Apartment hunting

September 18, 2007

This post is actually part 2 of first days in Lisboa and talks about day 2 and 3.

Nathalie leaving for Coimbra

Leaving for Coimbra

When I woke up this morning it took me a second or two to realize where I was. I was at the youth hostel in Lisbon, I had to find an apartment to stay for the next 5 months and my girl was going to leave to her erasmus city in a few hours. It’s strange to be here. A few months ago we were only vaguely talking about going on erasmus and now we’re really here. I kinda like the adventure.After breakfast I went with my girlfriend to Orient station to say goodbye. She’s going to study Portuguese and Spanish in Coimbra, a university city 200km north of Lisbon. I hope it’s a nice city with friendly people. Maybe I’ll visit it in a couple of weeks. (she has a dutch blog here if you want to read more about her adventures). Goodbye’s are never fun, but this one was particularly hard because I was worried about her going to a new city all by herself.Anyway the train left and I wondered around a bit before going back to Alec to start our apartment hunt.

Searching for 2 nice rooms in Lisboa

One thing we knew by now was that Portuguese people aren’t very keen on using email as a communication device. I think we sent about 20 emails before we came to Portugal and only received 3 or 4 replies. So we phoned every number we could get a hold of with Alec’s new portuguese sim card. (if you want my or Alec’s new number, drop me a mail or leave a comment)We saw some ugly apartments. My god, sometimes it feels like there’re really ripping off erasmus students (or foreign people in general). One place was on the 5 or 6th floor of a building that looked like it could collapse any time, smelled like they used cat urine as paint and had a ‘sales’ lady that said it was in a bad neighborhood.We saw one super apartment though in Bairro Alto (the older and nicer city part where all the bars are located). The apartment was owned by a female photographer so it had a lovely design interior. Must have been by far the coziest apartment I’ve seen here. Unfortunately she was only renting 2 rooms and we’d have to live with her. (she is a little crazy) We prefer an apartment with other students! There was a german girl staying there now who came here on erasmus 2 years ago. She gave us some good tips and showed us the ‘erasmus’ bar later that evening.Luckily Alec met a Slovenian girl (Anna) in the youth hostel who had found a place which had 2 rooms left. It’s an OK apartment perfectly located close to the metro and in walking distance from Bairro Alto (very important). The owner, Carlos (which is pronounced Car-louche, funny if you know French), is a nice guy who showed us the rooms. After thinking about it for a day we decided to take it, mainly because there are 6 other erasmus students living here.

L'Auberge Espagnol

View from my room

So now we’ve been living here for 5 days with a Slovenian girl, an Italian girl, a French girl, a Slovakian guy, a Czech guy and a Polish girl. A nice mix of cultures if you ask me. A bit like the french movie L'Auberge Espagnol. We’ve been going out to the bars at Bairro Alto since.(I hope I’ll have time to write a post about it)

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