Monday, July 16, 2007

Quest for a Three-Bedroom Flat: The Thrilling Conclusion

I will henceforth dispense with the dramatic-script format so as to, well, not to make a long story short since it's obviously way, way too late for that, but to cut as quickly to the chase as possible while including some relevant details for those who want to follow every step of the chase:

I came back to Vancouver on my own late last Sunday night, leaving Renaissance Woman and the Mermaid Girl in Seattle for the week while I fed all the various cats and worked as a volunteer counselor at a writer's camp for kids.

Monday night, after my volunteer gig, I called and e-mailed a half-dozen prospects from Craigslist and, including some that said "no pets" just in case they didn't totally mean it.

Five of the places got back to me. Two were in areas we think are too dangerous, in catchment areas for schools we've heard bad things about.

The third place invited me over for a viewing if I could get there in the next ten minutes. It was in a pleasant, if remote, neighborhood near the university, but the living room and kitchen were both tiny. I put in an application.

Tuesday night I went out to see Apartment #4: in a heartbreakingly wonderful location, just a couple of blocks from our very favorite children's bookstore. The ceilings were 6 feet tall, it was really only two bedrooms, and the landlady was firm about not taking cats.

After the #4 landlady and I had expressed our mutual regrets, I gunned the car ten miles away to Nearby Suburb to view Apartment #5. It was a suite in a triplex, just a few blocks away from the very first house we had looked at, eight days and maybe a couple years of my life earlier. The landlords were a young couple who lived in the upstairs suite; they had only bought the house a year earlier. There were three real bedrooms. There was indeed a bathtub. There was a (shared) washer and dryer. There was a (shared) yard. It was a short bus ride away from a skytrain station.

It was in the Preferred School catchment area. And it was over $200 per month cheaper than the Skytrain Apartment, with an August 1st start for the lease.

Reader, I took it.

The best part was calling RW, who was out drinking with friends in celebration of her 45th birthday, and yelling into a bad cell-phone connection "GUESS WHAT I GOT YOU FOR YOUR BIRTHDAY?"

The worst part was calling the Skytrain Apartment landlady to tell her we wouldn't be taking her apartment after all and that we would be forfeiting our deposit.

The weirdest part, and the part that will make both my parents cackle with glee, is that I'm satisfied--nay, happy--to have found us a nice, safe, relatively affordable place to live, near a good school.

In the suburbs.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cackle, cackle.

12:49 AM  
Blogger susan said...

May you enjoy the baths, the yard, the neighborhood! Good work.

6:57 AM  
Anonymous rachel said...


(And a tiny "aw, maaaaan!" after hearing about Place #4! But that's just a selfish whine, really.)

7:05 AM  
Blogger Phantom Scribbler said...

Sigh. I just love happy endings!

7:26 AM  
Blogger JM said...

Hooray! I'm glad you wrapped it up successfully. I was getting stressed just reading it, so I can only imagine how stressed actual participants were...

9:26 AM  
Anonymous ppb said...


10:15 AM  
Anonymous Patty said...

Yes! I was rooting for Vancouver.

I was just reading Badger's sister's blog, Screamything, when I noticed Mermaidgirl on her blogroll. What? Nobody told me Mermaidgirl had her own blog! I've got to read this no bathtub story from her point of view.

Guess what? It's not YOUR mermaidgirl. I was bummed.

6:01 PM  
Anonymous chasmyn said...


9:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Phew! I'm so happy about the apartment, great job! And being able to comment on your blog too. I am now keeping up with you all this way and was in great suspense reading the saga.

"The Other RW" and owner of said cell phone

7:47 PM  
Anonymous Alice said...

Els - I am addicted to your blog. I am sad you are moving, but so glad to learn the minutia (sp?) of your apt. searc. Much love, Alice. P.S. The new Ann Brashares isn't nearly as good as the Pants series.

9:59 AM  
Blogger liz said...


9:07 PM  
Anonymous cheesefairy said...

The rental racket gives me hives...things always turn out in the end but in the middle it's so very stressful.

Congratulations on your perfect place! & good luck with the move.

10:54 AM  
Blogger mcewen said...

So that is presumably why you've not posted since - too busy.

5:08 PM  
Blogger nyjlm said...

hooray! yippee! I was at a conference for a week and am so happy to come home and read this news.

9:43 AM  

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