Now we have found safe haven that we call home and spent over a week getting the newness out of the place. Finally. It definitely was a winding road to go. Awfully winding. First of all, finding a home is not as easy as it might seem. At least I thought it would be done with just a flick of fingers. I was wrong, so wrong. First I started surfing on different websites that include ads for rooms. In the beginning I was stupid enough to stumble upon sites where you have to pay if you want to send a message. I paid. A little. Had some extra money on my Paypal account. Pointless. Lasts only a week if you’re not willing to pay tons of more money.
Spareroom, Easyroommates, FlatmatesSomething … Eventually I decided that Gumtree was the best site. At least it’s free to surf there and send messages to ad posters. And it’s also updated very often and there are many ads. For Bristol anyway. I neglected the idea of finding a place in Bath – more expensive and less places to look at. I didn’t even do any viewings there. But then the “fun” began. Out of the hundreds of replies and text messages I sent, only few responded. And people are really slow. Stupid eggheads, I would say. Or maybe it’s me, the impatient girl who wants everything to happen immediately. Keine ahnung.
When I finally got to the viewing part, I discovered that once I got to the place, the rent had increased significantly. Maybe it’s because I was looking a room for a couple. Definitely, actually. Each time I said “couple”, I could almost hear coins clanging. The sound of money. Oh, yes, I know that two people use more water, electricity etc. But then please raise the price of utilities, not the rent. Basically, the word “couple” increased the rent about £150 each time (per month). What the hell?
Then Karl arrived to England and I had something like a place. Not very neat, but cheap. £250 per month. We started waiting for the previous tenants to move out while Karl hung out on my French friend’s sofa for five days. That got quite annoying in the end. Not having our own home was a nightmare. Being a burden to others is not nice either. Then February struck and suddenly we got the message that we can move in. Yay. We had tried to find a nicer place meanwhile, especially because for some days we couldn’t reach the landlady (we went there and it turned out she had lost her phone charger, what the hell??) and the place wasn’t our favourite either. Anyhow, on Wednesday, February 1, we met on a bus that was headed to Bristol.
I was feeling awful (the usual pounding headache-nausea-vomiting combination) and we arrived there after 8pm, so I just went to sleep. That’s how the trouble started. She had told us that she wanted one month’s rent in advance the day we move in. As it was late, we thought we’d do it in the morning. Ok, new day, morning. Knock on the door, while Karl is showering.
“This house needs a lot of work. I’ll give you a week. You can find a nice place. With students.”
Ok, that’s great, I thought. We didn’t like that shack anyway. I was celebrating internally. We had a chance to look for a better home. Didn’t want to stay with that family with noisy children anyway. And the fact that we could use the lounge only when the landlady was in London wasn’t very reassuring either. But then it took another turn.
“You’ll have maximum until Sunday. When can you move out? I don’t know you.”
Hmm, so she didn’t want tenants at all? I asked her whether we could stay if we didn’t find anything. We would have paid, of course. She said no. So out we went to look for internet and home. Yes, we had no internet there. When I first visited she promised to put it in for us if we needed it. That would have meant £10 increase in the monthly rent but I need internet desperately. All my money comes from there. Translation and other great jobs. We spent some time at Bristol City Library in College Green, using visitor’s computers (only 20 minutes allowed) because we couldn’t register as members, having no permanent address. Ugh. We scribbled down some names and phone numbers and started texting. Did some viewings on that day too. I ended up lost quite close to the place where we live now, searching for a street. My phone was quite dead, so I couldn’t use my GPS. Damn. Found it. Was expensive. Over 400. Again.
Friday. We had spent another night in the Easton area – not a very safe-looking place. In the morning we set off again to look for rooms. At least Karl did, I headed to Newton Park campus to get some of my stuff from my last accommodation and participate in my first French class. Oh, yes, I’m using the opportunity to learn French now. 8 weeks for £30. Quite good. In the middle of the class my phone went crazy. The landlady was calling like a mad woman and texting too. She said that she wanted us out now because we hadn’t paid anything. She was going to put our stuff on the street. What the hell!? I assigned Karl to take care of this because, after all, I was in a class. He managed to go there and get our suitcases. Fortunately. Soon I joined him on a bench at Cabot Circus. It was cold, I was hungry and we were homeless. After dragging our luggage around for a while and eating a pizza, we headed to a hostel. Backpacker’s. Good choice. I’m so glad we didn’t waste all our money at the Premier Inn, that we didn’t go there, although the pizza place owner advised us to.
Backpacker’s was our home for two nights. Relaxed and multicultural atmosphere. Video watching corner. Common kitchen. Bunk beds. At least we weren’t on the street. We left our luggage there on Saturday and did two more viewings. Morning in a far away place, in too quiet residential area. Although the house was very beautiful, the room wasn’t very big and £400 seemed too much. Still. We were almost giving up on finding a room around £300, our budget. But we did! In the evening. Actually, it’s less than £300. We moved in the next evening, after we had killed time at the Backpacker’s the whole day.
It’s a house in Bedminster. Aldi, Lidl, Asda, Poundland, Iceland – great cheap stores are nearby. I definitely like this! Quite lively place and easily reachable with a bus. The house has around 7 rooms. We are on the ground floor. The kitchen and toilet is shared. The people here … hmm. Weird. Different. Ukrainian guy who is an absolute England fan – socks, flag on the wall etc. Polish couple with children. Guy with a tattoo on his head. A guy with a wife in Nigeria, trying to get the inheritance (sounds a lot like the Nigerian letter scheme), paying loads of money. Won’t get bored here, I guess.
No desk and wardrobe yet. The Polish guy who used to live here took pretty much everything, leaving only the fridge, two tables and a single bed. Got a double bed from the landlord, fortunately. Going to buy a cheap desk (for £10) today. Then I can work properly. And we can stop eating in the bed! No dinner table in the kitchen either. Just two gas cookers, washing machine, a sink and loads of cupboards. Actually I like shopping for the home (: