Sunday, August 15, 2010

AHA! (Apartment Hunt Anecdotes) IV – The Trapdoor

Buoyed by feelings of success from the other day’s visit, I launched myself into the next day’s hunt. Jogging. Calling people. Phones not being answered. Buying groceries. Calling people. Making appointments. This time I actually got a hold of the mysterious Alice, and she turned out to be a super super sweet person that I would love to be roomies with. We got along super well and chatted away more than an hour. Yay, feeling of success! Ok, moving on. Since I was in the neighborhood, what better to do than go in the cafe of yesterday and continue. Internet site. After. Internet site. Turns out, thousands and thousands of other students are searching for accommodation too, which brings people to not even respond after the first 50 applicants. At least that’s how I explain my numerous e-mails (at first I typed them all individually because I hate copy/paste, there is so much wrong with it, but I still ended up sending the same super enthusiastic, cheery message to the latter 20 offers) never to be replied to. Really people? Not a simple “sorry, but no..”? Though I got those too, and they really crush your feelings. “You don’t … like me? You won’t even let me visit? I’m a nice person..!” So yeah. Where was I. Oh, right, the hunt. After weeding out the single men looking for preferably a female roommate (only applications with photos accepted), the ones offering a room against cleaning and massaging services and the clear scams on craigslist (get a villa  in the heart of Paris with free towels, a juice press, a double toaster and free calls to 96 countries!! I learned to recognize those by too much information.), there are maybe 24 daily acceptable offers left. 20 of them are in the suburbs. Leaves 4. For thousands of students. Yeah right. Nevertheless, sometimes I do get responses back, and then go to look at the place. For example this one girl who rented out a well insulated, sous-sol room in a really nice neighborhood. You know the Canadian sous-sol? Where you still have a small window and spacious rooms? Well, think again. She led me into a kind of sweet living room, with a tiny kitchen, the bathroom door was a curtain (though she promised to get a sturdier model), her room was a mess (because she moved things out of the new, to-be-rented-out-room… Hm, was that a storage space..?), and the highlight of the tour, my potential bedroom! Um, mind the steps. Because in the middle of the living room floor is a trapdoor which leads down to the… well insulated bedroom. Yup, living in the cellar has apparently never been trendier. You can leave the trapdoor open or closed as you wish, and there is no more authentic way to explore the period of hiding Jews or resistance fighters from Nazis than this one! Or are you a Twilight fan? Scared of sunlight? Is your skin itching to be bathed in atmospheric darkness? Then this is the space for YOU! We might even include an Edward Cullen poster for free. And for your daily 5 minutes of sunlight – well, you can use the living room as well. Deal?

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