24 Feb 2014

Student Accommodation: Mould, Slugs & Dodgy Flushes

So my days as a student haven't come without their fair share of problems. Let me enlighten you with the daily struggles my comrades and I must face:

1) Mould. As I sit here writing this, all I can see is a nice thick trail of mould going up my wall. My landlady calls it "condensation" - I call it mould. Call it what you will, but it's black and speckled. Not the sort of thing I want to be breathing in on a daily basis.  She's tried painting over it, but I'm not  fooled in the slightest. It's also on the kitchen walls, too. Mmmm.

2) Condensation (real condensation this time). I was having such serious problems with condensation forming on my windows, that I'd sometimes wake up to a small pool of water flowing along the windowsill. Apparently the only way to avoid this was to keep the window open; something which I was loath to do, given the extreme antarctic conditions outside. Thankfully after multiple complaints, they put in double glazing. Only wish that would sort the mould out, too.

3) Whoever installed the radiator in my room is a retard. The radiator is right next to the door, and couldn't be further away from my bed. Plus, it's physically impossible to put my bed nearer the radiator, given the layout of the room. #fail

4) Water bills. So South-West water is notorious for being painfully expensive. Before having a meter installed, we would have been paying £130 per month for water. We were told that with a meter we'd be spending more like £70 per month, which seemed far more reasonable. Recently, however, we received a bill for £3000. Yep, you read that correctly. £3000. My housemates shed a few tears, and our landlady threatened to dig up our kitchen (she was worried we had a leak). Turns out we only owed £30...South West water don't do decimal places very well.

5) Fridge. On multiple occasions we've had to put a chair in front of the fridge because it refused to close. And not because we had too much food in it, but because the hinges were dodgy. Our freezer is also a little too cold. You could make icy snowballs out of the amount of ice that accumulates.

6) Slugs. We haven't seen many recently because it's been too cold, but last term they were arriving practically daily. These grotesque creatures would leave slime trails all over the floor (which we initially mistook for "glitter"). These bad boys have been found in kitchen drawers, inside cereal boxes....you name it. We tend to throw salt on them so that they explode, but I have on more than one occasion stepped on one of these trespassers, and it wasn't a pretty sight.

7) Dishwasher. OK I know I shouldn't be complaining...we have a dishwasher, lucky things! BUT, I tell you...when most of the plates come out half-clean, you have a problem. We've been blamed for "not knowing how to use the dishwasher", but we're not idiots. Even with the best tablets money can buy, our dishwasher needs replacing. It may be the "best brand of dishwasher out there", but not when it's a few decades old.

8) Bathroom. The lock on the bathroom door is broken, until you master the technique. I've walked in on too many people peeing that it's no longer PG 13. Next, we've been told that we simply CANNOT get the bathroom floor wet, otherwise the tiles will loosen and we could risk falling through the ceiling. I also managed to considerably injure myself the other day when trying to turn on the tap, which decided to gorge out a hunk of my skin.

9) Toilet flush. So in one of our bathrooms we have a "modern" toilet flush. I say "modern" because this is what we've been told, but I'd rather go with "temperamental". This involves slamming a couple flush buttons into the wall at the same time, with just the right amount of pressure. There's an art to it, that not even the most skilled amongst us can manage. We've been given toilet flushing lessons from our landlady since day 1, but we're almost positive that this modern piece of technology is a failure.

10) TV. So we decided to fork out just over £100 on a second hand TV, but we needn't have bothered. The colour contrast is rubbish. I was trying to watch "Legally Blonde" the other day, and I couldn't make out anyone's face. It was like watching a horror film set in an underground basement in the pitch black.

11) Washing Machine. The washing machine has a habit of refusing to open after the cycle has finished. This has ended in our clothes being literally "trapped" inside the washing machine for days on end. Recently, however, I mastered the technique. It involves kicking the door aggressively with my foot until it opens. That's what I like to call "taking the initiative".

So there you have it - the trials and tribulations of student living.

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