The Mischievous Nerd's Guide to World Domination
Author: Stephen Oberauer

Chapter 78
House hunting

Our wedding date, the 27th of November was approaching quickly, and in the meanwhile we had begun our quest to find a house to purchase. Having to spend so much money on one thing was not very appealing to me. I had worked very intelligently for my money and was not very eager to spend it all on something that I believed BI could do a much better job building. You may think I’m crazy when I say this, but have you ever wondered why houses are still built out of bricks? I checked the Internet and found the following: ‘Examples of sun-dried bricks from approximately 5,000 years ago have been discovered in the Tigris-Euphrates basin.’ Yes, this ‘technology’ has been around forever!

We were looking at a new and very large house at the foot of the mountain, overlooking the sea. From the front yard you could see the beach to the right and the harbour directly ahead. The estate agent led us through the house, showing us the spacious rooms with new, polished, wooden floors and large windows, letting in bright, golden beams of sunlight. She then took us out of the back door to see the yard with a lawn, big enough to fit another house on, and a paved entertainment area with a brick fireplace and a decently-sized, sparkling, blue swimming pool. The area was very safe, and for one reason only, because it was protected by BI. 3 years before we would have been scared to have such large windows without burglar bars.

I know I said I earned a lot, but this particular house was too expensive. It was not that we couldn’t afford it, but more of a matter of principle. The house did not seem to be worth the 3 million rand that they were asking. On top of the 3 million were the transfer costs, which, in South Africa, were quite ridiculous. For this house, the transfer would have cost an extra R234,000.

Shelley tried to stop me, but I had to try it once, and so I asked the estate agent, ‘Why is it made out of bricks?’

Shelley shook her head, and the agent looked confused as she repeated my question back to me, ‘Why is it made out of bricks?’

She thought for a bit, and then asked, ‘Are you looking for a wooden house?’

‘I’m sorry,’ I replied, ‘you’re probably not the right person to ask. I just wonder why houses aren’t assembled in a factory like everything else. It would make them cheaper.’

‘How would they get delivered then?’ the agent asked, ‘They would be too big for the roads.’

‘They could be built in sections, or as an easy to assemble kit,’ I replied.

‘Maybe they just want to employ people,’ she suggested.

‘That’s quite possible,’ I replied, ‘South Africa does seem to have a lot of pointless jobs like car guards, petrol attendants and bag packers. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was just a matter of employing people.’

Shelley sighed. ‘We’re not going to take this house, are we?’

‘Would you please excuse us for a moment?’ I asked the agent and led Shelley to a private spot where we could talk.

‘You like the flat that I live in, right?’ I asked Shelley.

‘Yip.’

‘Well, I really want to build our own dream house, and I think that I could get BI to help us do that. It would just mean that we’d have to stay in the flat for a while.’

‘I’m not complaining,’ Shelley replied.

My rent was quite expensive, which was why I had wanted to buy a house, but my drive to make things better had taken over and I was on a mission to build the best house I could, even if it did mean having to spend another year or two paying rent.

‘How about we get a kitten,’ Shelley suggested out of the blue, smiling.

 

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