“Hi, My name is … I am looking for a room in a 2 bedroom apartment. Saw your ad. Would you have anything available for August? No? Okay, have a good day!”
Like that song that you set on auto-repeat in the playlist because it is THE HOT NEW SONG, and you listen to it half-way, have breakfast, lunch and a shower, make a couple of calls, till either it dies away into emptiness or it is your bedtime, my house hunt started looking very promising and exciting in mid-June. But it slowly waned away into moderate optimism and finally black hole-esque desperation. When I saw light, all it reminded me of were Dementors.
Brace yourself for a hand-wringing read, because that’s what my life was during those days. If you do not have some tears rolling down your cheeks by the end of this post, shame on you!
It all started when the end of my apartment’s lease loomed over me dark and moody, like an annoyed teacher who caught a student nodding off in his class, prompting me to look for options. Since I am a hard-core adventuress, I decided to change my neighbourhood. To 2 stops away.
Then started daily scouring of Craiglist, Kijiji et al. The first few days I would just glance at the ads and leisurely mail my top picks, often side-eyeing the measly looking ads. No pets? yeah right. Only dogs and cats allowed? What if I suddenly find a pony on the road and decide to take it in? No ac? pfft!
When I got a few responses from women looking for roommates, I said hell yeah, roomie! and went to meet them. One asked me to come another day when I reached her doorstep, another showed me a room full of discarded furniture she will not be moving out and yet another one talked to me about drawing a contract soon and by the time I got back to my place, cancelled the whole deal.
Panic slowly appeared out of the corner and started walking towards me.
Top picks in my list gave way to average and then the measly ones. My office hours were spent thinking if I received any reply from potential roomies. I sometimes mailed the same ad twice or thrice till I got a “Sry” for a reply. My requests were copy pasted with enough modifications to make even Melania Trump’s ghost writer proud. But as Gmail notifications trickled down to nothingness, the world dimmed down its lights and prepared to sink into someone else’s grave to cry itself to death.
Panic now hit the roof. I took every advice that came my way without prejudice. Throwing my criteria up in the air, I teamed up with a fellow seeker to look for an apartment instead. Two heads are better than one. Unless you have only one helmet on a downhill ride in a break-less motorbike or something.
Move over Kijiji, Hello Viewit.ca!
We had 15 days to move out and into a homeless shelter. Our hopeful trips to the apartments sometimes were met with hope and most times, with discontent. Discontent at the high prices, bug history, distance from the nearest subway and in one case, lack of enough sunlight to survive.
Until, one day, after telling my friends back at home to pray for me, we went to see an apartment that had been in our list for a long time. It was being elusive but finally we had an appointment. We went, we saw, and it conquered us.
We signed on the dotted line and now are planning the move.
May be it is true that the universe conspires to get you what you really want. Or may be not. But the lesson I took away from this whole experience is this.
Start looking for a goddamn apartment at least 2 months before your kick-out date.