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Andres Florez | USLHC | USA

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The Higgs apartment

The Higgs apartment

Is around 9:00 am, the whether is hot and I feel that the sun is burning my head. It has been thirty minutes walking to CERN, I am almost there. I am carrying my back pack which is quite heavy. I have a hundred thoughts in my head: work, my fiancé, my family, get a bank account, find a place where to live, etc…I get to my office and drop my back pack. I go to the little coffee place in building 6 and struggle with my terrible and broken French to ask for an ice tea. Once back at my office, I open my laptop and look at my e-mail hoping to get an answer from one of the landlords that I have contacted to get an apartment or a room near CERN. I found a couple responses: I am sorry, I decided to rent the room to someone else…I breath and say……..crap!

One of my good friends is in the same boat as me, he just got here and hasn’t found a place. We have been looking for an apartment to live together, but at the same time for single rooms too. Whatever comes first we will take it, we need a place to shower and sleep. That is it (being a graduate student in the US does not give you time for more anyway!). My friend is a very particular guy. His style is a little bit different, I think that is called emo (long hair over his face and weird clothes). I know him well and he is a very good guy, so I don’t care the way that he dresses up or the music that he listens to, he is a good human being and that’s all that I care about.

The other day we got excited because we found a great place, it was just perfect. The rent was fair, very close to CERN, furnished and the owner wanted to meet us. He was very friendly by mail and is a scientist, that gives us some hope. We get there, the owner opens the door and looks at me and gently smiles. He looks at my friend and I can see his face….I thought, dude we are screwed! He showed us the place, we were hopping to get it, but I already knew that was not going to happen. Couple days later I confirmed my thoughts. It’s another: I am sorry but I rented the place to someone else.

Time keeps passing by and I have sent tons of e-mails and visited many places. I have walked so much visiting places around CERN. I don’t take the bus to save some money. I got blisters on my feet and in another more private area of my anatomy. I just can tell you that it was very painful!

My friend talked to a friend that knows someone who knows someone (I am not repeating)! There is an apartment, just one bedroom. We go to see it anyway, it looks nice and has a living room where we can fit another bed. The owner agrees to rent it to us. I will be sleeping in the living room, but who cares! I got a place close to CERN and I will share it with a good friend, which makes life more tolerable when you are alone and far away from home.

You might be wondering why this post is the called the Higgs apartment…..well the Higgs is supposed to be everywhere, but very hard to find, so make your own deductions!

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One Response to “The Higgs apartment”

  1. Alice says:

    I work for the State Dept and I’ve done many a week in Geneva. I would have told your friend — “DUDE. Cut your hair! At least until we get the apartment!”

    Glad you all found a place. Housing in Geneva can be challenging, and don’t even get me started on the annual car show.

    Grand experiment and great blog.

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