Worst Flat

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Martin Hash
Smitty
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Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:02 pm

Worst Flat

Post by Martin Hash » Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:31 am

I did my Basic Sciences year of Medical School in Newcastle, England. I'd never rented an apartment (“flat” in British vernacular) overseas before, so it was an interesting experience. I found lots of ads on the internet but they all required a monthly management fee, unless that is, you bank-transferred the whole year's lease upfront. So I Google-Mapped a circle within walking distance of Northumbria University, found some pictures of a place that looked good, and sent my money. My wife, Gwynne, was somewhat apprehensive:

“We've never even talked to anybody,” she warned.
“It'll be okay,” I reassured her.
“But we can't go someplace else if we don't like it.”
“We're just going to sleep there; how bad can it be?”
Plenty bad, as it turns out.
Flat.JPG
Our “2 bedroom” (we wanted a spare so our kids could come visit) was actually once part of a larger Council House that had been privatized during the Thatcher years and subdivided into 4 units. It hadn't been modernized since then: grease from cooking was embedding in the carpet and furniture; the old-fashioned heating radiators didn't work; the dresser drawers had no bottoms in them; and there were no mattresses, we slept in sleeping bags on a piece of cardboard. We heard the landlady lived in China, but we never, ever had any contact; I finally gave up emailing her.
Flat Chop Suey.JPG
There was a “Chop Suey Bar” across the street that we were curious about but I never actually went into because it was always closed. We would often pull the front curtain aside to peek out and see if was open, and once it was. Once was enough. There was also a traditional English fish-n-chips place that was semi-busy. We only ate there occasionally because the grease would run in rivulets down our arms, and the gastric aftershock just wasn't worth it, no matter how traditional & satisfying.
Sewage.JPG
There was a washing machine but it took 6 hours to finish one cycle. There was no dryer so the only decoration in our living room was clothes hanging up to dry. The kitchen sink was an open pipe draining onto a piece of concrete just outside the window that got 4-6 inches deep and smelled like sewage so we didn't use the sink. Instead Gwynne washed dishes in the bathtub, but then the bathtub hot water tap sprung a leak and started spraying water. When we turned off the valve, the other 3 flats lost water too and started complaining. I used the heel of my shoe to hammer a Christmas candle into the joint. That worked but we couldn't use the tap to put water into the bathtub so I rigged an old vacuum hose from the bathroom sink into the bathtub. The only time we saw a repairman was when we were moving out and they were going to raise the rent. I don't think we were the only ones who lived like this...
Washing Dishes in Bathtub.JPG
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DrYouth
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Re: Worst Flat

Post by DrYouth » Mon Feb 05, 2018 9:25 am

Holy shit Martin...

For a rich guy...

you sure know how to rough it.

Do you sleep on a bed of nails once in a while just to stay in form?

Bet you regret saving that monthly management fee.
and then I burn them, Gandalf, I burn them all – Smitty

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heydaralon
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Re: Worst Flat

Post by heydaralon » Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:41 pm

Martin, how do we know that you aren't just making this up? For all we know, you are a Nigerian scammer trying to get our credit card info by building rapport via humorous stories.
I don't give a tinkers cuss about climate change, I bash baby seal heads in, eat their hearts raw, then wipe my mouth with their furry carcasses, if the sea ice dissapears, I switch to some other furry creature.
-Smitty-48