Colder.

Moving from the shared apartment into my own apartment sure was nice. No more queuing in front of the bathroom door in the morning, no more waking up in the middle of the night by the sound of people having sex in the next door bedroom, no more enormous electricity bills because people failed to turn off the lights when they left the apartment.

The new apartment even has hot water and central heating included in the monthly expenses. The only major issue with central heating is that it has to be turned on to really have an effect. Right now it’s minus four degrees centigrade outside and the central heater in my apartment building is still turned off.

It is supposed to be turned on, of course. The old oil fueled boiler has been replaced by one fueled by gas, probably to save money and to reduce the pollution. Did the tenant-owner’s association get the proper permissions from the local authorities to store gas in an apartment building basement?

No, they didn’t. That’s the problem.

So now we have a nice and modern gas fueled boiler that we can’t turn on. And the temperature is falling, both outside and inside. I’ve only got a small heater and if the information I’ve got is correct – “we don’t really have a clue when the boiler can be turned on” – I probably should consider getting a larger one.

New People.

Yesterday we were able to let two of the three vacant rooms. We could’ve made all three, but we promised someone that she could come and have a look at the last room on Monday and we’re nice enough to keep our promises. Our new tenants are a 25 (?) year old art director and a 21 year old student. Both seemed like nice people – which I guess is natural, or we wouldn’t have offered them the rooms. Anyway, even if it’s a bit hard to get to know people by talking to them for ten minutes it looks promising.

I bought HARD-Fi‘s album “Stars of CCTV” today and I think I’ll be bold enough to declare it Album of the Year 20061, even if it’s only April yet. The album is ex-cel-lent. It’s not much more to say about it, actually, you should just run down to your local CD-pusher and buy the album.

The Hunt Continues.

Another interesting fact about living in a shared apartment is that people move in and out all the time. Now, three – half – of the people living here move out. Hans Olav and Frida, who found each other and true love move in to their own place. Karine, who decided to try to move in with her boyfriend a month ago hasn’t been seen since, which means that it probably went very well or very, very bad. Either way, she’s moving out and we now have three vacant bed rooms in the apartment.

Since we’re keeping a strict balance between the sexes, we’re looking for two hot chicks, preferably Miss Universe contestants, and some guy. The process begun today and will continue until Monday. Whish us luck, because we have fucked up the selection process before.

If you’re able to tune in to Norwegian TV channel TVNORGE be sure to watch tonight at 21:30 CET when Dino, one of Gine’s1 friends and a semi-frequent commenter here, makes his reality TV debut.

Today I witnessed my first Windows Vista related crash, without even having touched the OS or any software running on it. Extremely low-quality photo available in the Moblog.

Bill.

One of the other joys of living in a shared apartment is the risk that you might get the responsibility for something. I’ve been the lucky winner of handling the electrical bill, so it’s my job to find out of how much each tenant has to pay. To complicate the process, we don’t get one bill, but two – one for power grid rental and one for the actual electricity – and people are moving in and out all the time. Bills usually cover two or three months and there is a good chance someone moved in or out during that time.

All this result in an algebra hell that I’d probably should have a Master’s degree in mathematics to solve. The bills usually contain fluctuating expenses that change depending on the month and they might not even change in the end or the start of a month, but rather in the middle of it. So the payable amount is rarely the same for all tenants. On top of that you have the task of actually collecting the money. The people who live here are usually not the problem, they do tend to forget about the bill but pay eventually – it’s worse with the people who have moved out. So far I’ve been able to get through it without having to hire someone to chase anyone up and break their legs, but one thing is certain; I’m looking forward to the day when I don’t have to be reminded how much I such at algebra every other month.

Let’s Share. Everything.

For almost 9 years now I’ve lived in shared apartments. The first year wasn’t really in a shared apartment, I did one year of mandatory military service and lived in barracks with my platoon. After that I lived in Grimstad for three years with Hallvard and Terje, which was great. After we graduated from college Terje moved to Oslo to start his career in Accenture while me and Hallvard decided that easy living was suited us better. We moved to Trondheim, rented an apartment with Tor-Erik – who we studied with in Grimstad – and enrolled at The Norwegian University of Science and Technology for two years. Now I’m living in Oslo where I’ve lived in three different shared apartments. There is a very good chance that this will be the last one, next time I move I’ll probably move into my own place.

For those of you who haven’t really shared an apartment with someone other than your significant other(s), I hereby bring you the pros and cons of living in a shared apartment:

Pros:

  • Do some research and you’ll get a great place at a reasonable price. Right now I live in a 180 square meters apartment. The rent is NOK 18000 a month (aprox. $2,744, which is way out of my league. But, since I share the place with 5 other people, I only pay 1/6 of the rent, a very good price in this neighbourhood.
  • Being social is easy. Since we’re six people living here, there is always someone at home. With a rubberduck or a shared apartment, you’re never alone.
  • Being unsocial is also easy. I’ve got my own room with my own door, if I want to be alone, I simply close the door. Excellent.
  • People dye your clothes for free. If you lend someone a towel for instance, they’ll dye it blue for you. For free.
  • Easy access to groceries. If you need a little milk and someone you live with has some, you can take a little.

Cons:

  • People steal your groceries. If people need a little bit of milk and you have some, they’ll take a little.
  • The constant lack of domestic utensil. In our case; toilet paper. Even if we’re six people where I live now, only two of us actually buy toilet paper. This way your learn small tricks, like keeping your own private stash in case of a toilet paper emergency.
  • All those little things that just annoy you. Like that some people are virtually incapable of turning of the lights when they leave the apartment. We’re sharing the electrical bill, too. Hello!
  • The people you live with might repeatedly try to burn down the apartment building. Twice so far this year.
  • The total lack of sound insulation in the walls. Have you ever woken up at seven in the morning to the sound of someone having an orgasm in the room next door?

So, as you can see, there are both good and bad sides to living in a shared apartment. But I think the time is up for me soon, a couple of things just have to fall in place before I can start looking for my own place.