Thursday, August 26, 2010

Another Milestone

Well, I'm now one step closer to leaving Barcelona, or returning to America. The way I say it depends on which side of the ocean the person I'm talking to is located. Yesterday Laura and I moved out of our apartment. Now she is staying next door to our apartment with her boyfriend and I am crashing with my friends Jessica and Sofi who graciously offered to let me stay with them.

Leading up to our departure, Laura and I were pretty stressed about whether or not we'd get any of our security deposit back. A few weeks ago the landlady had come to talk through the end of our contract and the meeting left a bad taste in our mouths.

From the minute she walked in the door, bringing with her the stale smell of unwashed poly-cotton housedress and impending death, we had a bad feeling. She was very confrontational and began looking around the apartment, finding things wrong, like chipped paint near the (very high)ceiling, and asking us what we'd done to the place.

She asked to the see the kitchen and as soon as she crossed the threshold she looked up at the (clean) white tile wall and tsk-tsked. "Ay, que sucio," she said. "Oh how dirty." I tried to follow her shaky gaze and asked where she saw dirt. "Es muy sucio," she replied. I looked again and all I saw was white. To prove her wrong, I took a paper towel and wiped it down the wall. It was perfectly clean. I held it out to her. "Mira, es limpia," I told her. "Look, it's clean." She responded by turning her head away and telling me not to try to clean it now. If she wasn't smaller than me, I really might have slapped her.

We spent six and a half straight hours cleaning the day before she came to inspect the place to determine how much money we'd get back, if any. I have never cleaned so well or sweat so much in my life. It paid off because we ended up getting all of our money back. It didn't happen without a 10 minute demonstration to show her that the washing machine worked (and how it works), turning every light on and off, and promising her we'd clean the windows and shower doors again with a specific type of cleaner. While she was there she freaked out every time she felt a breeze and commanded us to shut all the windows. It was as if she thought it was death coming for her and needed us to keep it away.

We cleaned the windows and walked around in socks so as not to dirty the floor and a few hours later she came back, gave us our money and wished us well. We both resisted the urge to push her down the stairs when she left, just for all the stress she'd caused us and just ejoyed counting and splitting up our money instead.


Laura said...

jaja, true story!

Natalie said...

So crazy...but I'm glad it all worked out in your favor. Guessing no tears were needed. :)

AliG said...

No, the tears were not necessary. Except now I really want an opportunity to try them out...