This weekend my boyfriend I moved house, just four months after moving into another house. The reason for this was that our house, although suitable for our budget ($145 for rent, water, garbage and TV), had many problems. The first was that our water was inconsistent. I cannot count the number of mornings we would come home from the gym and have no water, or come home after a long day at work and have to sit in our own dirty, sweaty filth. Another problem was the sewage from all three houses (ours, next door and upstairs) would regurgitate up the pipe and into our bathroom, meaning we were walking around in dirty water. I am OK with walking around in dirty water in flood season, but in our own house?! I don’t think so. The third was the air conditioning. It rarely worked, and given this hot season has been even worse than the others, we really need it.
Now, if this was Australia, the landlord would be responsible to fix these problems. However, this isn’t Australia. This is Cambodia. We repeatedly asked the landlord to fix the issues, but he would blame us. “The last people who lived here never had problems, it must be you. When the water doesn’t work you must take the shower at different times. The bathroom is flooding because the house is bad. The air conditioner doesn’t have a problem, it is just you. Why do you always complain, the people next to you never complain. You are so lucky because other landlords never help but I try to help you.”
And on it goes.
Last weekend my boyfriend, who never loses his cool, sat down and told the landlord that if the problems weren’t fixed we were going to have to move. He just put the blame onto us again, to the point that my boyfriend had had enough. And so had I.
After seeking advice from friends and family, we decided for the sake of our sanity the best thing to do was to move, losing our $260 deposit. We started looking around, and on the recommendation of a friend, ended up going through a realtor. After looking at a few houses that weren’t to our liking, we found the perfect one. It is the second story of a brand new house, with one bedroom, two bathrooms, a kitchen, living room and balcony. It was out of our price range, however we managed to bargain it down with the lovely landlady.
Although it is still more than $100 a month more expensive than our old place, we realised that we can’t put a price on our mental health.
Moving our things into the truck. Luckily two of Seyla’s brothers helped us.
All our possessions. So much rattan and bamboo!
Reinstalling the wifi
Seyla down the bottom of our house
The view from our balcony
A panoramic view