A couple of weekends ago we purchased a piano. This has been on the "to do" list for a while and this assumed a sharper focus since my Father promised to contribute some money to the acquisition earlier in the year. We had discussed getting a piano in HK but had decided that apartment living did not really lend itself to a full size "Joanna" and we made do with our little electronic keyboard instead. However, our move to Dubai and the larger space we have in Safa Towers meant that we had the luxury of not only being able to accommodate the piano but also had a number of potential locations where it could be put.
We had already looked at a couple of potential new and second-hand pianos when my Father was over in April/May. A fairly basic new Yamaha is around AED12/13,000 here. Second-hand pianos were being offered on Dubizzle for anything between AED5 -20,000 and we looked at very nice second-hand Yamaha owned by some Canadian school teachers which they were offering from c. AED10,000. Even though the wife confided to us as we were leaving that she thought the husband was asking too much they did not take our offer on it and we gave up the search over the Summer as E. and the kids returned to UK.
The search resumed in earnest after the holidays and E. spotted an advert for a U2 Yamaha located in JBR. I fixed up a viewing and we met by two charming American chaps - the piano player was in fact a trained pianist who specialised in modern Jazz and he regaled us with some fabulous music which captivated the kids and sold the piano (notwithstanding a couple of dents).It was apparently an ex-demo model from a music shop in Ibn Battuta Mall. After some (spectacularly) unsuccessful haggling I agreed to pay the asking price of AED10,000.
The next bit (transporting the piano from the 27th floor apartment in JBR to Safa Towers) was more challenging. I contacted a removals man recommended by our neighbours who turned up with a small pick up truck, a rather fragile looking mate and lots of plastic sheeting. After much grunting and heaving, the piano (surprisingly bulky) was man-handled to the bottom of the block (fortunately it fitted into the lift). Lifting it up onto the back of the truck (a distance of about 2 feet) nearly killed all three of us but ultimately the piano was fixed in position to make its rather unsteady way to its new home.
Removing the Piano from the back of the truck into our home proved (marginally) easier, and our new toy now takes pride of place in the Dining area where A. has been doing his piano practice, V. has been thrashing around on it (doubtless in imitation of its previous owners style of play although with slightly less successful results) and I have been trying to remember how to play my old Grade 5 exam pieces.