I: I am now friends / conference-mates with two MCP-elects (and one former roomate by extension): the MCP-Elect of Austria and the MCP-Elect of Latvia. Congratulations.
III: Today I went to Valencia after class for two apartment appointments. I arrived at four; the first was at six and the second at seven-thirty.
First thing I did was go to where the six-o’clock place was. It is in the city center (historical), which is close to a lot of stuff but not so close to the university. I wanted to get a feel for the area, however, so I walked around for two hours. I noticed that for about two blocks radiating out of my potential piso, everything was dreary and urban decay; and once you stepped out of that zone everything was delightful and “Valencian,” I might say in a kitschy way of foreign expectation of some kind of feeling that probably doesn’t really exist about a place that probably also doesn’t really exist.
Anyway, within these two blocks, I witnessed two police incidents within one hour. Both had three police cars at the incidents. I was also getting in general weird-feeling because I saw some shady-looking chicas around as well. When six came around, I called the person, and they explained to me (all in Spanish) that they had really meant jueves (Thursday), when the email clearly stated lunes (hoy, Monday). I argued for a bit, then they said not until jueves. I was 95% decided against that building (especially at €295 per month) when I asked an old feller in the street (again in Spanish) about having seen the police incidents, and if this street (Calle de Triador) was a safe one (specifically, if there was a lot of crime here). He answered me in his thick Valencian accent that had seen as least as much Franco as PSOE, “Eso es un calle de mujeres.” Whores. And as I left the area, I saw one more guy being pulled by a policeman, into a white police car.
The second, closer to both a metro stop and the school, was in a far better neighborhood, was quite a nice flat, and had a balance of two Italian girls and a French guy. They were “buscando solo chicos” (looking only for male applicants). I really liked the flat, and I was about to seal it – when they said “We’ll talk to you in two or three days. There are about 25 applicants.” What the hell am I supposed to do in order to make myself outstanding? At least I was only speaking Spanish. I really want that apartment though…I doubt they come much better.
I have two more tomorrow. You’ll have to wish me luck or something equally useless, if I have any elevated hope if things are like this each time.