Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The quest for an apartment

It must be said that the people of Leuven are very peculiar about their will for you to find a place. I guess they believe that if you do not know how to get to a certain place, you just do not deserve getting there. I agree that this is a great starting point for a worthy philosophical debate. However, in daily life it translates to 'How the fuck do I find Fonteinstraat 68 when there are no numbers on the buildings!? &$(@#$&@#$'

There is light till 20:00, but as of 14:00 it is quite dim. In the early morning and around 16:00 you may get a few 'sun pings', but that's all. I still don't find it depressive, but interesting...still...

Another interesting thing is that there are almost no grocery shops. You can find lots of small and ultra expensive supermarkets (e.g. Tesco), but almost no grocery shops, no neighborhood bakeries....maybe I'm missing something which I'll learn to see later on.

Just to keep you on the loop - today, my main occupation was calling immo (real estate) agencies and 'landlords' as they are called here, just to hear that they have either rented their place already or that they won't rent it for a couple/one semester. It was pretty frustrating, but on the bright side - I got to know a significant part of the city by foot. Another positive side effect is that I ran into an amazing discount-if-you-buy-6 packs-of-something supermarket. You can imagine that I ran like a mad-rat from shelf to shelf enjoying  calculating prices and comparing them to Israel.

I managed to get back to the hostel on time to prepare dinner (they shut down the stoves at 20:00) and got a great pasta with broccoli. In another post we'll further discuss the daily schedule of the Leuveneans. But just to tease you a bit I will just tell you that it's the safest place I've ever seen for bike riders, and it's getting even safer after 19:00...just because there are no cars in the streets after 19:00.

That's all for today. I still have a list of 20 possible apartments to review and prepare a list of phone calls to be made tomorrow which is also the first orientation day at the university.

And for Jen, get ready, there is a cute guy here at the international office who learned Semitic languages and would be happy to talk with you about Ebla, Yiddish or how difficult is Russian compared to Hebrew.

Love you all,

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