Last weekend, as I was describing to Sproglet all the great things about the sublet we’ve found in Montreal, the first thing he said was “that’s got to be a scam.”
I immediately dismissed that and went on extolling the building’s perks. It was around “and it has a jacuzzi and is half the price of our sublet here” that I paused, looked at him and we both laughed. I agreed with him – this is almost certainly too good to be true!
Despite that, the last few days I’ve been going around the neighbourhood pulling big wads of cash out of ATMs in order to hand over the first month’s rent to the Greek girl we’ll be subletting from. She’s a student at McGill (a student with a jacuzzi?!) and is going back to Greece for 2 months before the end of her lease.
The fact she won’t be in Canada when we arrive at the end of June conjures up images of being turned away from our apartment by a beefy doorman (he’s clearly been working out in the rooftop gym) on the very first day. However, being able to meet her in person on her visit to NYC coupled with a surprising lack of movement on the Stack paranoia-meter was reassuring. Although now I’m thinking perhaps even the timing of the NYC visit is a little too convenient..
Our arrangement was we’d meet, sign a lease and I’d pay her the first month’s rent up front in cash. Stack, who’s been insisting on being my bodyguard on every ATM trip, jokes that Greek people are more comfortable with dealing in large amounts of cash since the taxman can’t get his hands on it. The Greek herself made us laugh saying she’d recently turned down an internship in the tax-collection office as she’d “have nothing to do!”
So today I find myself with an empty pocket and a photocopy of a so-called lease which is actually a piece of paper on which I’ve written every single scrap of information about me. The Greek’s fanciful signature at the bottom is the only thing I have from her. Slightly too late, I am starting to get very nervous about this..
Stack however, in an unusually good mood today (possibly because of the Full Irish brekkie we had at Dublin6), rationalises that on our travels we’re bound to get caught out at some point. He’s dubbed it the ‘Nomad Tax’ and as we all know (those of us who are not Greek anyway), taxes are one of life’s inevitabilities…