Friday, August 10, 2012

apartment hunting in Waikiki: a total WTF moment in life

Apartment hunting in Waikiki is flipping CRAZY. cuh-ray-zay. I lived in San Francisco for college, which I thought was as ridiculous as it could be in terns of renting, but oh no. Hawaii is a different kind of mayhem. Yes, it is expensive. Space is limited, it's a dang island after all. The price doesn't shock me anymore. What gets me are the things I have become accustomed to that now make me feel like a princess for wanting in my future apartment. Liiiiiiiike a kitchen. Because a lot of the buildings were (or still are) hotels, the studios and one-bedroom apartments used to be hotel rooms. Some of them had kitchenettes or have been renovated to have a stove and little fridge. But most of them just have a hot plate. As in, a camping stove. As in, a single burner. As in, I hope I don't want a side dish ever. A lot of the pictures I see of apartments online have a mini fridge, with a microwave on top of it, with a toaster oven on top of it or some variation of a stack of appliances. Like a little totem pole of fire hazards. For example:

My favorite whacked out apartment had no kitchen, just a mini fridge in the room. The selling point, said the craigslist ad, was the communal kitchen in each floor's lobby. When I got to the showing, it turned out that this alleged communal kitchen was two burners and a sink. One kitchen. With two burners. For eight apartments. In a hallway. No bueno,

The runner up for most bizarre Hawaii accommodation I've run across was a studio that had no bathroom door. Your bathroom, living room bedroom and kitchen (hot plate!) are all one room. You know how they say 'don't sh*t where you eat?' You gotta throw that advice right out the window, which is hard because they were just window slats. The (live) cockroach visitor at the showing was the bow on top of the present at that one. I kindly said no thanks, I would not like to pay the $20 application fee to put my name in the hat, even though I bet that Dog the Bounty Hunter will be making an appearance there any day now and everybody loves a z-list celebrity sighting now and again.

BUT. At the end of day, you're a block from Waikiki beach and a big ol' dormant volcano with tourists clamoring up the side and a McDonalds that gives you a tiny cup of pineapple with your meal. Paying a thousand dollars a month to live in a glorified closet with a hot plate is worth it.I just have to find the right glorified closet to call my own. I know there are nice, safe places that I can afford, it just takes a lot of leg work to see them and apply (there's usually at least 10 people at each showing competing for the apartment.) My time will come! Until then, thank goodness for my friends and their futons!

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