Posted by: expaticainhelvetica | July 24, 2009

Open Letter (To A (Potential) Landlord)

Dear Herr *Potential* Landlord,

Thank you for taking time out of your day to meet with me and show me your lovely flat on the top-floor of building built in 1892. It was full of charm and character with exposed wooden beams, lots of natural light and sloped ceilings. I appreciated the tour of the 90 square meters and I also greatly enjoyed the view of the lake and the mountains from both the kitchen and laundry area. The balcony is a huge selling point and I can foresee consuming plenty of bread, cheese and wine in the outdoor space.

I apologize for showing up without my husband. I know it must seem weird to you, a slightly overweight American gal who doesn’t understand a lick of Swiss German, showing up on your door step wearing a wrap dress, big sunglasses and too much hair, looking for a home sans partner, but I assure you, he will be joining me soon. And though you questioned how in the world I might pay rent sans husband, I can assure you, it will not be a problem. The letter that my company provided showing my annual salary sure seemed to squelch those concerns as you pointed at the amount, smiled and said something to my expat agent, all while chuckling. As mentioned, I don’t speak Swiss German, but I speak body language, and that all seemed positive to me.

I want to thank you for speaking directly to my expat agent and not me. Given that I don’t understand Swiss German, her translation made things a bit more efficient, though I found the lack of eye contact with me, your potential renter, a bit odd. I will say, though, I could see a twinkle of mischief in your eyes when I did catch them, and when my expat agent told me you brought Frau *Potential* Landlord to eavesdrop on my conversation in English to my expat agent, I could tell the mischief I saw was also a sign of craftiness!

How pleasantly surprised I was when Frau *Potential* Landlord spoke great English (along with three other languages!). I truly enjoyed my conversation with Frau and enjoyed hearing her stories of when she lived in London as a nanny. I shared my nanny stories with her and we sure had a good laugh. She also told me about a trip she took to the States many years ago to visit a friend, where she got to visit Atlanta and Miami. I sure hope that, even though you led the tour of the flat, asked all the questions, and said you’d make the decision on a renter, that Frau has a say as well cause I think we hit it off and I really would welcome the opportunity to hear more of her stories.

Herr *Potential* Landlord, I sure hope you pick me and my absentee husband to take the apartment. I promise we’ll be exemplary tenants. As property owners ourselves, we understand how difficult it can be to allow a stranger into your home, but I can assure you that we will be renters of the highest possible caliber.

As I said, I know it must be strange to have a crazy American gal show up on your doorstep, but I can assure you, we won’t be like those people you see on American television shows. No crazy parties, no drugs, no scandal, limited angst, and no SUVs – just me, my husband, and our katzen, trying to navigate our way in a new country. And hey, who knows, if the folks at Berlitz ever get back to me, I very well may know a bit of Swiss German by our hopeful move in date, so maybe we can actually communicate with each other directly and not through translators and intermediaries.

Alles Gute,
Expatica (and Expatico, by proxy)



  1. well dear…..i could say a thing or 2 about your potential craziness and drinking binges, however perhaps some of us have matured since college. Ya- I’m talking specifically about you, cause I still get a lil crazy sometimes and drinking tends to be involved. Hmmmmmm

  2. I am in favor of mischief-making by financially solvent women on balconies. With or without their husbands, though I sure hope he can join you in balcony bread-eating soon.

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