In the future, as I look back on these first couple weeks, I hope to see them as a period of intense character-building that have helped me to become a better person.
That’s code for these past two weeks have sucked.
I am happy to report that I am now mostly settled in to my new three-bedroom apartment, sitting on my soft, 500 thread-count new dusty rose-colored sheets in a room that is no longer cluttered with half unpacked suitcases.
But getting to this point has not been fun.
So after verbally committing to the over-priced, 600 square foot “luxury” studio condo with the see-through bathroom, I decided to give apartment-hunting one more go. Lucky for me, the day before I was supposed to check out of my hotel I finally found what I was looking for: a clean, fully-furnished unit in a decent location with room for guests – all for the same price as the “luxury” studio on the next street over.
After weeks of living out of a suitcase, I was quite excited to have finally found a place that didn’t make me want to instantly disinfect everything and was not going to make me feel guilty for spending so much, so I called the agent that night to ask him when I could move in. Unfortunately, the soonest I could move in was Saturday, three days after I was supposed to have checked out of my hotel and the day of UCSI’s graduation ceremony – a mandatory work day for us and one of my department’s busiest weeks of the year.
I talked with my agent and we agreed I would move in Saturday night after work. Somehow, between moving into my friends’ condo for a few days, meeting with the agent to sign paperwork and working late nearly every night to get ready for graduation, I managed to get through the week, constantly thinking “just wait for Saturday night, just wait for Saturday night…”
On Saturday afternoon, as I stood in crowded room full of students and their parents taking endless photos, feeling grouchy, sleep-deprived, and fantasizing about finally being able to sleep in my own bed that night, I get a text from my agent. He says he cannot reach my landlord and wants to reschedule the move-in for the next day. Reluctantly, I agree (Iike I have a choice) and ask if we can at least do it in the morning so I can have most of Sunday to move in. Hours later, my agent responds saying my landlord says 1 p.m. – final answer. Again, I “agree,” mentally rearranging my weekend plans to adjust. Then, at 11 a.m. on Sunday, I get another text – my landlord has an “emergency” and can’t meet me until 9 p.m. that night… (side note, my landlord is a 25-year-old Malay children’s TV show star who is apparently rising in fame, according to his talent agent who is handling all of the housing stuff). Long story short – at 11 p.m. Sunday, the night before my third week of work, I finally move in with no time for cleaning, no time for laundry, no time for shopping, just enough time to cram in about six hours of sleep on the old, unwashed bedding left over from the previous tenants. Not exactly how I wanted to start my time here.
Despite the sleep deprivation and frustration (trust me, there was lots of it), I decided to roll with the punches. As I am quickly learning here, you have to be patient to get what you want (though patience has never been one of my stronger qualities). So I did an assessment of what needed to be done in my apartment and decided to do a little each day after work. As I soon discovered, there’s a lot to do.
Fortunately for me, the previous tenants left me a fully-furnished apartment complete with tons of extra household items – all sorts of extra household items. In addition to three beds, two couches, three wardrobes, a vanity, bookshelf, TV and a beautiful, six-chair wooden table, I have a toaster, microwave, blender, dishes and a thick, Middle Eastern “magic” carpet in my living room. I also inherited eight plants, seven pairs of men’s shoes, four Iranian magazines, a used toothbrush and a kitchen full of ants and cockroaches. Yeah…
So the battle this week has been getting rid of the stuff that I don’t want, cleaning the stuff that I do want, shopping for what I don’t have and organizing everything. Oh, and to add to the fun, one of my wisdom teeth decided to make a very painful appearance this week, causing me two trips to the dentist, including an extraction this morning.
But as I sit here now, after two full days of sleeping in and settling in, things have finally started going my way. The Ikea men came on time yesterday to assemble my new dresser, I hired a cleaning lady to take care of the kitchen, my luggage is unpacked and I have new, pink bedding that at least makes one aspect of my apartment feel like home now. Even my wisdom tooth extraction took less than a half hour, with no complications and relatively minimal pain. Hopefully things will continue to look up.
Now the next step is making the rest of the place feel like home – starting with the living room. One of the things I was looking forward to most about living on my own was being able to decorate how I wanted, but the big, burgundy, navy blue and beige Middle Eastern carpet on my floor that matches my beige couches perfectly is putting a damper on my artistic options. Aside from the fact that I hate beige, I am not a big fan of dark colors, especially when living in a tropical environment. Not to mention the fact that the former tenants thought it best to match the room with black and white floral curtains and bright neon orange throw pillows (no joke). But as the carpet is incredibly soft and probably expensive, I have now coined it my “magic” carpet and am determined to make it work to my liking. I have removed the orange pillows and am now looking for matching drapes. Hence starts week four…