My Epic Moving-In Journey

Readers, you will not guess the crazy day I had last Saturday. Everything that could have possibly gone wrong happened and I still managed to complete my intended goal. It was one of the craziest experiences I have had in my life so far.

As you know, I am interning in Oakland for the summer. I drove up to Oakland on Friday night from Los Angeles and slept at my best friend Abhinaya’s apartment. Abhinaya had agreed to help me move into my apartment Saturday afternoon. She had taken time from finishing her personal statement for medical school to help me (which I am very grateful for).

We headed off to my other best friend, Pratiksha’s apartment, to pick up the keys (The girl I was renting from was friends with Pratiksha and had dropped them off to because all the renters were gone over the weekend). Pratiksha was gone on a trip for a silence course. She had told me she was going to leave them in a pot in her neighbor’s house. When we arrived at the apartment, the keys were nowhere to be found. We looked and looked for five, ten minutes. Nothing appeared…I was terrified because she wouldn’t be back until Wednesday, after my internship began.

After some quick thinking, I texted her boyfriend, who told me that she may have left them with her neighbor Charlie instead of in the pot. We rang Charlie’s doorbell two or three times. He wasn’t home. So, we left a note for Charlie on his front door and headed back to Abhinaya’s apartment, hoping he had them.

When we got back to the apartment, Abhinaya suggested that we stop by at the East Bay Music Festival, to get our minds off the tense situation. The free festival was happening just a few blocks from her apartment building in Downtown Oakland. It was very unique and fun (I’ll talk about this in another blog post).

As we were heading back to the apartment after the festival, I received a call from Charlie saying that he had the keys and would be home for the rest of the evening. Abhinaya and I were both thrilled at the news. We decided we would just get into the car as soon as we arrived at her building and drive over to pick them up, and then drop off the supplies.

Everything went smoothly when we got to the apartment. Charlie was at the door within a minute to give us the keys, and we got back into the car to head over. EXCEPT….I realized that I didn’t have the address for the apartment building or the apartment number. I had called the girl to find out the address earlier that morning and had written it on my computer, which I didn’t have with me.

Abhinaya and I were both disappointed, since we wanted to finish moving everything in on Saturday and it was a major inconvenience to head back to her apartment. So, I texted the girl I was subleasing from, asking her again. We figured she would message us back in a few minutes and we headed off towards the general direction of the apartment building in Berkeley. I knew it was near the corner of MLK and Channing Way, so we loaded the GPS on Abhi’s phone and headed off.

We still hadn’t received any calls by the time we arrived at the intersection. We decided to take a right hand turn and reassess what to do. As we turned the corner, Berkeley High School was there. A memory came to me of when the girl had described the apartment complex to me. She had said it was right across the street from the school. So, I continued driving up the street. Then, I saw a large apartment complex building with a parking lot that looked like the place when I had Google mapped it a few days ago.

We parked in the parking lot of the building and got out of the car. The building was gated. We walked to the front and tried to open the gate with the two keys that had been given to us. The first key didn’t work…the second did. The apartment building gate opened. WE WERE AT THE RIGHT APARTMENT.

Then, when we entered into the apartment building. We stood there as it donned on us that we may have entered the building, we didn’t know the apartment number of the place I was subletting….

At this point, we still hadn’t received any calls or messages from the girl and every time I had tried to call, her phone said she didn’t have signal. But, we’d gotten this far, so we decided to go up to the first floor of the building and scope out how much work we would have to do in order to get into the apartment.

We get to the first floor of the poolside apartment and look around. There are three floors, each with approximately 10 apartment doors. We are both flabbergasted. How will we ever figure out which apartment is mine?

Abhinaya started shouting random door numbers at me hoping it would jog my memory. We stood there for a few minutes. At this point, I vaguely remembered the girl saying that the apartment was somewhere on the first floor. I am very uncertain about this, but we decide to just give it a try. Since we know that no one should be at home in the apartment, we listened for noises coming from each of the doors. Then, we tried the keys on the doors without any noise. We walk around the first floor, trying the key in each door. 1G passed, 1F passed, and finally we get to the end of the hall, and we hadn’t found the right apartment door yet…we are out of ideas.

We had no option but to head back at that moment. But, as we were about to walk downstairs, we see two doors near the stairwell. There are two additional apartment doors we missed near the entrance, 1A and 1B. I tried the key in 1A. It doesn’t open. As a last effort, I put the key into 1B. The door lock clicked open….We were still a bit uncertain at this point about whether we had just broken into some random stranger’s home or if we had actually found the right apartment. We looked around, and surely enough there was a room with two beds, a loft and one on the ground floor, just as the girl had told me…We had found the right apartment!

We were astounded. Then, the unthinkable happened. As we began loading the boxes and bags into the apartment, I lost the keys….

Abhinaya and I had gone to take boxes from my car, and as we approached the door with boxes in hand. I couldn’t find the keys to open the building door anywhere. I dropped the boxes off near the entrance and went to look inside the car. They were no where to be seen. We were stuck. The door to the apartment was open, but the building gate was locked, so we couldn’t get inside.

At this point, I was ready to cry. We had gotten so far finding an apartment complex without an address, finding the right apartment number… and now, because of my stupidity, we couldn’t even finish putting all the stuff away. Abhinaya calmed me down. She asked what we could do in that moment that would be helpful…

So, we decided we would wait for someone to open the gate. In the meantime, we continued to move the boxes out of the car and put them near the entrance. Surely enough, as I was getting a box out, a college student and his girlfriend entered the apartment complex. I asked them to open the door for us, and we were in!

We dropped the additional boxes inside the apartment and started searching for the keys. They were no where to be found. I went downstairs and searched the car again. They had completely disappeared. We didn’t know what to do…

We were near the kitchen counter, trying to figure out a solution. When we turned around, there was an extra set of keys on the counter. Abhinaya was suspicious as to whether these keys actually worked, so she tried them on the door. Surely enough, they worked!

So, we decided to finish bringing up all the boxes in the meantime, and find the original set of keys later. As we started moving the additional boxes from the car Abhinaya spotted the keys! They had been hidden behind a large box.

At this point, we finished moving all the supplies back to the apartment. As we finished and locked the door we realized how amazing this experience was. We had miraculously found the right apartment building and door without an address. We had managed to lose a pair of keys to the complex and find an extra pair of keys to help us. And with God’s grace, we had managed to move into the apartment.

Let me know what you think of this story and if you have ever had a similar experience in the comments below.


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