Did you know that when you’re an international renter in Glasgow, you often have to pay six months of rent upfront when you lease a flat? It’s because they can’t check your credit, I think. I forget.
The rent for my beautiful, big flat in the gorgeous, ideally located neighbourhood of Partick was £500. My amazing landlords were a wealthy couple who owned like, six properties in London, and my flat was their first venture in Glasgow, where the wife was originally from. They bought my place – a flat in a traditional tenement building over 130 years old – gutted it, and renovated. It was insanely nice, and based on the other places around it, they could have easily been charging £600-£750 a month for it. So I LUCKED OUT.
(Especially since finding this flat meant I could move of of the Nightmare Flat.)
But that is beside the point. The point is that when I moved into my flat, I had to pay £3000 of rent upfront. In cash.
So that was a bit of an issue.
Then there was the fact that I had to withdraw this cash from my Canadian bank account via ATMs. See, I couldn’t transfer funds from my Canadian account to my Scottish account (which took over a month to set up, by the way, no big deal, what the fuck) without paying a TON of money and waiting a LONG ASS time, so it wasn’t to my benefit. So I had to use my Canadian account.
So that was another issue.
Also, my Canadian bank account would only let me withdraw the equivalent of $1000 a day.
Also, the ATM would only let me withdraw £200 at a time.
So, there I was, literally walking up and down the street withdrawing £200 at a time until I hit my $1000 limit for the day, then running back home with the cash. It took me like a week of doing this until I finally had all of the cash I needed. I cannot even imagine what the security people watching the ATM cameras thought of me. Not to mention all of the people walking down the street who saw me shuffling around trying to be invisible while rotating between two ATMs on the block.
Then I had to get the £3000 to the letting agency!
Guys! I had to WALK around in GLASGOW with £3000 on my person!
Did you know that Glasgow can be a bit dodgy? It was the most dangerous city in Europe for a while. And even though I was in a pretty good part of town, and I was only scared like, twice in the 16 months I lived there, I was not able to act normal. I just wasn’t.
You know in New Girl, how Nick gets “sweat back” when he has a secret or has to lie?
That’s me. I’m an emotional sweater. I sweat when I’m upset. I sweat when I’m excited. I sweat when I’m NERVOUS. I sweat most when I’m nervous.
I was a sweaty mess walking to the letting agency. I felt about this subtle:
Once the letting agency was in my sight line, I jogged. I was certain I would be jumped before getting there. Then I got there and my letting agent counted out the £3000 by separating it into £100 piles all over the fucking office and I was certain someone would see the cash through the window and rob us. Her coworker would find us the next day tied to twirly chairs. It would suck.
Everything was fine.
No one got robbed.
I got my flat.
I lived happy ever after for the next 12 months.
But that was the day/week I learned that I could never be a criminal. I’d sweat (and sweat it) way too much and give myself away.