Sunday, November 30, 2008

H(ell)ousemates


It’s been challenging living here. Jenna and I live with 6 other people. Four are German, the oldest being 21. There’s also a 21 year old girl in the loft above us who has a incredibly loud and dumb boyfriend who practically lives there and yells a lot during rugby games. So here we are living with these kids who have never lived on their own before. I’ve never lived among such filth. I should take a picture of the kitchen sometimes. They leave not only their dirty dishes out, but uneaten plates of food on the table, counter and anywhere with a flat surface. There are constantly stains a food smears on the kitchen table and counter and 1 million cockroaches at night. I don’t walk barefoot in the house. In Germany, there’s a mandatory stint in the military. If you don’t want to do that, you do social work in South Africa. So these kids aren’t really here out of the kindness of their hearts, they’re just partying and buying time until they get to leave. They party until really late at night and come home loud. One of them started bringing a couple of street kids home. One stole an iPod and then rode off with someone’s bike. We had a meeting and agreed no more street kids in the house. Then they just started hanging out on the porch (in front of my bedroom window) at all hours. We asked them to be quite about 8 times. The landlord (who lives in a loft upstairs) finally put a stop to it all. I haven’t had a full nights sleep in a couple weeks. Last night was the first.
This kind of thing can make you feel old. Telling the kids to keep it down, trying to understand why they leave bowls of uneaten yogurt, crumbs and spilled juice on the table all day to attract flies and roaches. Also thinking, “Those kids are so disrespectful and inconsiderate!” I guess I’ll be able to live anywhere and with anyone after this. This rant could go on and on, but you get the idea.
The house is conveniently located, though, close to the train station, a grocery store and the main strip in Observatory (the suburb where I live.) There’s coffee, bars, a health food store, book store, bottle store (liquor store which is the only place you can buy beer.) and Chemist (Pharmacy). Plus, it is safer (though annoying) to always have someone around the house. I’m coming to terms with the inconveniences and realize that I have less than three months to go. Someday I’ll wish I was back picking dried cheese off “clean” spoons and rewashing dishes (they don’t rinse the dishes when they put them on the drying rack! Is this a German thing?) Actually, I probably won’t.

2 comments:

auntie judy said...

Hi Travis,
I respond in empathy to the picture. It reminds me of my kitchen after our Turkey Day feasting yesterday. (We had to postpone it to the weekend because I was sick last weekend and couldn't pull it together in time.) Allisha had mentioned you may call us - but it looks like you were working. Congratulations!
Love and Best Wishes, Aunt Judy

Wandering Gypsy said...

practice for parenthood i suppose! ha! [yes i do remember you are not planning to be a daddy]...i was thinking that it is colder in germany so maybe these kids havn't practiced with full on cockroach infestations yet. try putting their dirty dishes on their beds.