“Go to the bar ‘Crisban’ and ask for Kuka. He will get you in contact with the owner. Remember ‘Kuka.’ Just ask for ‘Kuka!'” came the crackling voice from the other side of the intercom.
We had spotted an apartment to rent in the top floor of a building but couldn’t read the faded telephone numbers. We rang every intercom in the building, waiting for an answer. The final call set us on the search.
The problem was, we didn’t know where the bar “Crisban” was, and we had never heard of “Kuka” before.
So we walked to the next bar, which was not “Crisban” and asked if the barista knew of “Crisban” or “Kuka.” She didn’t, but she would call her cousin.
“Ok…Kuka…A few blocks…Ok.” We listened to the staccato conversation from one side as the barista spoke into her cell phone. She hung up and said, “My cousin said that you can find Kuka at this other bar which is just a few blocks away.”
We thanked the barista, paid for our coffee, and followed her directions.
We stepped into the dimly lit bar, home to a few tables, a slot machine, the barista, and one lone gentleman.
“Is there a Kuka here?”
“No. But my name is Juan!” Replied the gentleman.
“Kuka comes in at 8. Why?”
We explained our reasons and then began to make our way to the door.
“You aren’t from around here, are you?” asked the gentleman. “Are you German?”
So goes the search for a place to stay.