The Aresan Clan is published four times a week (Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun). You can see what's been written so far collected here. All posts will be posted under the Aresan Clan label. For summaries of the events so far, visit here. See my previous serial Vampire Wares collected here.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The apartment hunt

Finding an apartment in Amsterdam is difficult. It's a concentrated city, where space is at a premium and there's little room for expansion and new building. I went several routes looking for apartments, finding listings in newspapers, finding agency that help you find apartments, looking for online listings. And these most of these listings would get snatched up very quickly. When it came to using the newspaper classifieds, I found it was essential to call early in the morning, since usually by the afternoon, most of the good listings were snatched up. The apartment that I eventually got into, I was actually the third person to call about the listing, even though I called fairly early in the morning.

At the time when I was looking I was temporarily subletting the apartment of a friend of a friend. In fact, when I'd first showed up in Amsterdam, I'd been staying on the couch in the living room of my friend Tom. He shared the apartment with three other people. I spent about a week or two there looking for an apartment before one of Tom's friends told him she wanted to sublet her apartment for a few weeks, while she was staying at another place. I stayed in her place, which was quite nice and well-situated, and continued to look around. After lots of phone calls and emails, I finally got a look at a room not too far from the city center for a reasonable price of 300 euros a month.

The room was part of a two story apartment owned by a Dutch woman, who lived there with her two kids. The apartment was a second-story walkup in a typically cramped Amsterdam building some twenty minutes away from the city center by tram. She had already rented out two rooms to two other foreigners in the twenties, a Greek man and an Austrian woman. Thus, it'd be six of us, sharing one small kitchen and small bathroom and no living space like a family room or living room. She'd decided that she would have all three of us look at the apartment, and if all of us were still interested, she'd choose the one she liked best.

She had two rooms that were reserved for her and her two kids, one of them a bedroom and the other a sort of sitting room, with a tv and stereo. She was thinking about renting out this room eventually, in a few months. I mentioned that I knew something who was planning on looking for a new place at that time and might be interested. This was in fact a co-worker of Tom's, named Joost, who had said that he was going to be needing a new place around July or August. It turned out that this fortunate piece of information was a major factor in her deciding me over the other two. Perhaps it was always my winning personality and flawless good looks (or my boundless modesty).

After showing us everything, she said she would call us and tell us her decision. She actually called up later that night and I sort of had to conceal my delight because I was at the time out on the town drinking with the French girl that I'd looked at the apartment with, but that's another story.

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