I've called or emailed more than 30 landlords. I've called 10 or 15 letting agents. I've seen two flats, both of which silently rejected me. I've got an appointment to see one more. My existing rental contract runs out in 10 days.
The most productive conversation I had today was with a letting agent that suggested I give Xena away. Right. I'm going to give up my loving companion so I can have a shitty studio.
Brits have a reputation for being a nation of dog lovers. But when I think about it, the only people who say that are, themselves, British. No foreigner ever remarks on how beloved pets are. In fact, most Brits seem to be afraid of dogs. If they're not afraid of being bitten, they're afraid of some other, unspecified evil. Dogs smell bad. They shed. They might chew things. They might spontaneously burst into flame and destroy the entire neighborhood as they run around setting it on fire. French people - they love dogs. The Dutch are fond of dogs. Brits? They wet themselves in terror. Which should not be surprising as that seems to be their response to anything slightly out of the ordinary. I cannot believe that these are the same people who beat the Nazis. I think that evil Nazi scientists must have introduced a mutation into the British gene pool which causes a general inability to cope with anything. I don't know why I think it would be better to live in London than Brum. It will still be in this fucking country. Sure, they have the NHS and Doctor Who and an active squat scene, but just because their infrastructure is slightly less dismantled than US infrastructure . . . well, I mean, at least America is full of Americans. We might be all a bunch of fucking cowboys, but cowboys can cope with shit. Also, cowboys like dogs. My budget for a studio is now greater than my mortgage payments were for my house in Berkeley. And I probably won't find anything. I'll be lucky to find anything even if I stay in Brum. It was only a fluke that I got this place and it's sort of falling apart and it's the best that I'll ever be able to do in this fucking little country.
Edit: 21 June 2008
I deeply regret any pro-cowboy comments that I've made.