Title: Doing is King
Author: Alzano Edullega
From: San Diego
Blogging since: August 2012
Post Title: Rent in San Diego
Post Date: August 21, 2012
The tourist attractions of a city are like the nice shirt people wear to parties. The real estate market is like the underwear. One doesn’t have to match the other. So I was eager to explore the rent space in San Diego, now that I planned to stay here for at least one month.
I opened Craigslist.org, which is always a creepy experience, and started to browse around. The offers were overwhelming. But the prices were very good, especially if you just wanted a studio.
First I went to a zone with the uninviting name of Cajon (the drawer). As scary as it may be for some people, it’s still a nice poor neighborhood. Yes, there are old cars and humble houses, but there is also order and enough cleanliness. That’s the difference between poverty and decadence. In my country of origin, poor, nasty, and insecure were pretty much the same thing. Here, you can separate the concepts. I love this country and I find virtue even in its failures.
What pushed me out of this part of the city was the “culture” factor. The room for rent was in a neighborhood full of children who were yelling and running around. That alone told me that I won’t make the deal, but I inspected the place anyway. The room had a balcony with clear reception of the music played by the neighbors, a Mexican combination of country/fair band that they call “banda.” I think that music is the best reason to leave this planet. I said, “Thank you for your time,” and ran to my car.
The next candidate was a room in a mansion at the top of a hill. Things looked pretty good, and the owner waited for me in his Audi in a spot nearby. He asked me to follow him to his house, and we entered a spacious front yard with trees. But then the guy got out of the car. He was a 60-year-old, tall white man, drunk as if he had been to a bachelor party and dirty as if he had been taking a nap in a dumpster. He smelled the same way he looked. Turning to me, he opened his sleepy eyes and invited me to come in. We passed through the main entrance of a very elegant and furnished home that seemed to have been totally without maintenance for at least six months. He showed me the way to the kitchen; it offered a full view of a half-full pool. That place was the epicenter of the mess. At that point, the tall man turned around and I noticed that he had a knife in his right hand. Then I noticed that he had an orange in his left hand. He asked me if I liked fruit.
We sat at a glass table and he conducted a general interview to see if I was a wordy renter. At the end of the orange he showed me the way to the room. It was situated in a cozy corner with its own bathroom. There was a bra hanging from the shower. He told me that his 20-year-old daughter just moved out a couple of days ago. Then a call interrupted him. Some kind of broker was trying to negotiate a price. After that he explained to me that we might have to leave some days to let the real estate agent show the house.
I had no idea what was happening in that life, but I didn’t want to be part of it. So I walked away.
I’m now in a comfortable apartment with an independent entrance and bathroom, just 15 minutes from downtown. A friendly Mexican couple rented it to me and let me move in the same day. No traces of “banda” around. There seems to be a Philippine neighbor, and I love how quiet everything is so far. I swear, it’s so silent that there is less noise outside than inside, and the only sound inside is the fridge.
You place your chips, you roll the dice, and you collect. The only difference is that in real life, you never know the extent of the bet.