Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Hunting vs. Renting.

What happens when you go crazy searching for a place, get a reasonably good deal, and the fellow insists you move in the next one week, else the place is gonna go away? You realize that the lease to your current place is yet to be over, and hence you decide to sub-lease it.

This is easier said than done. First, an ad needs to be put on Craigslist. Browsing through ads is different, putting one of your own is different. For you have to be that salesperson, trying to market the best of the features, trying to give an idea that if you didn’t end up getting this place, thy life is a waste !

So I put up a decent ad, hoping that someone would turn up in the next one week or so. Ever since, my phone has been ringing and ringing till I was afraid I would exhaust my free minutes for the month in the first week only (my phone company offers me 600 minutes of free talk time per month within the US, Monday through Friday, 7 AM to 9 PM. The other times are free as it is). On an average, there were 30 phone calls and 60 emails each day for three whole days, and about 10 would eventually turn up every day. And then I realized the plight of sales persons, who must go crazy repeating the same things about their products over and over again. It was a harrowing experience letting people in your place. But then, sunshine cannot help but notice the hilariousness in every situation. These are what some of the email looked like-

“Hi, I will give you a $100 extra if you reserve the place for me now itself"

“Hi, new to your contry, bad English no understand, please please please want your room” 

“Hi, I am new to the city and I don’t know my way around. Why don’t you come and pick me up from my address?"

“Hey, I am tired of living with this woman who lives with her boyfriend and five children, one of her, three of the boyfriend’s and one together. Please rescue me from this place”

And so on and so forth….

If the emails were so interesting, you could imagine how interesting the people would be. Some would jump around the place like monkeys, immediately pull off the blinds, look for accumulated dust at every nook and corner and give me a disapproving look, dig their head inside the washing machine to see how large it was, knock at every furniture to make sure they were made of solid wood, sit and jump on the bed to assess the mattress quality, turn on and off every switch and every faucet in the restroom, measure the room with a measuring tape, ask if people do drinks and drugs on the floor, walk around as if the place belonged to them, peep into every drawer, every cabinet, every nook and corner while I would pray that no unmentionable pieces of my clothing would fall out, and flush the toilet to make sure that it works properly. 

The more decent ones would be shy to explore a girl’s room, and would be uncomfortable even asking questions like who are the other people who live on the floor. Some come in groups and keep on whispering while some look here and there, see the kitchen and the restroom, and then go back to the main room to see the view outside and this cycle keeps repeating till you pick up your phone to make a false call and exclaim, “Oh honey, you are parked outside for dinner? Give me a moment and I’ll be right there”. Sometimes it feels like a breach of privacy letting others into your space, and sometimes when you look at a person and immediately dislike him, you wonder why you should let him live in the same place that you did. People who do not want the place for any reason will always tell you, “I will let you know later”, while people who like it will immediately want to do the paperwork. It is interesting to observe people and the way they act differently.

Anyway, lots of interesting experiences to share henceforth, for now starts the arduous task of packing. More later.



The Soul of Alec Smart said...

All the best. Packing ain't easy either! Post lots about the new place once u've moved in :)

Shubham said...

Putting your number on ads / internet can be quite disastrous. This is why Craiglist rules.