictures from the real estate agent last week. Apparently, the SD card of their camera was acting up and it took a while to fix the problem. They then promised they would have the deposit in our bank account by the end of the month. The end of the month came and went by without a word. Moral of the story after four months we finally got the deposit. It only took a dozen or so calls and unanswered emails every week. We did get the entire deposit back which is pretty great but what a journey it was. Reading through this blog in the editing process, I realize that maybe this story is only funny to me. Oops!

Thank you so much for reading and I will see you in a click!

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