Armed to the teeth with information on the flats, and a handy dandy map book of the city, I set off to view the first lot of apartments on Tuesday evening. I'd just heard back from Ginger (VBF's friend) that she'd spoken with the roomies and everything was a go for Thursday. Suffice to say I was feeling good about things.
JellyCake had offered to come flat viewing with me and together we walked down to the first stop. On our way there, I get a call from Beans; Just done with work now... meet you at the flat. Again, confusing. He has the opportunity to have an entire evening of alone time - something he said he was craving - then he chooses to come spend it with me? Bizarre behaviour indeed. But, I digress... back to the story.
We found the door of the first flat sandwiched between 2 pubs on Hope Street. NOT the best start. Already, I envisioned the doorstep being used as a urinal every Friday and Saturday nights! Called the girl and she came down to get us. We followed her up a narrow winding staircase. Half way up, she stopped to unlock a door. Then, more narrow winding stairs. Another door. This time it looked like the front door thankfully. JellyCake was about to have a coronary. She opened the door - more steps! And after all that, the apartment was nothing to write home about. But I will anyway!! Dirty, dusty, messy, icky. That about sums it up. The girl proceeds to tell us that the landlords won't do a formal tenancy agreement and just want to be paid in cash every month. Shady Indians! And the clincher; there is no buzzer to the apartment, so every single time you have a guest, or a delivery or even the post, you have to walk down 4 flights of stairs and past 3 doors to get it yourself! As we made our way down, JellyCake joked about the possibility of putting in a fireman's pole to speed up the process.
The next place was by Glasgow Green. And what a difference! Ground floor apartment with beautiful 14ft high ceilings. Large airy rooms. Beautiful modern kitchen. All the rooms tastefully decorated and very clean and tidy. The landlord who was showing us around commented that it used to be a firehouse and both JellyCake and I giggled and asked if there was a pole!
JellyCake had to leave, so Beans and I carried on to the last place of the day. A lovely roomy apartment at the other end of Glasgow Green. Two girls who I gleamed to be around my age showed us around. Chatty owned the apartment and was relocating to Ireland. Smiley was staying behind and judging by the terrific smells from the kitchen area - was a great cook! (Score!) AND there was 2 full washrooms which meant no sharing! (Double Score!)
The location however was a bit out of the way with narry a shop or bus stop in sight. The only way to get to the apartment was walking past the Green, which Beans told me was not the best place after dark. Still, those girls had lived there for 2 years now and they seemed happy enough. I wished the place was better located. It just had such a happy vibrant feel and I saw myself being able fit in there quite happily.
Day 2 of the apartment hunt took us to Queen Margaret Road near the Botanic Gardens. Beautiful area, HORRIBLE flat. T'was a bedsit to begin with (a bachelor for those on the other side of the Atlantic) and not the nicest. As Beans put it on the way out, it would take a supreme human being not to loose the will to live after being in that place for a month.
Onwards then to Highburn Road near Hillhead subway and to what can only be described as the house that was featured in the recent issue of modern city living. Immaculately decorated and beautifully maintained. A nice enough guy for a landlord, but I didn't get a nice homely vibe off the place. In fact, I was almost too terrified to step onto the rug with my wet boots or sit on the couch and muss up the upholstery! The guy mentioned how he likes things clean and tidy, but is not (with emphasis) a neat freak. Readers, you could have performed open heart surgery off the dining table. As we walked away, I thought about some of my friends and how I would NEVER EVER be able to invite them over should I take that room. Apparently there is such a thing as too beautiful!
Today was a roaring success! Two flats, both in the west end, both good prices and locations and nice roommates. The first an Irishman who turns out was recently best man at the wedding of one of Beans' high school classmates. (Does everyone know everyone in Ireland?) The other a lovely lady in her late 30s who at first was all quite and shy, but then turned out to be in HR and seemed quite pleased that it was my field as well. The second place was a bit of a walk to the subway and the shops, but SUCH a beautiful apartment with a wee little garden as well. As for the groceries, online shopping is just the ticket. Beans also confirmed that the location was simply tops. The sort of place that would never give us any business he declared cheekily.
And so ended another day on the hunt. More safari stories to follow.