9 Things I've Learned from Living in This Apartment

  1. Mildew grows really quickly. And I mean really quickly. I’m in charge of cleaning the bathroom, which has no windows and a pathetic excuse for an air circulation system that the management calls a fan, so our shower walls and the bathtub develop a nasty golden-brown sheen about every week or so. Golden-brown might be a great color for pastries and Thanksgiving turkey skin, but it’s not so appealing in the shower (unless you happen to be golden-brown). Which is why I bust out the Lysol every two weeks and destroy my lungs by chemical inhalation while scrubbing the shower walls. It wouldn’t be so bad if our bathroom had windows, but it’s more effective than leaving the (incredibly noisy) fan on for hours after each person showers.
  2. In relation to the poor circulation of our bathroom, our towels don’t actually dry. We’re currently on the lookout for a clothes horse (that’s a drying rack to most of the population) or a coathanger… stand to put our towels on, with little success. Note to self: stop bringing super-absorbent Turkish cotton towels to the apartment.
  3. I’ve come to the conclusion that if you are in charge of cleaning the bathroom, you must be prepared to pick up way more hair than you think could possibly fall off someone’s head or body in the course of a week. Incidentally, you should also be prepared to find out if your roommate’s carpet matches the drapes. Luckily, all my roommates are Asian, so I really don’t know whose hair is whose. This is a perk of poor racial diversity.

  4. If your sink is clogged, before you drown the pipes in Drano, try pouring a lot of salt down the drain, followed by boiling water. This should help with clogs formed by hair. (Your roommates’ hair!)
  5. Craigslist, craigslist, craigslist. There is no other way to go. Seriously. Especially in a college town like Berkeley, there’s little point in purchasing any furniture new. Check if your relatives or friends have anything they don’t want, then hit up Craigslist for cheap deals or free things. (But make sure you get to see the items in question before committing to making a payment. Some of the free couches are truly nasty.) Bonus tip: If you are a lady purchasing from a gentleman… go armed with a skirt, lip gloss, and the mindset that you are very, very single. This is, perhaps, unethical or something, but I can’t say flirtation hurts your bargaining chances.
  6. If you are going bare-legged, allow at least 20 minutes before you exit the building for the indentations on your leg to fade from sitting on your corduroy couch or it will look like you’re wearing really creative pantyhose.

  7. In terms of laundry, you always need to insert more quarters than the minimum if you want anything to dry. Also, check the lint trap before you start the cycle and play nice - clean it with your dryer sheet after you're done.
  8. The people in the apartment across the way can totally see into your living room. Either make it worth their while or put some real clothes on.
  9. Necessary food items for breakfast, lunch, and dinner: bread, rice, eggs, peanut butter. Everything else is extraneous. (Embrace the scurvy! Fruits and vegetables are for wimps.)
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