The Polished Turd

We are looking for apartments with more fervor than I thought possible—hours spent emailing, visiting properties, fleshing out details of utilities, location, transportation, and convenience. It’s a lot of work in the U.S., but add the language barrier, currency conversion, and time limitation. It’s rough.

I was afraid of this, but I wanted to have faith in the options provided… and apparently the school used to hook people up with real estate agents, but that has fallen to the wayside with a larger population. (I’m irritated because I specifically asked about this, but was told that it isn’t necessary. What I didn’t realize was that what would be available would be the equivalent of a room at the Motel 6 after a family of six leaves.

Honestly, it’s disappointing to see the quality of the apartment with which we’ve been provided. From far away it looks okay, but up close, day after day, it’s clearly a polished turd.

Think of the cheapest hotel you’ve ever stayed in. Then add a crummy kitchen and a washing machine on the porch. That’s what we’ve got right now. It’s kinda dirty throughout and I have no idea where all the dust bunnies are coming from. The bathroom is complete with rust, soap scum, and a ripped shower curtain; the couch is ripped and sags in various places; the kitchen is not something I would even put food in, given a choice. The beds feature the stiff-as-a-board Chinese mattresses, but they’re clean. The best part of the entire place is the dining set because we can sit on the chairs, unlike the busted sofa. All this for about $750 a month!

So we’re moving. We just don’t know where yet.

Andy has sought help from several agents and viewed different properties at different prices. I’m so proud of him for pursuing this on his own before I arrived. He has good experience with real estate thanks to his family’s history of home building, so he adamantly questions prices and value-added property elements.

We’ve got a clear picture of our budget, and I get a stipend from the university, which helps to cover about half the price of a place the size of what we’re looking for, so that’s good. We’re just eager to move because we REALLY can’t settle in here. It’s not possible.

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