21 June 2010

Trip to Alexandria

So we just got back from a trip to the D.C. Metro area, but mostly Alexandria, VA. We arrived there on Thursday and left Sunday afternoon. We went to look at as many apartments as we could, and also make some job appointments. Mainly with Takeshi doing another "starch" (for-free-work-day) at a restaurant in Alexandria, while I went to downtown D.C. for a part-time job interview. The drive down was fine and uneventful, but jesus the traffic down there is worse off than what I remember! And TONS and TONS of construction going on with the highways and roads. Everywhere we went there was construction, making things a little bit harder at times to find exits and such.

On Thursday we were much more productive than we thought we'd be! We saw a total of 4 apartments. Most of them were equal to each other for the most part, interior-wise. With appliances and size of rooms. Most of them were garden-style apartments which is where you're not in a huge apartment complex but sharing a smaller building with maybe 4-6 different other apartments. Then one we saw, was actually the only "complex" style we looked at, and it was probably the oldest.

On Friday I dropped Takeshi off of at the King Street metro station and then drove and parked at the Van Dorn station down the way. Sat at the Station Armory station in downtown D.C. for a while since my interview was at 1pm and I got there at about 11:30am. It was a nice day fortunately, so I found a bit of shade and listening to my iPod while watching people around me. Some elderly ladies choir/group came by for a while, but after listening to them chirp out oldies tunes, I mostly just stuck to my own song lists. ;)

The view from where I sat at the Navy Memorial near the metro stop

Interview went well, lady was nice. Long story short though - ends up I can't take that one anyway, even if she ends up calling me later on. It ends up being waaaayy too far away from the apartment we're waiting to get approved on right now, since I'd be riding into downtown D.C. from Virginia everyday, paying about $4.50 roundtrip - while only getting paid part time at $9/hr!

My best friend Todd was actually free that day and came up to meet me after my interview. We had a nice lunch at a favorite restaurant of ours nearby. He stuck around with me the whole day pretty much, since I don't know WHAT I would have done all day by myself - mostly would have stayed in the hotel and watched TV - which is actually what we both ended up doing anyway. :) We wandered out at about 8:30pm and walked to the KFC across the street a ways. I got KFC for dinner and Todd couldn't resist the iHop located in the bottom floor of the hotel next to ours. I usually don't have a huge love for iHop but KFC isn't five star cuisine either. We were trying to pretty much safe as much money as we could with eating out the whole few days we were there...

At the end of the night, I dropped off Todd at one station, and thankfully Takeshi called me to tell me he was done, so I made my way to the other station without having to drive all the way back to the hotel, and then have to leave again to get him!

Takeshi and I stayed up really late that, till about 2am, talking and deliberating about the shitty situation of having all of these apartment we'd been looking at being above our budget which is $1000 MAX. A lot of apartments said, "Oh we don't have 1 bedroom available....but we do have 2 bedroom?" But yeah, that jacked up the price to definitely over $1000. And that's really more space than the two of us need at this point. So that night there was a lot of nervousness, stress, urgency, and fear coming out in the two of us, as we tried to figure out what to do. We even brought up the crazed idea of trying to maybe waiting it out still a little in Lancaster, or trying to move somewhere else less expensive like Philly or something. We couldn't really come to a solution yet, really, so we went to bed pretty silent.

Fast forward to the morning of Saturday. I find out pretty damned quickly that I have a severe stomach bug. Something I ate at that fucking KFC last night? Probably. I hate fast food. This was NOT the time to get this sort of shit. When we're supposed to be traveling around A LOT all day long around town. From about 7am to 11pm that NIGHT I had constant stomach pain, nevermind nauseousness. It was almost unbearable. It was like someone had my stomach clenched in a their fist, with a burning sensation as well. So yeah, worst pain I've had in a long long time. Takeshi had actually ended up looked up 2 more apartments to look at that morning on the fly. And he needed to have someone there to navigate for him. I knew he was worried about me, but I also knew he had the same mood of "why TODAY of all times?!".

I almost decided to stay in the hotel when he asked me what I wanted to do. But I felt really bad about having him go and do this shit himself. I had to help him do this. :( So I crawled into the car with him, laid back in the seat, gritted my teeth and off we went. I almost tossed what little I had in me twice while driving that day. It was terrible. The first apartment we went to, I just couldn't go in with him to see the place. So I sat in the car with my eyes closed and wished someone could knock me unconscious. At the second place, I actually crawled out to go with him. We went up to the apartment, and even though it was mostly air-conditioned in there, I was sweating my ass off. She was mostly talking with Takeshi, since I wasn't feeling well enough to utter more than 2-3 word responses. I had to leave finally after 5 minutes of standing there. I was wilting like a pukey, white-faced daisy next to them. I certainly didn't want to barf or something in front of the nice lady...

So fast forward again to that night - Takeshi and I get in a stand-off.

TK: "Ok that's it - let's go to the emergency room."
Me: "What?! No!" (still in fetal position on hotel bed)
TK: "This is ridiculous for someone to have severe stomach pains for 24 hours!"
Me: "It's gonna cost us a shit load of money!" (no health insurance)
TK: "I know that....but..."
Me:"....I feel better! Seriously" (I had at this point started to nibble on some crackers. Was telling truth)
TK: (a little pissed at my bullheaded mood) "Fine! But if we end up going anyway in the end, and they ask why we didn't come sooner, I am NOT going to be blamed."
Me: " Yes yes of course! It's obviously my choice. Fine."
TK: "Ok fine."

I took a little risk with seeing if I would be able to sleep the rest of it off - which I did - which is good. So ends the terrible, stomach flu episode. Bleh.

So we're back home in Lancaster for now. Waiting for hear back from the apartment we ended up going with. Then comes the packing, and the moving truck. Oh boy. Random photos!

Huge bunch of jackfruit at the local 'international grocery store' in town

We went and visited pet shop in PA a few days before our trip. Kitties are funny. ;)

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