Tales from the Cultural Wilderness - Journal

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2002-08-06 Entry: "Househunting (And How Not To)"

Sunday actually did manage to turn into house-hunting day. I was still slow getting started, but finally managed to trek out to the apartment locators and see what they had to say. After answering all the relevant questions about size of place, I was issued a booklet with relevant plans and directions.

Then the girl had to phone around and see who was open, who could show me stuff, and whether they were offering any good deals. Armed with that information, I could set off.

Top of the list was a place doing a really good deal. This was almost certainly a mistake on my part as I'm too easily sucked into good deals. Anyway, I arrived there, was issued a drink (some horrible grape stuff in a can) and we took a tour of the site.

Swimming pools seem to be standard. This place had two, one of which was really tiny and almost not worth the effort - it's not as if you could swim in it.

Then we get a golf cart to the other side of Dallas to see the apartment itself. This was only a representative sample as they were about to gut it and remodel it before I moved in. It looked nice. It had a funny den-like area (which I'd stipulated in my requirements as somewhere to put up the hordes of people threatening to descend), and it was far too reasonably priced.

So, being entirely overwhelmed, I take it. Signed, sealed, delivered (well, hopefully I'll be delivered to it rather than it to me). And then I go home.

I berate myself all the way for not shopping around. I get home, and by this point I'm feeling almost queasy over it. And I keep finding things wrong with it. It's not near anything. It's not very big. You can't actually close off the den for privacy. The living room is a funny shape and there's nowhere to put both a sofa and a big tv. I don't know what else is out there.

Eventually deciding there was no harm in looking somewhere else, I set back out, and pick the new, modern place that the girl in the locators said was really nice. It's about 16:30 by this point, so it's unlikely I'll get to see more than one that day, so I decide to go for the best (even if it is significantly pricier than the place I've taken).

So I turn up and ask about the place. They wave a floor plan at me, and then we go to see it. This one is a little more representative as it doesn't have random furniture either cluttering the place or making it look artificially homey. Even so, with my head slightly better screwed on, I start to tick off the features it has got. Good sized den, with doors so visitors have some privacy. Huge living area, with enough space for a big tv, a sofa opposite, and a well spaced surround sound system. And it just feels far more comfortable than the last place.

Seeing the rest of the site, I end up taking this one as well (and I'm a damn sight happier about the second one). So now I'm two for two. Fortunately, it's now 6pm, I've found somewhere I actually want to live, and I haven't got time to talk myself out of it and look at something else. Fortunately I'd checked the lease of the first place and they had a cancel in 24 hours safety net so I wasn't even going to be out of pocket for the mess I'd created (but, even if I'd lost the deposit on the first one I'd have cancelled and gone for the second).

So with a move-in date agreed for the following Saturday, everything was set.

So trucking home, I decided I'd better finish visiting the nearby restaurants before I moved out, and it was the turn of the Indian that night.

How can you really go wrong with Indian food? I ordered something I thought would be safe (chicken tikka massala), and when it appeared it looked perfectly fine. It was however hideously salty. Ever so very salty. Almost salty enough to send it back (although not as salty as a certain rhubarb crumble that shall live in infamy as the saltiest of desserts - a case of mistaken identity between the salt and sugar containers). So we won't be going back there...

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