When 22-year-old Joe Peduzzi came to view a room in east London at the end of 2015, he was in for a surprise.
The double room in Bethnal Green costing £480 a month plus bills that he expected was in fact a mattress in a shed in a corner of the communal living room of a flat.
One year on from what became known as 'a bed, in a shed, in the lounge' - the epitome of London's housing crisis - I too am once again flat-hunting in the capital.
Who would have guessed that decades after my family managed to leave the Soviet Union, I would encounter a 'housing question' not unlike the chronic shortage experienced by Muscovites in the 1930s (beautifully captured by Mikhail Bulgakov in The Master and Margarita) by living in the UK?
Ever since I first moved to London, I've lived in 'good areas' for what's considered a 'good price', but I've always made some kind of compromise.
I spent the first years living in a room where the Tube trains used to go so closely past my window I could look into passengers' faces. Luckily I sleep like a log, thanks for asking.
Then I had another few years in a small room in a gorgeous gated mews with a large family of mice, and now I'm on the main road of a popular area, but the problem is that I have to move out.
After many viewings, I may just have found the perfect place. The price is okay for London (it would get me a three-bed flat in Berlin, of course) and it's above one of my favourite coffee shops.
What's the compromise, I hear you ask? The letting agent communicates with me via emojis, the wifi is slow and the shower is currently not working.
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