We moved into a 1 bedroom apartment in Mountain View on a three-month lease (not easy to find, some complexes wanted a couple hundred/mo more rent , and most would not lease for less than six months. Alex will be here for about three months; I'll be here now for a little less than two.
Being here has made me realize that I take for granted a lot of things that less transient people typically have in their homes. Like cooking utensils. A can opener. Soap. I've also realized that, despite the fact that I consider myself to require very little maintenance, I need a fair amount. I'm unhappy sitting in an empty apartment to be alone with my thoughts. You'd think that being in an environment without the distractions of social interaction, toys, and media would be incredibly conducive to work and dissertation-writing, but the opposite turns out to be the case -- instead of hours of productivity and accomplishment, the empty box leaves me feeling mostly despair.
That last sentence was more dramatic than it needed to be. Some people don't have enough to eat or a roof over their head -- further evidence that humans judge by comparison rather than objective assessment. Anyway, my solution to this problem is to try to be out elsewhere as much as possible. The City library (where I am right now) is within walking and biking distance, and is quite nice.
I wish I were staying longer so that I'd actually try to settle in rather than just get by or make do. I wish we had a microwave oven, chairs, and stable Internet. I wish I didn't know that our L.A. subletter didn't have it so much better than I do. But maybe he wishes our place had a pool.