My being admitted to St. Mary's is, without a doubt, very exciting. It's one of my dream schools and I believe that St. Mary's MFA program in fictional creative writing can really ameliorate my writing skills. I need the discipline and catalyst to write. Furthermore, I need to find my true voice without sounding as if I'm trying too hard.
Nevertheless, that excitement comes with a price: I have to find an apartment. I'll be commuting to several areas: Moraga (where St. Mary's is), Alameda (FCBD East Bay class), and San Francisco (FCBD regular class & Dance Conditioning). I once visited North Berkeley to see a nice little cottage and was immediately smitten with the serene atmosphere. It was Friday evening yet it was so peaceful and quiet.
I told my parents that I didn't want to live in the in-campus housing because I'd be lazier than ever. I need to commute, to go people-watching and sight-seeing, to gather inspiration along the way, to eavesdrop on conversations between lovers, among friends, among frenemies, to see same-sex couples holding hands when strolling down the road and have my brain struck with ideas. In other words, I need a little Viagra for my writing, and being confined to a beautiful hill won't do any good to my shaft of inspiration.
Yet, it is so difficult to get a decent apartment in a safe environment with just enough leverage for a first-time international applicant with barely there credit record (I don't normally use credit cards) and references (I suppose I can get references from my current Residential Advisors at the hostel). Additionally, time is running out. I'm going back to Indonesia on June 18 and returning to the USA on August 10. I really hope to resolve this matter before I leave. All those listings, including Craigslist, barely show apartments or studios that are available in August. I won't be in the USA for the whole month of July 2011. It would be an utter waste of money to pay a month's rent without actually staying in it.
On Mr. Stephen's suggestion, I have also included Orinda and Lafayette in my search, thus broadening my range of possibilities.
There are certain things I look for, though: the house must be in a quiet and safe neighborhood with quiet neighbors, preferably furnished with wi-fi and comfortable bathroom, lots of natural lights, and close to BART station. And under USD 1500 per month. And, contrary to popular belief, I do not require the presence of a naked butler.
Anyone willing to help?