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London Rental Opportunity of the Week: Half a Bedsit in Paddington

Being a student: not that fun, turns out?

Joel Golby

Joel Golby

What is it? A single bed and half a shower in a student share-flat! Dorm lyfe, bud! Like Americans!
Where is it? Bayswater, which is just Paddington, like literally how many demarcated areas of London do we need; it's just six streets, my god, just roll it up and call it Paddington, fucking hell—
What is there to do locally? Three words and a whole bunch of fun: Diana. Memorial. Playground.
Alright, how much are they asking? £103 p/w, or approximately £432 a month, if my maths is correct, which it is very often proved not to be, in a series of dry tweet threads from lads who can add up;

Theory: being a student is actually a sort of pupal human stage where standards of humanity actively reverse and degenerate, meaning the student body can biologically withstand more horrors than the same human carcass of a similar age, so take for example a non-studying 20-year-old and ask them to drink a Snakebite and they will wretch it up and say it tastes like bad petrol; but give that same Snakebite in a plastic pint glass to some Francis doing Ecology and they will say "good" and "thank you", or "do you have four more of these happy hour is about to end", &c. and &c. So, for example: you are 20 years old, and you have an administrative job in a bank somewhere: do you want to live in a flatshare where laundry takes four days to dry and all those four days you are constantly inhaling black damp mould? No, you do not. But say you are studying Humanities: yes, you sort of do. See? See how the sheer status of being a student reassigns the cells in the body, re-calibrates the brain, severs nerve endings and logic trees?

Extremely related: here is a student flatshare in Paddington:

(All photos via Spareroom)

So to clarify: yes, you're being invited to rent a single bed in a single room with another single bed in it, both beds looking lightly soiled in the way you might expect beds occupied by two early twenties males to look. Yes: all of the bathrooms in this flat, of which there are two, inexplicably – and two separate shower rooms, this flat is filled with tiled cupboards – are made up of a toilet/sink combo in a prison-sized unit with possibly space for a bin. Yes: the showers are those special ones where it is actively hard to open the door to get out of them when you are in it, so you are either trapped in the shower forever or – worse – you have to pull the door in such a way that the slimy edge of the door brushes against you, at which point you have to have a full shower to get the feeling off again. Yes: there are two clearly labelled bathrooms, one for men, one for "ladies", presumably after a very antsy all-house email thread. Yes: the front room is classically adorned with "a floppy IKEA bag full of shit" and "a wall-mounted TV with the cables extremely exposed" and "a single grey throw", as is the tradition of all student houses.

Two gigantic fridge units stood next to each other, ominous and looming. A thousand kitchen windows that all steam up when you cook pasta. A shower room that has a sheet stretched across it and is clearly full to the brim with laundry driers, and reminder this is the absolute best state the house could possibly be in, this is the state the current occupants chose to photograph it in, imagine how bad it must get when they're not taking photos. "There is a shower inside the bedroom," you are told, in the advert. Your roommate showers while you watch. Vapour fills the air. For a moment, the room is yours. Tap dance in the small shared carpet space between you and feel freedom squidge briefly between your toes.

The guy posting the advert – i.e. the dude in the bed opposite you, reading with a nightlight until 11PM exactly, at which point he silently locks eyes with you, removes his glasses and flicks the lamp off, tossing you instantly into darkness – actually seems quite sound, usage of the word "deposito" aside. It's weird being a student. You just sort of take it as a given you will live like a shit slob for three years. You have your eyes on a higher prize. You can deal with beige tiles and beige floors and the maddest flat layout in west London. You post adverts on Spareroom looking for someone to share your room with you. It's a very baffling, disconcerting time. I don't blame him, per se, for this advert. It's entirely probable he rented the room as the second half of a sort of two-man head-to-toe discrete wanking vector, and the guy he rented with rented with another guy, and so on and on, the chain going years back, decades, until you don't even know who initially split the room and decided to rent it as two half-rooms, the initial moment of rental cynicism lost forever to the ages—

I do, however, as I always do, blame the landlords, who, as I always say, should be dragged out in public and killed. If you're renting a sort of contorted system of burrows and bathrooms that make up an anodyne tiles-and-laminate student house, and you're actively targeting the student population at the nearby university when renting it, you shouldn't – and again, this is my opinion! – gouge the price in such a way that, to live there, one human has to break their private space in two like a biscuit and share it with another. Rent shouldn't be so unattainable in this city that room sharing becomes the norm. Just me! Just my opinion! The room on offer is not worth £860-a-month! Occasionally sending a free cleaner round, ostensibly to tidy the shared areas but truly just to remove stains that might eventually devalue your property, is not enough of a gesture to make this OK! The city is broken enough, landlords! Stop breaking it more!

@joelgolby

Previously:

Inflatable Mattress, Dublin

Office, Canary Wharf

Bedrowave, Brent