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How to get money back from gypsy landlord?
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The Catalyst Offline
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How to get money back from gypsy landlord?
Recently I was desperate to find a place, so I went to an agency with the help of some Hungarian friends. There were two listings on the agency site(in Hungarian) for the equivalent of ~120 eur/mo for a room in an apartment in a central-ish area. It's much lower than the offers you find on facebook groups so I jumped on it.

I went to the agency, paid ~25 eur(luckily they refunded it later) to have access to those properties. Turns out, the best deal was ~180 eur/mo for a room. Also, my Hungarian friends would tell me it's in a really sketchy gypsy area.

I checked out the place a few days ago, it was relatively horrible, but I wasn't thinking clearly and wanted to move in somewhere quick, so I signed and paid. With a clear head I realised I'm pretty sure I'm overpaying, although an apartment room would be 250-300 eur or more, this place was really run down and horrible. I moved in that evening, the power and wifi weren't working(power in my room- wifi maybe everywhere), I thought "screw it", and left the place(no one there in the evening spoke English).

I went back earlier to try to recover some money and turn in the keys, but they said the contract's the contract. They moved me to another room where the power/wifi was working(seemingly). And said I should just try it for a month since I already paid.

I really don't want to stay there though. It's just so shitty. How can I get my money back? Also, the keys to the new room were the same as the old room. How can I trust these gypsies to not steal everything I have when I leave?

I think the place isn't up to scratch and probably illegal, but I'm not familiar with the Hungarian building codes. There's so many people crammed in the building, wires and plasterboard sticking out everywhere, people smoking inside, the kitchen isn't really a proper kitchen just a fridge and a portable camping gas stove. I was thinking if it turns out to be illegal I could threaten to report them to recover some of the money.

I am poor enough that 180 eur is a LOT to me
(This post was last modified: 12-09-2019 11:01 AM by The Catalyst.)
12-09-2019 10:56 AM
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Zenta Offline
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Post: #2
RE: How to get money back from gypsy landlord?
This isn't helpful advice but as a landlord I wouldn't want to give you your money back either for signing a lease and agreeing to move in for x amount of time. I am nice though so I would let you leave without taking you to court for the rest of the lease and just simply returning keys to part ways, I'd probably keep your security deposit as well.

I don't really have any advice for you, it sucks that you ended up renting a shitty place at a shitty price but you take that loss and learn from it.
12-09-2019 11:47 AM
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monsquid Offline
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RE: How to get money back from gypsy landlord?
Stick it out for a month as they suggested. You just need to overcome the initial shock of the conditions to determine if it's really unsafe and unhealthy or just not up to your standards. If cash is tight you have few options anyways.
12-09-2019 09:30 PM
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RE: How to get money back from gypsy landlord?
Why did you move to Hungary with so little money, and in Winter? Winter in EE is for wealthy people who can afford expensive indoor entertainment every evening.

If I may, I strongly advise you to go back to the US or whatever your native country is, work there until May, save money, and then if you still want to, move to Hungary, again, but this time with some thousands of usd in your pocket. Or better still, go back to the US and work there until you have 20k to start a coffee shop in Vietnam or Colombia. Europe is for already rich people. As to EE, mark my words, there is no adventure to be had there, we're not in 1997. It's fully-civilized land, it serves for wealthy right wing people and that's it. You want adventure and a chance to get rich, try China or Bolivia.

If you don't have 250k in bank, don't go to Western Europe. If you don't have 150k in bank, don't go to Eastern Europe. (That is, if you're a male. Females can use their assets everywhere, sadly but easily, providing they're slim).

But in case you want to stay in EE, well, don't think you'll get your money back from a landlord. Only a Russian or Bulgarian (or yours truly, if absolute necessity would arise) can get money back from someone in EE. That money is gone, my friend, unless you do a crash course in wearing Adidas and becoming Gopnik.

Also, did you write "Hungarian building code", really? Man, there's no such thing east of Vienna. Building codes? You think of pressing charges, going to court? In EE, over "building codes"? Well, forget about it. Money is gone.
(This post was last modified: 12-09-2019 10:26 PM by Going strong.)
12-09-2019 10:22 PM
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Zenta Offline
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RE: How to get money back from gypsy landlord?
(12-09-2019 10:22 PM)Going strong Wrote:  Why did you move to Hungary with so little money, and in Winter? Winter in EE is for wealthy people who can afford expensive indoor entertainment every evening.

If I may, I strongly advise you to go back to the US or whatever your native country is, work there until May, save money, and then if you still want to, move to Hungary, again, but this time with some thousands of usd in your pocket. Or better still, go back to the US and work there until you have 20k to start a coffee shop in Vietnam or Colombia. Europe is for already rich people. As to EE, mark my words, there is no adventure to be had there, we're not in 1997. It's fully-civilized land, it serves for wealthy right wing people and that's it. You want adventure and a chance to get rich, try China or Bolivia.

If you don't have 250k in bank, don't go to Western Europe. If you don't have 150k in bank, don't go to Eastern Europe. (That is, if you're a male. Females can use their assets everywhere, sadly but easily, providing they're slim).

But in case you want to stay in EE, well, don't think you'll get your money back from a landlord. Only a Russian or Bulgarian (or yours truly, if absolute necessity would arise) can get money back from someone in EE. That money is gone, my friend, unless you do a crash course in wearing Adidas and becoming Gopnik.

Also, did you write "Hungarian building code", really? Man, there's no such thing east of Vienna. Building codes? You think of pressing charges, going to court? In EE, over "building codes"? Well, forget about it. Money is gone.

Can you really start a coffee shop with just 20k in Vietnam?
12-09-2019 10:37 PM
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Leonard D Neubache Offline
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Post: #6
RE: How to get money back from gypsy landlord?
I love posts like GS's. It's like becoming worldly on the cheap from the comfort of your couch.

Cheers!

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12-10-2019 12:06 AM
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Kona Offline
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RE: How to get money back from gypsy landlord?
(12-09-2019 10:56 AM)The Catalyst Wrote:  I was thinking if it turns out to be illegal I could threaten to report them to recover some of the money.

I think that's the last thing you want to do. Hungarian gypsies took my money is a cool story. Hungarian gypsies are why I have no teeth and this eye patch is not a cool story.

Stick it out a bit. Befriend a gypsy or two. Maybe they will take you on some type of traveling circus show. Or to underground bare-knuckle boxing matches. Just don't cross them. You don't hear many good things about angry gypsies. You don't want them to think you are a rat.

George Soros is a Hungarian. You don't want to get on his bad side. But you can't trust him either. So you need to figure out a better way to secure the door.

Good luck and let us know, I'm interested.

Aloha!
12-10-2019 12:39 AM
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The Catalyst Offline
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RE: How to get money back from gypsy landlord?
Honestly I'm mad but I think I can't really stay there, it's just too bad. Maybe I can beg them for scraps of money or resell the room to someone else for a steep discount.

Probably 180 eur is not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but that 180 eur can buy a lot of things for me, like good food instead of shitty food for 2 months, good apartment room vs shared below avg apartment room. Or even little things in stores I want to buy total less than that. It's just maddening I've been saving and scrimping and just blew through that in an hour of desperation.

Since you wrote a long post GS I'll figure I'll answer some of your questions.

If I was in any other Western country I would've stayed there I think. I just despise NZ. I went to Hungary in summer and stayed until now. Not planning on going back. For the most part I'm not really looking for adventure, just a functional society/culture(which Hungary's not the best at, but I could've picked a lot worse). I actually assumed Hungary was more civilised/less adventurous than it turned out to be, believe it or not. I don't even necessarily want to be rich just be able to save enough money to have a comfortable emergency fund and invest for the future without suffering too much. If I have enough money to ice skate every so often, maybe go on one snowboard trip, and otherwise stay at home and eat good supermarket food and use my laptop I'll be relatively happy.

Financially a good decision would be to have gone to Australia, now I can teach English Vietnam seems really good. I guess I really like it in Central Europe.

I'm probably overreacting as my current job will more than cover it+other expenses. But it's just such a rude awakening when thousands of decisions to save little bits of money here and there don't matter but one dumb one made in the heat of the moment did =/ Also my current job is short term so my financial situation is still uncertain.

Also curious but while you're here: what is a good way to earn 150k? I'm thinking maybe I can earn it while I'm here...
(This post was last modified: 12-10-2019 01:00 AM by The Catalyst.)
12-10-2019 12:55 AM
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RE: How to get money back from gypsy landlord?
As someone who has lived in a car in dead of winter Tasmania while looking for work I can tell you that you could do way worse.
At least you're warm and sheltered and have a month to reflect on your mistake and maybe you'll even find some positives in your situation.
The landlord is in his right not to give you your money back, I wouldn't either as landlords also have bills to pay and that's why there are leases in the first place. I would also not want to pick a fight with a group of gypsies as a lone kiwi.

And why Australia? Is it much better than NZ besides not being inundated with magma?
12-10-2019 01:14 AM
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The Catalyst Offline
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RE: How to get money back from gypsy landlord?
15% higher wages for the same job in most fields, lower COL(definitely for the same city size), better weather, more things to do, people less retarded(believe it or not), more foreigners. It is a no brainer for Kiwis to move to Australia instead of staying in NZ and many do
12-10-2019 01:19 AM
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RE: How to get money back from gypsy landlord?
If you're after higher wages then why did you go to Hungary and live with gypsies?
12-10-2019 01:23 AM
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The Catalyst Offline
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RE: How to get money back from gypsy landlord?
I wasn't necessarily looking for higher wages. I was just explaining how going to Australia was superior to staying in NZ.
12-10-2019 01:25 AM
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Cattle Rustler Offline
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RE: How to get money back from gypsy landlord?
I hate to say this man, but if 180 euros is a lot of money....Europe isn’t for you my friend. Let’s just hope you don’t get pickpocketed.

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12-10-2019 06:48 AM
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Going strong Offline
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RE: How to get money back from gypsy landlord?
(12-09-2019 10:37 PM)Zenta Wrote:  
(12-09-2019 10:22 PM)Going strong Wrote:  Why did you move to Hungary with so little money, and in Winter? Winter in EE is for wealthy people who can afford expensive indoor entertainment every evening.

If I may, I strongly advise you to go back to the US or whatever your native country is, work there until May, save money, and then if you still want to, move to Hungary, again, but this time with some thousands of usd in your pocket. Or better still, go back to the US and work there until you have 20k to start a coffee shop in Vietnam or Colombia. Europe is for already rich people. As to EE, mark my words, there is no adventure to be had there, we're not in 1997. It's fully-civilized land, it serves for wealthy right wing people and that's it. You want adventure and a chance to get rich, try China or Bolivia.

If you don't have 250k in bank, don't go to Western Europe. If you don't have 150k in bank, don't go to Eastern Europe. (That is, if you're a male. Females can use their assets everywhere, sadly but easily, providing they're slim).

But in case you want to stay in EE, well, don't think you'll get your money back from a landlord. Only a Russian or Bulgarian (or yours truly, if absolute necessity would arise) can get money back from someone in EE. That money is gone, my friend, unless you do a crash course in wearing Adidas and becoming Gopnik.

Also, did you write "Hungarian building code", really? Man, there's no such thing east of Vienna. Building codes? You think of pressing charges, going to court? In EE, over "building codes"? Well, forget about it. Money is gone.

Can you really start a coffee shop with just 20k in Vietnam?

OK, let's say, definitely 30k (usd) to start (as a Spanish speaker) a coffee shop in Medellín, or say 35k to start one in Saigon (but then you'd need more complicated paperwork).

Thing is, if you remain an employee, you'll always be humbly surviving, unless you're mid- to high management, in a big firm. Better to start your own business, after careful thinking (about the location in particular).
(This post was last modified: 12-10-2019 09:23 AM by Going strong.)
12-10-2019 08:30 AM
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RE: How to get money back from gypsy landlord?
@OP: How long is the rental contract for?

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12-10-2019 08:32 AM
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The Catalyst Offline
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RE: How to get money back from gypsy landlord?
(12-10-2019 08:32 AM)JohnKreese Wrote:  @OP: How long is the rental contract for?

Basically I paid for 1 month and it will last the month.
12-10-2019 08:54 AM
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RE: How to get money back from gypsy landlord?
(12-10-2019 12:55 AM)The Catalyst Wrote:  Honestly I'm mad but I think I can't really stay there, it's just too bad. Maybe I can beg them for scraps of money or resell the room to someone else for a steep discount.

Probably 180 eur is not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but that 180 eur can buy a lot of things for me, like good food instead of shitty food for 2 months, good apartment room vs shared below avg apartment room. Or even little things in stores I want to buy total less than that. It's just maddening I've been saving and scrimping and just blew through that in an hour of desperation.

Since you wrote a long post GS I'll figure I'll answer some of your questions.

If I was in any other Western country I would've stayed there I think. I just despise NZ. I went to Hungary in summer and stayed until now. Not planning on going back. For the most part I'm not really looking for adventure, just a functional society/culture(which Hungary's not the best at, but I could've picked a lot worse). I actually assumed Hungary was more civilised/less adventurous than it turned out to be, believe it or not. I don't even necessarily want to be rich just be able to save enough money to have a comfortable emergency fund and invest for the future without suffering too much. If I have enough money to ice skate every so often, maybe go on one snowboard trip, and otherwise stay at home and eat good supermarket food and use my laptop I'll be relatively happy.

Financially a good decision would be to have gone to Australia, now I can teach English Vietnam seems really good. I guess I really like it in Central Europe.

I'm probably overreacting as my current job will more than cover it+other expenses. But it's just such a rude awakening when thousands of decisions to save little bits of money here and there don't matter but one dumb one made in the heat of the moment did =/ Also my current job is short term so my financial situation is still uncertain.

Also curious but while you're here: what is a good way to earn 150k? I'm thinking maybe I can earn it while I'm here...

"what is a good way to earn 150k" :

Well one thing is for sure, it's not by being an employee (unless you're some Carlos Ghosn high-paid manager, but then you'll notice that Ghosn, though the best-paid employee in the world, ultimately proved to be just that, a dumb employee with no real understanding of the business world - secretly finessing money from Japanese partners and then taking a plane to eat suchis in Tokio).

My point being : you want to get reasonably rich, then don't work as an English teacher, open your own English-Lessons school.
12-10-2019 09:30 AM
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RE: How to get money back from gypsy landlord?
(12-10-2019 09:30 AM)Going strong Wrote:  "what is a good way to earn 150k" :

Well one thing is for sure, it's not by being an employee (unless you're some Carlos Ghosn high-paid manager, but then you'll notice that Ghosn, though the best-paid employee in the world, ultimately proved to be just that, a dumb employee with no real understanding of the business world - secretly finessing money from Japanese partners and then taking a plane to eat suchis in Tokio).

My point being : you want to get reasonably rich, then don't work as an English teacher, open your own English-Lessons school.

Yeah I'd like to start a business about something I'm good at. First things first I guess. I need to get my finances, life, accommodation, visas etc in order first. I do feel there are many holes in the market I can fill if only I had enough resources.

There is something about a steady paycheck though that's worth it despite the massive pay cut. At least for now.
12-10-2019 09:40 AM
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The Catalyst Offline
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RE: How to get money back from gypsy landlord?
So I'm curious what you guys would do in my situation now. The place is almost worthless to me, for that price I can actually be living relatively comfortably, sure I'll be sharing a room but not live in a slum condition.

Would you still stay there with the risk of robbery/fire/indoor smoking, just because it's free? It's so inconvenient to cook there that I might be spending more on eating out if I were in that place than rent+groceries in a new place... That place feels like a solitary confinement prison cell because there's no way I'd want to leave my room.

Would you try and beg them to at least return a portion of the money if you would give the keys. Although maybe they don't even give a fuck if it's occupied since it otherwise would be earning nothing.

Or try to resell it at a steep discount to someone who might actually want to use it for whatever reason.
12-10-2019 11:40 AM
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RE: How to get money back from gypsy landlord?
(12-10-2019 11:40 AM)The Catalyst Wrote:  So I'm curious what you guys would do in my situation now. The place is almost worthless to me, for that price I can actually be living relatively comfortably, sure I'll be sharing a room but not live in a slum condition.

Would you still stay there with the risk of robbery/fire/indoor smoking, just because it's free? It's so inconvenient to cook there that I might be spending more on eating out if I were in that place than rent+groceries in a new place... That place feels like a solitary confinement prison cell because there's no way I'd want to leave my room.

Would you try and beg them to at least return a portion of the money if you would give the keys. Although maybe they don't even give a fuck if it's occupied since it otherwise would be earning nothing.

Or try to resell it at a steep discount to someone who might actually want to use it for whatever reason.

The risks you outline may or may not come to pass, none of us know the exact building, locations, tenants, structure, etc. However, it seems as though there are quite a few areas of concern...many more than 180 euros are worth.

Personally, I wouldn't stay there (if those problems existed and I'd already sunk 1000 euros, I probably wouldn't stay there), but only you know your risk tolerance and financial situation.

If you need to go to a hostel and live on the cheap for a few nights to figure things out, do that. At least security and general living conditions should be at least marginally better.

You're not going to beg any of the people who leased you the place for any reason whatsoever.

First, they'll just tell you to shove it, just like any rental agent would do once you'd checked a place out and signed (they sound like lower-class types of people anyways so they're even less likely to let you back out).

Second, you went in there, checked the place out, and signed on the line. Just because you didn't ask the right questions or test things out on your own doesn't give you a right to go back on a contract. Sure, the place sucks and they may not have been upfront with everything, but you knew the place sucked when you looked at it and should have been more attuned to checking things out more thoroughly. Just because you got burned doesn't give you a right to break a contract or to try to mess up their operation (you being out 180 euros isn't worth going to authorities for...heck, there are probably people in the building who have no problem with the living conditions and you'd potentially be messing up their living situations).

Ultimately, what did you expect from a place in major European city that was charging the equivalent of $6 a night?

At the end of the day, 180 euros will seem like nothing in terms of learning valuable life lessons. Many of us have had to pay a lot more for these types of screwups.

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(This post was last modified: 12-10-2019 01:39 PM by JohnKreese.)
12-10-2019 01:38 PM
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Repo Offline
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RE: How to get money back from gypsy landlord?
If I were you Id move back to wherever you came from and develop actual skills that can earn you money, since you clearly have none.
(This post was last modified: 12-10-2019 04:45 PM by Repo.)
12-10-2019 04:34 PM
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Chetthebaker Offline
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RE: How to get money back from gypsy landlord?
I used to do apartment rentals in my 20s.

One of the big takeaways here that nobody’s mentioned yet: do not ever pay for listings or a list of apartments. Total scam. You pay for the list, and they give you a piece of paper with a bunch of shitty properties that have sat there for ages. Properties you could find on your own through the internet.
12-10-2019 07:09 PM
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monsquid Offline
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RE: How to get money back from gypsy landlord?
(12-10-2019 12:55 AM)The Catalyst Wrote:  Also curious but while you're here: what is a good way to earn 150k? I'm thinking maybe I can earn it while I'm here...

You need to invest in yourself with education or a skill. Traveling to developing countries for emotional escapism is not the way.

For most people getting a good professional degree (engineering, law, finance, medicine) is the path to making to the middle or upper class. Once you have experience in your field then you can make a decision to start your own business or climb the ladder.
12-10-2019 10:02 PM
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The Catalyst Offline
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RE: How to get money back from gypsy landlord?
(12-10-2019 07:09 PM)Chetthebaker Wrote:  I used to do apartment rentals in my 20s.

One of the big takeaways here that nobody’s mentioned yet: do not ever pay for listings or a list of apartments. Total scam. You pay for the list, and they give you a piece of paper with a bunch of shitty properties that have sat there for ages. Properties you could find on your own through the internet.

Yeah I guessed there was something wrong with paying an agency just to have access to lists, but the Hungarian colleagues I worked with just said to do it to get the cheap 120 eur rooms. I think they weren't aware of how expensive Budapest has gotten over the year.

I talked with other Hungarian friends about it and showed them the contract, apparently it's some of the worst they've ever seen, and I should just try and "disappear" from there... it's surreal being taken advantage of like that.
12-11-2019 02:11 AM
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RawGod Offline
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RE: How to get money back from gypsy landlord?
good learning experience. You're in a low trust environment...Hungarians can be underhanded at times , but we're talking gypsies here so that's another kettle of fish . Are you in district 8?

Dr Johnson rumbles with the RawGod. And lives to regret it.

I have had this sig since 2015 and received thousands of post likes; yet not one person has commented on my sig. Perhaps you're familiar with the work it parodies? Let me know!
12-11-2019 03:19 AM
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