Monday, March 31, 2014

The 2nd Most Difficult Thing to Find in Lahore

So, in the last episode of my Life’s Story, I had a job in Lahore so it was only natural that I would search for some place to live as well. For a while it seemed that the administration at my old place had only one aim of their lives: to kick me out of their hostel. So I said, OK, that is not a difficult thing to do. One just has to search in Google and olx and there are thousands of places with a variety of price ranges. But it was easier said than done. After 2 months of searching, I finally found a place to live. That is not what I wanted and I don't know how will it make me feel but anyhow it will do for now. But the journey is worth sharing for you people to read.





Joey's Apartment as shown on F.R.I.E.N.D.S.


It all started when I found this ad on olx.com:



Studio Apartment for Rent
Fully furnished, attach bath, spacious, well ventilated, just a few minutes from local bus stop, market and mosque. Rent is only 6000 Rupees (60 dollars). 



Now the idea of apartment in my mind mainly comes from this TV series F.R.I.E.N.D.S. as most of the time they are sitting in one apartment or another. So I contacted the person on the number given in the ad. I went to see the apartment. For the first time I realized, Oxford dictionary is severely outdated and in urgent need of update. The definition of apartment here is a 10x10ft room with attached bath. I asked the person that OK that is the room but where is the kitchen area. He opened the cupboard and abracadabra, the kitchen was there. In a shelf. He said that is the kitchen area.  Needless to say, I returned unsuccessful.

Next time I found this another interesting ad. It was a little pricey at 8500 Rupees but it was near to the place where I work and it said it has an AC, TV and fridge. So I called the owner and I packed my stuff so that I just had to go and settle there and then. But thanks to my friend who said what is the hurry, we just get the key and you can shift tomorrow. But I told him that is the best place and someone will take it. So we started to go. There I learnt a few new definitions:


  1. I could swear, Prince Saleem had stayed in this room when he rebelled against King Akbar.
  2. 21 inch LCD TV means if you have the imagination to see the non-existent things.
  3. Attached bath means if it is within a 20 meter radius of the room.
So again I left. And I was happy that I didn’t bring my suitcase.

For the next few weeks I called around 200 real estate agents and visited more than 100 places but to no avail. But in the meantime I learnt a few things which are worth sharing:

  1. 2-3 minute walk from main road/bus stop means if you can walk at supersonic speed.
  2. Furnished room means a room having energy saver bulb and fan.
  3. Newly build means if it is built sometime during World War 2.
  4. Excellent conditions mean it is a 19th century building where the British army once stayed.
  5. Executive male or female means a person who is happy to live in a 10x10ft room, stays as paying guest or shares a room with students and needs a bike parking.
  6. Attached bath means it is adjacent to the room but the door is on the other side of it so you will have to move out and then walk around to enter.
  7. Carpeted room means a room which has a rug from the late renaissance era. You can clearly see the footprints of Da Vinci and Michaelangelo on it.
  8. Fridge means an icebox where u can keep a maximum of 2 cups of water.
  9. Studio apartment means a room having an attached bath.
  10. A 3 bed room apartment means a flat having 1 bedroom, 1TV lounge and one kitchen.
  11. Cold/Hot water availability means hot in summer and cold in winter.
  12. Kitchen with oven/fridge etc means a common kitchen shared by at least 10 other rooms in the house.
And if that was not enough, almost all of them required you to be married, having a family living with you, advance payment of 2xrents as security plus one advance rent and an agreement of 1 year.

So I think life is tough out there for single people. Next time, do not look in the real estate/rental sections on olx. Search the matrimonial.

P.S. Never trust the pictures of the apartments as they are never real. And there was this one guy I called and I learnt someone put his number as a joke and apparently he was getting a lot of calls from prospective tenants because it was very reasonably priced. But no to be.


6 comments:

  1. Dear Misterio!

    It was really a worthful read for all of us. Whatever you mentioned are truly heart touching. I personally lived in the same city where you are surviving now. I had been through all prospective stages of pondering where you walked rigorously. Believe me people are awesome in terms of deception, pick pocketing, dodging and so on. If unfortunately you are single, means no right to dwell anywhere around. As a joke, I would love to share my personal experience here about the OLX to achieve the results. It was a golden time, when I was working as a trainee student with my firm. There was a manager; most hated among all. He use to review the work with great concentration along with embarrassing shouts if mistake/fault observed by him. We were pinched at last and were forced to make a ploy. What we had done? Captured snaps of company’s maintained car of Mr. Manager, uploaded over the OLX along with his cell phone number. Massive incoming call traffic had been observed by us due to high valued snaps with ultra low cost mentioned. In this way we had our revenge  Hence proved, OLX is just door step to laugh at.

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  2. That was really a painful experience on finding a place to stay.. I hope you will find a good place soon

    And yes congratulations on the job :)

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  3. You're going through such a difficult moment just to find a nice place to rent. I agree with you that some ads are so deceiving. Glad you had taken the best move by checking out those places first. Hopefully you'll get a nice cosy place soon with reasonable rent. Don't forget to share with us, Dr. :)

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  4. I love joey's place.

    Allah apke liye asani keray. Ameen.

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  5. The illusion of grandeur, painted by those who wish to sell us a dream, is the the same the world over (I think) Israr.

    'So I think life is tough out there for single people. Next time, do not look in the real estate/rental sections on olx. Search the matrimonial.' - love these wise words!

    So glad you are writing again and long may it continue. More! More! More!

    Kind regards
    Anna :o]

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  6. pretty nice blog, following :)

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