Finding an apartment especially with roommates can be dicey no matter where you are but searching for an apartment in a country you don’t live in that speaks a language you only sort of speak is even harder. I started a few months before I actually had my visa looking for roommates on some roommate finder website… I began by writing emails mostly in Swedish and saying that my Swedish is not so good so I would like to speak English at the beginning. I did 3 Skype interviews before getting busy and frustrated and therefore stopped looking.
1st interview: went pretty well, good price, nice looking apartment, the girl was friendly…then she said “oh right, you aren’t allergic to cats are you”…umm no…”good, cause I have 8” !!!! 8 cats in two bedroom apartment is TOO many!
2nd interview: nice girl…but she had those clear plastic covers on all her furniture, ah la The Nanny…
3rd interview: the guy was sleazy and hit on me the whole time, no thank you!
So now I am living in Sweden with my aunt and uncle and looking for an apartment. Some of the sites you need to pay to be able to contact anyone…often I send a ton of emails and get no responses. I decided to send a message in English this time saying that I did want to practice my Swedish but that right now I can’t talk about important concepts in Swedish…I finally finally, after multiple websites and about 20 emails got 2 responses. One apartment quiet close to the bus station and one further away.
I went to visit the apartment close to the bus station and I really liked it. I had an urge to just take it but I had scheduled to look at another apartment 2 days later. The roommate and I got along quite well and there was great common space though the bedrooms were smallish and the kitchen could have been better. When I got home that night and told my aunt and uncle about it, it turns out that this building was the building their first apartment after they got married was in! small world! I showed them where the other apartment was located and they offered to drive me to visit it that Saturday.
We arrived about 10min early to the 2nd apartment and I went in. Now online this listing was from two people who I assumed were the roommates. When I began emailing them I found out there were a couple which worried me a little. When I arrived at the apartment I called to be let in and found out that actually this is their old apartment and they rent out 2 rooms in it so they have no clue who my roommate would be…also their was nothing in the kitchen and very minimal furniture so I would have to buy a lot of things to make it work…something I was trying to avoid by finding a roommate. However, the building was purchased apartments (condos we would call them in Chicago) so they had a great laundry, gym, and sauna facility. When I was leaving the building I saw a young woman walking up the stairs of the set of apartments next to the ones I had just come out of. Her hands were full and she had just gotten off her bike, after walking past her I did a double take and looked back. It was my cousin’s Canadian ex-girlfriend….She had moved to Sweden to live with my cousin a long time ago and when the broke up I knew she had moved into the city. However, since she was Canadian and didn’t really like Sweden I assumed she had eventually gone home. I didn’t say hi but headed back to the car. When I got in my aunt asked if I liked the apartment. “Not really, but the more important question is did you see ____.” They hadn’t seen her but my aunt was sure she had the ex’s address from a christmas card they had sent a few years ago.
the world really is a fun, small place…I don’t have a confirmed apartment yet but I am hoping to avoid the crazies *håller tummarna*