Movin' On Up

Sat 23 October 2010

I found a place to rent starting next month. A unit opened up in the building where another volunteer lives. Nice, clean, about the same distance to work, and recommended by my colleague.

The apartment is more like an efficiency hotel room. Bed, bathroom, clothes rack, tv, air conditioner, kitchen counter and sink, and refrigerator. This will cost a whopping $100, plus utilities. BYO linens and kitchenware.

I'm brought up short again by differences in wages. $100 is a tiny slice of my very reasonable New England rent. Here it's more than everyday people can afford. A typical apartment costs $65-$70/month, and has a fan. The electricity to run an air conditioner is a luxury. Not yacht-and-limo class luxury, but more than cable-tv-and-iPhone.

I feel awkward when these conversations come up. The folks I work with have worked very hard to get where they are, and bust their butt to support their families. Meanwhile I can debate guest house versus apartment, and the choice is only whether I'll have an inexpensive or a VERY inexpensive stay.

Category: Day to Day