Move it baby!!
Its been a while since I got around to type a blog, in fact three weeks. I did start out on a couple of occasions, but never completed them to be able to publish. They will probably stay as "drafts" forever.
A lot has been happening in these few weeks. Some interesting stuff with research. My PhD prelims are still on the back of my head and apparently quite away from committees thought. My work with linear prediction filters is taking some shape but nonetheless nothing significant to report on.
Anyway, in the midst of all these, I had to change my apartment, with my roommies. Surprise!! Surprise!! Even we were surprised for most of the last week. The surprise started on last Tuesday around 11AM. When Sharath, my roommate, forwarded an email conversation with the Director of Residence Life and Dining Services at the University. The email asked us to set-up an appointment with our ALA (Apartment Life Assistant) before the 2nd of July for checking out. He had already replied to them that we are not ready to vacate the apartment, but apparently we did not have that option.
A while ago, on the 2nd of May, we decided for a number of reasons, that it might be safe to assume that we would need to shift to a different apartment in a couple of months, preferably closer to the "College of Engineering and Applied Sciences" building, where our department is. So, it seemed perfect to file an "intent to vacate" form with the University Apartments' Office. So, we did. We knew, we had 60 days notice period. And then we had to set-up an appointment with our ALA at least 15 days in advance for check out. This is the procedure, if we would not like to forfeit the 200$ deposit with the Apartments' Office.
It was only on the 28th of June, did we come to know that the "60 days" was a hard deadline. And apparently one had to vacate at the end of it. We certainly did not intend to do that!! Anyway, we decided to do a quick classifieds look on the popular craigslist.org, university classifieds page and elsewhere on the internet. Made a few calls, went to out first choice apartments' complex and scheduled a "show" for the next day. And then, we went to University Apartment's Associate Directors Office to talk to her and explain our position. Even though she claimed to understand our situation, she suggested that we start searching for storage spaces, couch spaces and apartments at the same time. Oh, yeah, did I tell you we were so grateful to her for giving us three options! I think I have calmed down a lot in that respect, I think I would have not reacted with a "thank you, I am sure we will work it out" if this were the case a couple of years ago. And then, we were back in Sharath's office, trying to figure out POA. All this, we painfully walked in the soaring Laramie sun and heat (and of course heavy UV radiation) !!
We got a list of real-estate agents in town from the apartment office, made a few hundred calls. (I should watch for my cell-phone bill this time). We were praying that our first choice apartment would work out the next day. I was back at my desk only at 5PM in the evening; with only a Taco B(H)ell burrito the whole day. With no mood to do any work, I called it a day and played badminton in the evening.
The next morning, we were at the first choice apartment at 8:50AM even though our appointment was at 9AM. (Considering that three Indians were collectively 30mins early is a great feat.) Anyway, it turns out that this apartment campus, had some restrictions on the residents. There were age, student status, single status and total income restrictions and 3 PIGS (Poor Indian Graduate Students) couldn't possible satisfy 3 of the four conditions. So, we said, "oh, whatever, we'll get married and come here!! :P" and came back to our respective offices. We visited one more agency in town, set-up a show for the next day and came back to office.
Oh, God, I myself am already bored with this. So, cut it short, on Thursday morning, we called a guy, he showed us four apartment quite close to engineering building and we chose one, confirmed that afternoon, Friday we signed the lease, Friday evening, when I went to the gym to play badminton, I had two of my suitcases and tabla in my room. We had moved all our stuff by Saturday evening, and cleaned most of the old apartment by Saturday night. It looked brand new again.
Wow!! it was a wonderful week, full of surprises and coordinated efforts. My roommates are such easy people to work with, among the three of us, I guess I am the worst to work with. Hey, we managed to pull it off in just 5 days. In some ways, we were lucky, we knew enough about the town that we could do things on a short notice and interestingly enough, we had enough financial strength to be able manage it. I am sure, if we were to sleep on somebody's couch, it wouldn't have been as exciting.
I do have a honorable mention on this story, some of our closest friends in Laramie, BN, SS, PC and MR. For the late night dinners, early morning teas and logistics.