Full House


Roommates? Basements? Sublets? What’s the better option?

The Human Race has pondered these age old questions since the beginning of time itself. Is there anything more unnatural than sharing your living space with total strangers, living underground like a mole, or leave your precious possessions in the hands of who-knows-who?

The first documented case of strangers sharing the same living space has reportedly took place at 505 BC in the small Greek village of Terana, where a man named Lisaris shared his furnished three bedroom hut with two women who came all the way from Crete to watch the Olympic Games. Polakis, the village poet, noticed the strange event and wrote a famous poem about it translated freely as “Who used all the hot water?”  Exactly why Lisaris decided to make this bold act has been lost long ago in the mists of ancient history.
We do not know how much the women paid or how long they stayed, though it is safe to assume they went away after the games were over.

Another famous example of early room sharing occurred in the year 12 AD in Germania, when the Teutonic warlord Grappa the Bold rented a room at his clay duplex in The-Middle-Of-The-Forest street No. 11 for 60 Sesterce a month (equivalent to approx. 200,000 US dollars), including utilities, to a young stone mason named Archard (Archie). It was said the earth shook that day when the tribes discovered their leader is in a financial strife. It could well be that this event has caused a major shift with regard to the fate of Europe’s ancient tribes.

Basements. Nowhere is the scale system more evident than in the basement rental world. while the rich live in the front, with big windows facing the view, the poor are relegated to live in the back yard, underground, like they were all Counts of Monte Cristos. One just need to bring them a bowl of soup once a day and shove it under the door, and then the experience would be complete.

In the year 1775, in the west suburbs of Paris, a Marquis by the name of Rober Filamon was the first person in recorded history to rent out a basement apartment in his Chateau. The basement came complete with iron chains, heavy oak doors and tiny slits for windows (on a good day you could see the pavement), but people so craved to experience the Parisian way of life that they were willing to live anywhere and under any conditions just as long as it is in the city limits. The first tenant had to sign a draconian lease of 20 years occupancy, and has finally won his freedom only when the Marquis was beheaded in the town square 14 years later. According to legend, the Marquis last words were: I DO NOT WISH TO HAVE MY HEAD IN A BASKET!

Subletting is another strange habit. People take their apartment, including everything that is in it, and I mean EVERYTHING, and rent it out to complete strangers for a limited amount of time. People they only just met will be sleeping in their bed, on their sheets, eating from their utensils and doing what ever they like to do. Isn’t subletting the complete invasion of privacy? And it’s done voluntarily, too!

A great example for this would be the case of Sir Ronald Fitzmorris. Sir Fitzmorris, a well respected knight, joined Richard the Lion Heart for the Third Crusade in the year 1189, and subletted his two-bedroom apartment in Dardoranidum Keep for a young couple, just until he will return from his travels. Four years later, when he came back all battered and bruised, expecting: a) to receive his full rent for the sublet, and b) to relax once again in his beloved adobe and find relief for his exhaustion, he found out that the couple, Sarah and Gavin Smith from Hertfordshire, have painted the place in red and pink and turned the living room into a sculpting workshop. Apparently, they thought sir Fitzmorris has perished long ago in the holy land.

They say the punishment that Sir Fitzmorris meted against the insolent subletters for breach of contract has brought, in a very convulated and circular fashion, to the invention of the chastity belt.

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1 comment so far

  1. Galia on

    What will be written in the pages of history about the adventures of Lior? Once there was a guy who looked for an appartment for years and years… Have you found an appartment yet? From my experience, the quickest way to find a satisfying place is to agree to pay a higher rent…

    Lior to Galia: Oh, we’ll leave that to the poets. Actually, I’m beginning to think you’re right…


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