Friday, 24 August 2012

I Only Responded to 17,324 Roommate Wanted Ads Until...

Finding an apartment in Stockholm: not so easy.  Good to know.

Seems that, for whatever reason, there are about seven apartments to rent in Stockholm at any given time, and about 43,000 people wanting to rent them.  I guess you can figure out the math, suffice to say, there are a whole lot of people responding to every ad, and for the first couple of weeks I was looking I literally got one reply to the thousands of emails I sent, and it was to tell me that they had received 500 responses already.  I was like... congratulations?  I don't really know what I'm supposed to do with that.

I talked it over with my roommate at the hostel, and she thought that the person was hinting for a bribe.  Seriously?  I mean, one thing to expect a bribe, but even leaving that aside for a moment, that's how that message is communicated?  That *is* how Swedes communicate, actually.  Which, I guess it's nice to rarely get insulted to your face, but it's not so nice to realize 5 hours later that you were insulted and it took you that long to figure it out.

Then there were the two guys who had amazing apartments in the middle of the city but were out of town so if I could just transfer four months rent as "security" they would mail me the keys and if after viewing I didn't like it, of course they would return the deposit immediately.   Strangely enough, they both expressed their different situations, using exactly the same words.  And also, they had the same furniture.  Weird.

So anyway, thousands of emails, two scams, one maybe invitation to bribe.

One Ali losing the will to live.

And then, I get this:

Heeeejjjj!!  Sorry it takes me so long to reply to you but I like your email, ur a funny girl!  Come and meet me at My apt on Saturday, we talk and see if we can live together without killing each other!  //Sofia

And I'm like, I don't know.  If I was apartment hunting in New York or whatever, an email that even mentions killing each other would go in the trash faster than you can stab your roommate while she sleeps.  But this is Sweden and I can't afford a bribe and if I spend much longer in this hostel I am probably going to go postal on some 19 year old German backpacker who judges the lack of cheese in my cooking.

Saturday comes, and I go to meet Sofia.

And she answers the door buck naked.

Of course.

And somehow, Sweden Ali has more balls than all the Alis that preceded her, so despite all the Alis that preceded her screaming at her to run far, far away (like, back to the US far away), Sweden Ali just noticed the hardwood floors and great kitchen and, the fact that Sofia, is super crazy, but super, super sweet.

So I have a roommate.  And somewhere to live!  And I've seen another woman's ladybits for the first time in real life.  So, yay!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Five More Minutes and I Would Have Been Out of There...

Which is the one thing I asked of him. 
Which he didn't listen to.  
Which is why we were breaking up in the first place.  
One of the reasons, anyway.

One of the other reasons, ironically enough, was that he was never home.  Which would have been fine - you can say a lot of things about me, but a clingy girlfriend I am not - except that it wasn't like I could go out with my friends.  You know, because my friends are thousands of miles away.  Because I moved thousands of miles to be with him.  Because I thought he was worth it.

I thought he was the guy I had been waiting for.  The guy who made the last few years of being the awkward "one" at parties full of "twos".  Of listening to two elderly aunties debate what it was I was doing to apparently repel men ("I mean, she's pretty enough, I guess" - direct quote.  I guess.  Moving on.)  Of throwing myself into being chief bridesmaid again and again and again, with a demented smile at all times,  just in case anyone noticed that I was horrible and selfish enough to be wondering, the whole time, why not me?

Which I hate even saying out loud, because you're not supposed to think like that any more, are you?  We're supposed to focus on careers and independence, and not relying on anyone else to make us happy, and of course I believe in that too, it's just, when the entire world is paired off, it's hard not to be like -- did I miss something here?

So when Henrik drunkenly stumbled over to me and my friends at a Full Moon Party in Thailand and asked me to dance and turned out to be the geekiest - I mean, painfully, painfully, horrible - dancer you've ever seen in your life and it was adorable and for the first time in my life, I was the one to kiss a guy just because I needed to put him out of the misery of dancing... I thought "finally."

I don't just want to be with anyone, I want to be crazy in love and be with someone who sets my heart on fire makes me just want to explode with happiness that he exists and he is mine.  And for him to feel like that about me.  He doesn't have to be a prince or a billionaire or a rock star; he just needs to act like he notices I'm there, listen to what I am actually saying once in a while, seem like he's a little more than mildly happy to see me when he stumbles home after playing soccer, or watching soccer, or drinking beer with his buddies, or working late.  And not suddenly start acting like he is crazy in love because I'm leaving.  

Too late.  

Why couldn't he have stayed away for five freakin' more minutes?!