Greenbelt, MD – Cleanliness

On January 11th, I had a flight from Lubbock at 4:45PM and arrived in Greenbelt, MD at 11:05PM. I was picked up by an african-american man whose name I did not remember correctly. But nevertheless, we solved it and I went in his shuttle van so I could settle in my new living arrangement.

At around 12PM, I arrived in a condo. My first thought was that the living room smelled very badly. It smelled like cooking spices and sweat. It felt like a place that has never been cleaned in 5 years. The kitchen was a horrible sight. The stove was brown and I decided then and there that I would not cook while I’m here. As I was taking a few steps into the unit, I also noticed a lot of trash on the floor. Brown stains on the chairs, tables, and kitchen counters. I was utterly disgusted.

I went to the room I was assigned to. There was already one person there. She was kind, but we’ll get to her later. The room was pretty small for two people. There were two mattresses without a base, a room lamp between the mattresses, a closet that took up one wall, two study tables and two chairs. I decided not to unpack that day since it was so late. Instead, I went for a walk outside.

The time was around 2AM. One of the other roommates told me that there is a 24 hour CVS 15 minutes away. I decided to go there since I love lone walks.

I might have slept at around 4 AM that day. However, the worst was to come.

The next day, I decided to explore the condo more. Unfortunately, I could not enjoy it fully because the place was definitely unhygienic. I could not sit on the sofa for more than 5 minutes because it smelled like sweat. Because of that, I did not have the courage to lean on the sofa. I placed a paper towel on the sofa and sat on it so I could sit on the sofa. When I was done with the sofa, I took the paper towel out and sniffed it. It smelled like  5,000 of people’s sweat combined. The only thing I am glad about is how the bathroom is not as dirty as the living room, dining room, or kitchen.

For the next few days, I tried to endure the horrors of the condo unit. Hoping that things would get better. I thought, maybe I was just hateful because it was a new place. Then I decided to keep studying for the upcoming training.

Fast forward to a week after I arrived in Greenbelt. I decided to e-mail my higher up to ask if I could be moved into a different unit because I decided I could not take it anymore with the uncleanliness that could potentially give me some sort of disease. The very next day, everyone in my apartment was called for a meeting. When we all got there, my higher up basically yelled at them for not being clean. At one side, I felt bad because I technically caused this. But on the other side, I hope that the unit will be cleaner soon.

Going home from the meeting, my roommates did not completely try to solve the uncleanliness problem. They sprayed the whole unit with airwick, which did not even solve the smell problem because the air freshener only tried to mask the odor. They tried to clean around but they only managed to clean the stove.

The next day I decided I really cannot wait for anyone to do things for me. So I decided to clean every inch of the kitchen: the counters, the toaster, rice cooker, microwave, and floors. There was probably more, really. I was even talking to somebody in the HR to see if they would have anything to make the sofa stop smelling. This was yesterday.

Today, I feel much better about living here. For the first few days, I really did not think I could survive here because the smell was unbearable and my stuff were starting to smell horrible. But now that it is clean, I suppose I can manage to stay here longer.




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