• Sam Box

Roommate Roulette

By Stephen McGurk

Ah the seasonal apartment hunt. What a joyous experience, desperately trying to find several square inches to park yourself and your plethora of belongings for 6 months. And that doesn’t even factor in the high probability of getting stuck sharing with at best, a socially inept weirdo; at worst a knife wielding psychopath.

Which brings me onto the subject of this article. In a bid to avoid such a calamitous situation, I decided to jump the gun, put all of my hard earned cash down on an apartment for two and recruit a room mate myself. So a string of prospective room-mates manoeuvered themselves along the narrow hallway of the studio to view my tiny palace. My ‘room’ was semi-partitioned, but the lucky winner would be sleeping on a pull-out sofa in the middle of the living space. Perfect if you didn’t want any privacy whatsoever.

The bathroom was ancient, and the kitchenette had the benefit of being so small that you could stand anywhere in the room and still prepare a meal. The only real highlight of the gaff was the ranging balcony with spectacular views of the bins. This was my main selling point. “Yeah the apartment is for all intents and purposes a cupboard, but you can spend your day lounging on this beautiful balcony”, (“soaking up the sweet smell of trash”- I didn’t add).

The first person to view the studio was a Spanish girl who very politely, but

immediately, turned it down. An English guy dropped by, drank three cups of coffee, destroyed the toilet and left. And then along came Pierre, who fell firmly into the latter category of aforementioned bad roommate scenarios.

Pierre arrived on a Friday. From his incessant phone calls and messages prior to

his arrival I knew it wasn’t going to work. The timbre of his voice sounded way

older and I could tell he was nowhere near chilled enough. He rang me at least ten times during the week to make sure he could come and see the apartment. He hadn’t arrived in resort yet but he was adament he would take the bed for the season. Even after all these set-up phone calls he chose the much-maligned surprise arrival technique; turning up out of the blue, at midnight with luggage and skis in tow. He entered; flung his orange ski-jacket across the studio to reveal a full-set of body armour underneath, then prior to introductions he began ranting about the size of the studio. Don’t get me wrong, I was aware the place was a shit-hole, but by-Christ it was my shit-hole.