Before I tell you where I am living, here are some places I’m not living:
A glorified closet with a window (huge step up from NYC!), rooming with a vegan anarchist polisci student who works in a feminist collective, sleeps like a log and has an extra bike. Nearby there’s a Crepes & Waffles ($3 ice cream sundae? hot cocoa with marshmallows? YES please!) and a gym (with $15/month membership including classes). The storage room doubles as a laundry room, and clothes take 2 days to air dry – which seems weirdly inconvenient in an let-me-tell-you-a-story way. The shower was a suicide shower, with its its own shower area (rather than just being a pipe jutting out of a wall between a toilet and a sink). And rent was $150/month including wifi and utilities.
(I’ve decided to move in to apartments for much less. One time, there was a lilac tree outside the front door. Another time the street was named after a city I used to live in.)
This room, the $150 one, was about 40 minutes walking to work. Given that I’m in at 7 am most days, the thought of waking up at 5:30 was somewhere between unsettling and painful.
Other apartments I looked at had 22 people in one house (cupos universitarios), with cardboard dressers, rooms subdivided into smaller rooms, and an interrogation-style lightbulb dangling from the celing. Food was included in the price, and consists of a plate placed into a locked wooden cubby at mealtimes, with each resident heating up the slop in the microwave when they get home.
Another apartment had a computer, and when I asked if there was wifi, the landlord called her 8 year old grandson over, who explained with much enthusiasm that the computer could go to facebook and google search.
Here’s the view from my current place:
I’m living half a block from work, in a nunnery*. It’s $206 a month, furnished, wifi and once-a-month laundry access included. The women I’ve met so far are students, workers friendly. It’s a month-by-month arrangement, so if I decide to start having a life outside of work, I can move somewhere more interesting in mid-September.
*OK, so it’s technically just a clean, quiet house full of women, with a curfew. But doesn’t The Nunnery sound better?