Yesterday I avoided writing partially because I was so tired from our day-long apartment search and partially because I knew I would say some mean things about Spokane that I would probably want to take back later on.
I will say this: if you're looking for a way to really hate a city, move there with no place to live and try to find a cheap but clean/safe apartment in two days. Call 54 places and look at any apartment you can. Slink through musty hallways, squeeze into tiny bathrooms, don't mind the unclothed child on the stairway. Talk to the landlord with the gold tooth who is so drugged up that she has to sit down while she talks to you. Climb up to studios at the top of crumbling buildings. Wonder what the cat is doing in the empty apartment. Wonder how bad the raccoon problem really is. Wonder what's going to come next when the landlord says "Just so you know..." Look into the windows of one apartment because the landlord didn't remember the keys. Stumble into side hallways that smell of smoke, and step aside for the dude in dreadlocks that reaks of incense and is carrying his chihuahua to the curb. Ask the two kids smoking a joint on their roof how much rent is. Then ask the guy loading his couch into a truck if you can look around. When locals tell you not to go lower than tenth street, consider eighth--how big of a difference could it be?
Also, and this is something you'll want to remember forever, check out the place where the kitchen is so small, you can't completely open the fridge door. Avoid getting too much sleep, and wake up at 6:30 a.m. for a job interview on day two of the apartment search.
Finally, don't shower. Don't bring extra water. Don't nourish yourself in any way. In fact, instead of stopping for lunch, press on and split a piece of beef jerky that you've had roasting in the glovebox since North Dakota. This is the way to success.
By the way, we turned in an application today but can't remember what street it's on. We'll find it.