Destinations, Ruminations, Spain

The Piso

Rúa San Pedro B&W.jpg
Rúa San Pedro, the lovely street a minute’s walk from my piso.

So last week I moved to Santiago, right? I found a cheap apartment with two nice female Spanish college students in the older (prettier) part of town. As it turns out, these three positive qualities (price, roommates, and location) have been overshadowed by the true heinousness of the apartment. After a week here, I have come to terms with my own stupidity in housing selection, and have come up with seven rules to keep from making the same mistakes again.

Do not select an apartment:

1. Because the roommates call you “chulo” (cool) for being American and that makes you feel warm and fuzzy because you don’t have friends yet.

2. If you have only toured the apartment at night. Those shadows in the corner/behind the desk/around the window might be are assuredly mold.

3. If you there are so many spots in the wall that it is hard to tell at a glance which ones are holes and which ones are mold.

4. If the hot water is powered by a gas tank that you have to manually switch on before you shower. On Sunday, you will run out and the landlord won’t be able to bring more until Tuesday because Spain, and the last time you showered will have been on Saturday, and you will have to start taking sponge baths seventy years prematurely.

5. If the apartment does not have heating, and also does not have the ability to both run a heater and charge a laptop at the same time.

6. If the statement “yes, we have wifi” is followed by an explanation that includes the words “descodificar” (to decode) and “de nuestro vecino” (our neighbor’s).

7. If you cannot bend over the sink to brush your teeth without entering the shower.

Having learned these seven very valuable lessons, I feel both ill and well-prepared to begin round two of apartment hunting. Wish me luck!