Stuck inside and staring at my computer screen. It’s dark both inside and outside. The only light is streaming from the computer. I seem to be stuck in a spot on my chair and I can’t really move. It’s late and I have been searching online for over four hours.
I would like a break but somehow this is boringly addictive. I am trying to find a room.
Searching all the websites for rooms is exhausting and I have no idea where areas are yet so I have to research every single time. I have been on my computer most nights for the last month. It’s laborious but every now and then I find a little gem.
In my present indecisive mood, I seem unable to present any clear view as to where I should be living. I mean I want to live in Amsterdam but niggling thoughts suggest that perhaps I should move to The Hague. Can I commute every day? an hour each way? Or, stay til January before moving to The Hague? This indecision is not unusual. I seem to have cultivated a barrier between positive spontaneous decision-making and an absolute lowly inability to address anything. It dawns on me that I am making things difficult for myself. And then the thought of dragging four, wheeled cases and my cello case onto the train makes me feel lazy.
A while ago, I summoned up decisive courage to start messaging people about their rooms. Now I’ve seen a few. I’ve been lucky in a way. I seem to get some nice responses from people but I see many who just cannot get a room. It’s a heartbreaking business this. Single women with children, or couples, or people with pets. There are many people out there who advertise rooms that do not allow certain types of people. And many do not allow registration – which is an ability to get onto the dutch payroll system so you can work.
When you trawl through the websites, you’ll start to see things in skewed ways. People’s patience becomes stretched, and the ones who have been there for a while will become the ‘mothers’ of the website looking out for other people new to the game. There are many frauds in this business, as you would expect, who target people who are naive and desperate for a room. Usually if a ‘fake’ is recognised you’ll find fury hath no mercy. People regularly throw tantrums on these sites, show their darker side, their comments bordering on the somewhat nasty, amongst other things.
In short, there are many more people than there are rooms available, resulting in a realtime process of an increasingly depressed people.
I have had mixed responses: the funniest so far was a room where I could only play music once I let the housemates know. This was to prepare them – by putting on headphones. Here’s to a happy and healthy relationship with music 🙂
It has to be addressed though that there is a real, and sometimes very nasty, adult playground in Amsterdam. It’s tough and too many people let the stress rule their lives.
And for me….I am still sitting in my chair staring at my computer screen.