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Apartment hunting and afferent nightmares

The reason I am such a lousy blogger these days is because THERE AREN’T ENOUGH HOURS IN A DAY! Aren’t there supposed to be like 28 or something? Who chose 24? Was it that Galileo guy, ‘cause I have a bone to pick with him!


We’re doing a bit of apartment hunting – moving to a bigger place with an extra bedroom which would become an office and where all the servers, wires, cables, big-ass monitors and other such devices will be stored. Right now they’re in the living room, the servers stashed beneath an IKEA desk and camouflaged with a flowery table cloth. Needless to say, the monitors perched on two boxes on D’s desk (why perched? they need to be at his eye level, that’s why!) are not very eye pleasing either, and I’m not even going to mention the jungle of wires, cables and the occasional USB hard drive behind the desk, because that makes me hyperventilate just by thinking about it.


So we spend most of our evenings browsing through Craigslist and visiting apartments, which leaves me with minus four hours for blogging. So far we haven’t found anything to our liking, but you know what I’ve learnt? I am perpetually amazed at how much filth some people can put up with. The first apartment we visited reeked of dog and/or cat pee so badly that we just couldn’t go through the entire apartment and just had to go out for air. The polluted air of the city was like pine tree smell compared to the vile odour of that place.
And oh, man, don’t get me started about the bathrooms. I won’t go into details about the atrocities I’ve seen because it may be too much for some of you. Seriously, they should just hang a sign on the door saying “Enter at your own risk” or “Viewer discretion is advised”.


Then there was this Victorian-style apartment I visited yesterday evening by myself. It was owned by a Greek lady from what I could gather from her accent (and you know how good I am at spotting a Greek accent, don’t you?).
The apartment was huge, and I mean, ridiculously big, with high ceilings and French windows and two balconies. Dreamy!


BUT… all the doors, door frames and closets were covered with a yellowish lacquer, so that the wood pattern could be seen through but rendered hurtful to the retinas by a very saturated hue of yellow. UGLY! So I asked the lady if we could paint the doors. She acted as if I had suggested some kind of monstrosity like bringing Democrats and Republicans together to a paint shooting game!
“You don’t like this? You’re the first person who tells me that. Everybody else likes it.” she said. Umm, well either A)everybody else is color blind or B) everybody else is a big fat liar! “My husband painted these” she continued. Oops, I don’t mean to hurt anyone’s feelings here, but your husband obviously had some problems coloring inside the lines judging by the smearing of the yellow stuff on the actual walls. Obviously I didn’t say these things, I think it doesn’t really respect house visiting etiquette…


And the stove, OMG! Filthy, of course but that’s not the point because the ones to blame for this were the current tenants. Which again added to my amazement about some people being able to live in a veritable Petri dish. The stove surface was cracked, probably because someone placed a very heavy pot on it. And when I asked the lady if she would replace it, she again acted like this is the most natural thing ever. “Noo, the stove can’t be replaced. It’s a gas stove.” “But it’s broken” I said, pointing to it. “Oh, this is nothing! It works just fine!” Yeah, until I try boiling a pot of soup and it goes right through the stove landing on the downstairs neighbours’ heads! I didn’t say that either…


But you, Internetz, got an earful, didn’t you? I already feel better after all this unburdening. You’re the best listener.

Comments (6)

  • Interesting, in Canada apartments are not cleaned before potential tenants visit them…

  • Hi,

    Have been going through the same ritual, we’ve visited about 10 apartments and seen about 1000 posted ones. But at least they aren’t filthy. Some here in FR are just a bit old , or crowded…but the main problem was that they are tiny. We hesitated a lot between 2-3 rooms because sometimes the 2 are big enough, other times the 3 aren’t… plus if you want it “non-meublé” , a 3 room apparatment puts a strain on the budget a bit.

    Good Luck! You’ll find the right one, it just takes perseverence!

  • Good luck with the hunt! And hope to see the homecoming party pics soon 🙂

  • Oh, tell me about the lack of time. I’d give anything for 25 hours in a day, even.

  • House/apartment hunting is no fun. It seems like an entertaining idea until you actually start doing it. There is so much crap out there. And, it is amazing what people are willing to put up with. Good luck, and get back to blogging!

  • Hi there, Alexandra! OMG, this is seriously one of the best stories I’ve heard about apartment hunting. I moved 4 times while I was in the US. Most of the apartments were lovely and clean (since they were owned by big companies), but there was one building that was just demolished as I settled in the city (good thing it scared the crap out of me because the manager looked like a hobo and the tenants were iffy too). I didn’t know that apartments weren’t in “viewable” condition before you actually move in here in Canada. That took me by surprise.

    My boyfriend lived in the same retirement community we live now where the buildings aren’t too pretty on the outside, but inside they’re gorgeous. I remember him sending me pics so I could judge and see which one I liked. The carpet was being replaced, the stove was not in place, there was paint everywhere. I was a bit taken aback.

    We moved twice in the span of a month before I started my postdoc … TWICE! From the US to ON, then from his bachelor’s apartment to our own. It was brutal, but I’m somewhat glad I don’t live in the city (Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal) because I’d be screaming for space and I cannot possibly imagine what you are going through.

    Hope all works well and that you guys find something nice, affordable and clean. Thanks for visiting 🙂


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