The Final Straw

I’m really trying to not be the high-maintenance, demanding, entitled American. I really am. The apartment’s freezing: okay, we’ll wear multiple layers. There aren’t any supplies: fine, we’ll go buy everything we need. The hot water runs out by evening: we’ll deal with it and do all of our bathing in the morning. But everyone has a limit to their patience and I’ve reached the end of mine. For the past two days we’ve been boiling tap water in the kettle for tea and drinking water, but it wasn’t until today that I noticed an odd film over my mug of hot water. I pried the lid off the kettle and peered inside for the first time, horrified to find rust, debris, and unidentifiable particles floating at the bottom. Scrubbing only causes more rust, debris, and particles to appear. My family and I, MY CHILDREN, have been drinking out of this kettle for two days!!! I’m freaking out, I can’t handle it anymore.

Not acceptable -- the final straw
The final straw — not acceptable

I send a very conciliatory email to our host explaining why we aren’t comfortable staying in this apartment, apologizing for any inconvenience, acknowledging that we’re not entitled to a refund if we cancel the rental agreement, but beseeching her to give us a refund anyway and let us find another apartment. To her credit, she graciously agrees to refund the remainder of the term. Which means I’m back to square one and hunting for an apartment that’s immediately available for the next five weeks, through Christmas and New Years. Am I on a fool’s errand? What if it only gets worse?

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A former corporate attorney who is now happily retired and does whatever she wants.

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