Monday, March 10, 2008

Welcome to Flogsta

Joe Last week turned out to be a bit busier than expected, but it's had a welcome result: we found an apartment. It's been a long hunt, with a bunch of near misses. The first place we looked at seemed fine to us, but some of Jennifer's coworkers were horrified. We're still not sure exactly what's wrong with the neighborhood it was in, but it seems to be the closest thing Uppsala has to a slum.

By a month in, it turned out that we weren't even using the right resources. We'd been looking mostly at the websites of large apartment companies, which do indeed advertise available apartments. The problem is, apartments are offered on a queue system: once everyone has expressed interest in the apartment, the person who has been waiting for a place the longest gets first stab at it, then the next person, and so on. It's all very egalitarian, sure, but it turns out that the average wait time to get a place is something like two years. So we could have a nice place by the time we leave.

Instead, we turned to a couple of places that list sublets that are available. These are available on short notice, but suffer from exactly the opposite problem: they are all totally first-come, first-serve. It took a couple of weeks before we even began to find places that weren't already gone. The next challenge was deciphering the ads. It turns out my rudimentary Swedish doesn't handle classifieds shorthand too well, but with a dictionary and enough time I was able to figure most of it out. My favorite place was an "exciting opportunity near downtown," which either had an east-facing balcony or was over a cheese shop. Turns out it was on the top floor of an industrial building, wedged in between the train tracks and a factory. Yummy.

Anyway, we are now the proud owners of a student apartment in Flogsta. Well, not owners so much as tenants. Sub-tenants really—we're subletting it from a nice student until the end of August. It isn't the perfect arrangement: Flogsta is on the western edge of town, not on one of the two bus lines that goes past Jennifer's place of work, in a huge block of student apartment buildings. Jennifer's commute will be significantly longer now that she has to switch buses, and we lose our pretty view of the cathedral and castle.

Having said that, it's a nice apartment, with two bedrooms, a small kitchen that looks out onto the front room, a small balcony, and a walk-in closet. And while the view isn't exactly spectacular, it is conveniently located just a few minute's walk from a large grocery store. It's also unfurnished, so we're going to have to get some furniture after all.

Looks like it's back to IKEA.


  1. ...wait, does this mean you won't be feeding me corned beef and guinness cake this coming week? *Sigh*

  2. We may have to make a few substitutions in our traditional St. Paddy's menu this year. Cabbage and potatoes I can swing, but maybe meatballs instead of corned beef, and semla instead of guinness cake?

  3. Every time I read Flogsta I'm reminded of "Flhoston Paradise", the giant spaceliner in The Fifth Element. Heh.