Sick of the SF housing drama? Meet Oakland.

There are moments in my current living situation–when, for instance, I awake at 2 AM in a windowless room, catch the apartment’s fourth mouse in my bedroom’s trash can and release it to the wilds of 26th St (a better fate than its predecessors)–that try my patience with this whole Americorps-sponsored experiment in glamorous poverty. Fur-balls drift like tumbleweeds through our hallway. Pigeons lay eggs on our bathroom window. People leave Polaroid baby pictures on the grate of the Tiny Bubbles Laundromat next door.

And yet my recent search for subletters proves that anyone could open a craigslist with the previous paragraph and still get a dozen responses in six hours. I have never seen desperation quite like San Francisco apartment hunting. Getting an email reply for a room is like getting one of Wanka’s Golden Tickets, except instead of candy, you get furballs.

I’ve written before about the brutality of the apartment search. I landed a really cheap room mostly through luck, and now have the luxury of combing through 33 responses that arrived in less than 24 hours.

It turns out that everyone and their mom that is looking for a room in this city is a clean-but-not-anal, nerdy-but-socially-aware, wine-at-communal-dinner world backpacker people-person. I thought it might be interesting to chart out some trends that came out, courtesy of Gmail search:

It’s a little cluttered, but you get the drift. I also thought it would be cool to make a word cloud from everyone’s email.I have to say, I was really looking forward to parodying the enthusiasm for yoga, but apparently the emails covered pretty familiar terrain:

Finally, some superlatives:

Most self-assured: “HI I AM A 25 YEAR OLD BARTENDER, LOOKING TO RENT THE ROOM” (with no other information).

Best email subject line: ” Your dang room…”

Best New Yorker: “I am NOT in SF right now so if you have skype we can chat over that or by phone. I understand it is hard to make a commitment to someone to live in your house that you haven’t met in person but I am VERY interested and completely ready to send a check to secure the room.”

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