The very first place that I rented in London, after being an Au Pair, looked like a drug-den. I shared this tiny, broken hovel with four other people, not counting the various lovers/clients of the tattoo artist in the room next door to mine. When I went to the flat viewing I brought my friend Tash who was adamant I couldn’t live there. Even before we stepped into the flat there were warning signs that this wasn’t going to be a homely abode.
The very first place that I rented in London, after being an Au Pair, looked like a drug-den.
It was situated in a huge prison-like building, built mainly with cement. The stairwell looked as if it had never been cleaned and smelt profusely like urine. When we walked the length of the balcony to reach the front door, the railing wobbled so unsafely I wonder now if it was legal. The the front door didn’t even have a handle!
The inside was even worse than the outside. It was the first flat I looked at and I payed the deposit immediately after the viewing. I don’t know how I got past the smell or how broken down everything was. I guess the lure of the low rent price and the close move in date was overpowering to me. No one thought I could do it – make it on my own. I was determined to prove them wrong. So a falling-down, hole in the world felt like success to me at the time. When Tash saw the flat she saw a prison. When I saw it, I saw freedom.