Low Expectations are Highly Expected

As I prepare to leave for Madrid, my mind is on a constant not-so-merry-go-round of where I will find myself living for the next year. As advised, I’m holding out on renting a place in order to avoid scams. With that said, finding a room in a shared apartment in Madrid at this time of the year is the equivalent of being involved in a highly competitive Olympic race.

I’m not all that stressed about it, but I will admit to becoming repeatedly frustrated on account that many listings online are actually no longer available. I can’t imagine that it’s enjoyable to receive a butt ton of inquiries daily when your apartment is already at capacity. In an effort to channel these frustrations into something positive, I’ve reflected on how the roofs I’ve found myself under the past two years have prepared me for just about anything. I will share some of the experiences that I have survived in my tiny Pennsylvania home and mock hotel room in Magelang.

Various events related to uncontrollable water flow such as:

  • Whilst using Skype in my small but cozy Summit Grove bedroom, my ceiling started dripping water on to my bed prompting me to throw my mattress across my room (not very large). The trickle quickly developed into multiple streams and then a waterfall which caused several of my ceiling tiles to collapse. The boys upstairs were soaking a chicken (?) in the kitchen sink and simply forgot to turn off the water. I slept in my roommates bed for a week until said ceiling tiles were replaced.
  • My bathroom toilet in Indonesia was a female on her menstrual cycle: moody. During one such time of the month, the water would not stop running and the bowl was filling rapidly so what’s one to do before a plumber comes other than stick on a pair of rubber gloves, shut the valve, and transfer buckets of toilet water to my shower drain. My toilet was out of service for the weekend. That night I was graced with food poisoning.

Spider cricket infestation. Google search spider cricket. Happy nightmares.

Parasites in my shower drain, mosquito larvae in my water dispenser.

Lizards, birds, and ants making it rain (feces, more feces, and carcasses, respectively).

All jokes aside, I am very grateful for these two temporary accommodations as a) they were a place to keep me sort of safe, b) I am able to recount fabulous memories, and c) I will never approach potential living accommodations with high expectations. I am confident that Madrid’s housing options cannot break me.

Given that I am posting this five months after initially writing it, I would like to make an edit regarding my closing remark: I WAS WRONG.

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