Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Apt Hunting

Today was a rough day. I knew I was tired this morning, and I knew it would probably spell depression later in the day. But I didn't know that the day itself would be frustrating.

I had three apartment meetings today. Really, I should feel like I got a lot done. But I don't. The first meeting was just to meet a girl who was renting a 3-bedroom apartment with a friend, and looking for a third roommate. I was supposed to meet her at 11:40 in King's Cross. I switched from one hostel to another this morning, but I thought I'd be done well before that. It was 11:30 before I knew it, and I was miles away. So I texted her and we rescheduled, but she was meeting with 5 other people today, so I felt bad for screwing up the schedule. The flat isn't available for viewing until tomorrow, but I met the girl and we chatted for about 15 min. She seemed really cool, and the flat was within walking distance to my school and still affordable, which is hard to find because my school is in a really nice area.

I had a meeting in Shadwell at 4pm, and gave myself over an hour to get there. Problem was, I still didn't know how to get there. I took the train too far, turned around and went back one station, walked out of the station, wandered for a while, realized I was in the wrong place, got back on the tube at a different station, took it one stop and switched lines, took that train one stop and switched to the overground, then got where I was going but couldn't find the building itself. I called the guy and he was really nice about it and helped me find the place over the phone. Thank goodness I have a phone! Anyway, that place felt far away, though it's not necessarily very far mileage-wise, and the flat was kinda shabby. I would be sharing with three strangers, two guys and a girl. I think I could make it work, but it didn't feel right.

At 5:30, I had my third meeting. Right before I got there, I received a text from the first girl saying she was renting the apartment to someone else, nothing personal. Le sigh. Anyway, I was hopeful for the last apartment, knowing it was a studio, so I'd be living alone. Yay! It was right near a tube station, which was great, but the aparment was seriously depressing. The closet doors were painted black (the room was white) and the bathroom was icky. It was a bachelor pad, and I am not a bachelor (though I do hold a bachelor degree). I left wanting to cry, but I know that's mostly just because I'm tired, and I always find something to cry about when I'm tired.

So I feel drained now, and hopeless, even though I know that's dumb because I've only seen three places. I've booked a bed in this hostel for seven nights, so I have at least six more days to find a place before I can start freaking out.

It's just, I realized that I don't know what I want. No, that's not true. I know exactly what I want. But I also know it doesn't exist. You can't get a charming flat in the center of London for a low price. What I need to figure out is what things to strip away from my ideal. So far, I've been operating on price and distance. If it's too far out, I don't even read the ad. Maybe what I need to do is compromise on the distance in order to find something I can see myself living in for a year.

Someone in my position should be flexible and willing to live in a shoebox dump. Students do this all the time. It's sort of a rite of passage. But I know that if I try to force myself to be that way, I'll end up unhappy. I really, really wish I wasn't so picky, but I don't think that's something I can change about myself.

Anyway, I need to relax and remember that I still have time. And I haven't even gone to orientation and met all the other students in my course desparately looking for a place to live, or a roommate. I'll be fine. I just have to keep reminding myself of that. I'll be fine. And I'll get some sleep and feel much better in the morning.

The one bright point in the day is that I bought a pashmina. For one pound! I've noticed that everyone is wearing decorative scarfs here, and while I'm not normally one to partake in trends, I got scarf envy. I've been eyeing some for a couple days now. They sell them at all the souvenir stores for £3.99 or 3 for £10. I don't want three. Just one. The second flat I visited was located directly above an Indian street market, and they had them for £1, so I bought a pale blue-green one (Becky would say it looks like toothpaste). So now I'm depressed, but I feel pretty! That's all that really matters. Oh! And I got honked and waved at by a random guy. What did he think I was gonna do? Run after him to give him my number? Boys. *shakes head*


  1. Your entry today feels very familiar. In Bologna, I have done all of what you described -- got lost, been late to see apartments, traveled a not too short distance to find the apartment to be not quite right -- but I found something eventually. Meeting fellow students will probably be a goldmine. I do have advice, though. When you get lost, ask someone where to go. I'm not being facetious. I guess I am recommending that so you can not only get to where you are going quickly, but you also get to talk to others for free. Little investment but big returns.

  2. I just love the WORD pashmina! There's nothing like new (and cheap) clothing to brighten your spirits. And toothpaste-color looks nice on you, I'm sure.

    Yeah, there's always that compromise between distance, price, and quality, even when you have more money. If you just keep shopping, I bet you'll find something that's right in the middle, maybe not exactly what you wanted but pretty good. And then you can always "move up" later on.

  3. In my second paragraph, I was talking about apartments, not pashminas.

  4. migrainemaven9/24/2008 3:05 PM

    No, really?

    You weren't discussing long-distance pashminas? :-P