My first viewing of a rental apartment was quite something. The building didn’t just look old, but in my view the house was not finished. I asked the person in charge, ‘Is this apartment finished?’ Yes, he replied, a bit confused. I asked: ‘What about the floor?’
The landlord looked at me with a big question mark in his eyes. I was there with another Chilean friend, who had been living here for a while. He suddenly said: ‘Ah! I forgot to tell you, houses here come without flooring!’ I was confused. In Chile, when you rent a house, the house is complete, sometimes even with a kitchen. After this experience, I asked a few Dutch people about the flooring issue. They find it totally normal, and when I tell them that in Chile you can rent a house with flooring they look at me and ask: ‘What if you don’t like the flooring?’
I never thought about it before. I think when you rent a house, you pay attention to things like the number of rooms, the light, whether the house has a garden or a balcony. But paying attention to the fl oor? The fl oor must be really ugly to make you not like a house, and even if that is the case, you just cover it with a carpet. So it surprised me how much importance Dutch people give to the floor. Flooring here is just like a fridge, or the bed: you have to carry it with you each time you move to a new house. Now, every time I visit a house in my own country, I pay attention to the fl oor and I wonder if they chose it themselves. It’s crazy! Marcia Bodero, PhD student at RIKILT and Toxicology.
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Tijdens de bezichtiging van een huurwoning viel het Marcia op dat er geen vloerbedekking lag. Blijkbaar nemen Nederlanders hun vloer mee als ze verhuizen. Gevraagd om opheldering over de kale vloer kreeg ze te horen dat Nederlanders hun appartement naar eigen smaak willen inrichten. Het verbaast Marcia dat Nederlanders belang hechten aan hoe de vloer eruit ziet. Maar als zij nu in Chili bij mensen op bezoek gaat, kijkt ze ook naar de vloerbedekking en vraagt ze zich af: zouden mensen deze vloer zelf hebben uitgekozen?