Don’t Let the Bed Bugs, Or Rent, Or Bad Weather Bite

September 10th, 2010 by An Phung

By An Phung

Before moving to New York City, there were certain topics and issues that I typically associated with this metropolis. These subjects range from extreme and inclement weather, to exorbitantly high rent for shoebox-sized pods, to potty-mouthed cab drivers who steam roll the city’s pedestrians. In my mind, these are New York’s pesky problems, not mine. Why should a girl from sunny San Diego worry about things like slumlords, snow, heatwaves or public transportation?  I had plenty of sunshine, ocean air and a reliable car to boot. And if I ever got evicted from my comfortable three bedroom house, I could probably live in my car and still have more space than the average New Yorker.

So it was no wonder that when I first heard about New York’s bed bug infestation back in September, I dismissed it as yet another New York issue. This “not my problem” attitude continued well into my third week here. Sure, I heard about the epidemic in the daily news. I even learned about its spread throughout the midwest. But it wasn’t until it affected my ability to shop that I started paying attention. I attend school full time, work hard at my studies, pay my bills, exercise and eat right. I just want to go shopping with some happy abandon. What is a California girl to do?

Perhaps the more operative question is why, in this economic climate, during this city’s worst heatwave, where subway platforms feel like steam rooms and homes are infested with creepy critters, are hopeful and ambitious young people like me still swarming this city like parasitic insects?

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