Sunday, September 9, 2007

Bad Apartment Karma

My first apartment in Amsterdam had a large leak near one of the windows (See post titled, "Futile efforts to stop two floods" at and I had to move to a second one.

Now, I'm in Rome and thought that our apartment was really cute and comfortable (See post titled, "The apartment in Rome" at However, it turns out that our apartment is infested with bed-bugs or some other non-flea, non-mosquito, biting insect.

Of course, I am so used to being the main entree of any biting insect within a 20 mile radius, that I took it in stride when my legs were being eaten alive (See post titled, "Ce una farmacia qui viccino?" at Tessa wasn't being bitten much early on. However, the last few nights have been cool and she got a comforter out of the cupboard. Since then, she has been bitten even worse than I - hard to believe, because I'm really bad off, but it is true.

Anyway, I don't know if it is a difference in our personalities or whether it is due to the fact that I am somewhat used to suffering in this manner, but once we got to Florence for our weekend trip, Tessa told the professors that she was not going back to that apartment unless something was done. God bless her because it never occurred to me to complain. Don't know why, but I think I'm at that point in travel where I'm just putting up with anything annoying until I get home.

Anyway, the professors from my program are taking this seriously. However, the glitch is that the UW Rome Center staff, and apparently the landlords, are not. Despite the fact that we've told them the problem is not mosquitos, they insist that it is. They conceded that they would "treat" the apartment twice, once Friday and once Saturday, while Tessa and I were in Florence. I also understood that they were going to remove the couch and bed and that the UW Rome Center would bring new ones over. However, when I stopped by the apartment Saturday night to get my computer (I was staying the night in another professor's apartment while she was in Florence an additional night), it didn't look like anything had been done at all in the apartment. The couch was still there, with the infested comforter, the bed was still in the bedroom. There were no signs of "treatments" and my legs were bitten more while I gathered my things together.

Right before I left I went into the kitchen to get a drink of water and notice that the cupboard beneath the sink was open. Inside the garbage were two cans of "mosquito and fly spray." Geeze Louise! I took one of the cans with me and showed one of the professors so that she would understand that even if the landlord said he had "treated" the apartment, it was still with the wrong product for the wrong problem.

This morning I received an email from the professor. They are putting Tessa and I into a hotel tonight and Monday night until they can negotiate more with the landlord or find us new housing.

This is a pain, but is probably better than being devoured and itchy for the next two weeks.

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