Sunday, I went in and Nicole and I discussed how the school worked, the visa and health regulations, apartments, and internship wants. I'd explained again that I just wanted hotel or conventions as I only have done any work in that in the past, besides of course retail...like much of the States. I didn't mention it. I definitely didn't come here to do that! haha
She said fine and I ended up needing to pay the full price through Paypal. I'd only brought enough cash to do the apartment fees (usually a month's deposit and three months rent). She told me that in order to get the apartments I wanted I should have told her earlier. Ok... Later we'd see the apartment...
T'was dark now and we quickly walked down lane through an apartment complex somewhere in town. It'd started raining and Nicole was having a hard time unlocking the building gate. We hike up three dimly lit flights of stairs. A couple seemed to be shouting at each other, a clanging sound is going on and a man yelling something or other to someone on the next floor up. After a knock on the door, we can enter the apartment. It's also dimly lit but as a stickler for cleanliness I knew one thing was certain, although there's no way to capture the dank smell of the place, it was not clean and it wasn't what I'd seen in the recent set of pictures. One of the men inside said he was already living elsewhere but hadn't moved his items yet. I didn't need anymore time to conclude that I couldn't live there. I can do old buildings, but I can't do dirty. With a grouty bathroom and thick smell, I just couldn't do it.
I told Nicole I'd need to find a different place. And then I was left to do just that. They gave me a website and said to look and call around. Without I phone I'd asked if they could assist and they agreed. Every place I selected they turned down as too far or an offer too good to be true. I told them that like their website stated my budget was 2300 a month. The man whom turns out to work with them laughs and says I need to budget around 5000 a month. In fact one of the men last night said his new place is 10 for just a room and a few roommates. 0.0
I decide to try Airbnb instead but when I checked in it was a disaster. I wanted to cry and told my language partner of the place. He had a good laugh and I sighed and went to sleep. This has nothing to do with YCC so you can just read the comment on the website.
Now I'm frustrated and back in a hotel until I can trust anything again. I confronted Nicole about the apartment not being available despite telling her in November that I'd be applying to the March 9th program and again and again since the start of the year! Her tone quickly changed into a mocking that I didn't tell her that. I let it go and reminded her that the apartment she showed upon arrival was not the same. In a louder tone she said it was exactly the same. I asked her to print the email, now that I could see her anger, and she did. She said she took the pictures on her own camera herself. Naturally, I figured I'd better ask before or after the men moved in. She said before.
I could see her confidence and decided to hit myself instead for not finding my own place before arrival. I simply asked if they could at least look at the contract since I'm now on my own and I've been hearing of quite a few scams and immediate evictions due to fraud. She and Jessica agreed. Another woman in the office helped me call a few more "landlords" and found all but one to sound like a 骗子* cheater. I felt a bit defeated and simply left. I could barely focus on anything now.
Do you have any tips for apartment hunting in Shanghai? Post them below!