A thought on share-house living.

9/15/2009 11:27:00 am

I needed to write a post that isn't about food. It was starting to get embarrassing. So now, something completely different.

I have lived in a lot of places the last 5 years. It has been a source of angst for some time and I'm ready to be done with share-houses. I'll warn you now, this is mostly a rant, but it will be worth your while if you make it to the end! I promise!

I've lived with some shit awful people.

Like Ebrahim, who used to wait until I got home and then open the door before I got my key in, peering out at me to ask, "Ellie..have you been drinking?" and one day cornered me in the hallway, late at night, and stroked his toothbrush with his thumb for our entire conversation. Who, as it turned out, never cleaned the bathroom when it was his turn because he didn't actually know how to use a broom.

Like Mr H, who was so completely bat-shit crazy that he stood peering through the peep-hole in the front door for 45 minutes while Johan was in the kitchen being freaked out... only to be more weirded out when he told me about it later and I was like, "but Johan...there is no peephole in the front door..." Mr H also once sat watching TV for 6 hours without moving..but the TV was not switched on. And once he stood at his bedroom door with the key in the lock for half an hour. Just sort of..standing there, not moving.

Like the guy from Barcelona who would take his shirt off as soon as he got home and then spend the rest of the night wandering around with a tea towel over his shoulder, floppy chicken-fillet man boobies jiggling with abandon. Whose idea of dinner was a tin of white beans with the bean juice, half a raw onion, and some olive oil. Who is the only person I have ever screamed at. I had to be removed from the room by another flatmate, and once in my bedroom continued screaming at him through the wall. I really hated him with a passion.

Jason, a transplant from Canberra, was actually quite sweet. It was the first time he'd lived out of home and he couldn't cook anything unless it fit inside the tiny little pizza oven his parents had bought him. He spent his first year out of home discovering that he quite liked recreational drugs and raves and the following year moved into college only to discover that he was completely disallusioned with binge drinking. I look for him periodically on Facebook, but I haven't run into him for a few years and he has a generic asian name so I don't think I'll find him again any time soon.

Share houses are hot-beds of passive aggression and poor hygiene. At least in my experience. But on the weekend in Canberra, mum called someone she lived with 30 years ago to see if he was free for a coffee. 3o years later.

I wondered if I have just had a particularly bad run, or were things different then? She doesn't recall living with anyone particularly horrible, except for the chronic gambler who used to come home every night just as she sat down to dinner, thus making her feel as though she should offer him food. I have no such compulsions.

At the moment I spend most of my time in my bedroom, but that's mostly because we have no furniture. The furniture we do have is owned by me and is being destroyed. The bathtub is constantly filled with little hairs, even if I clean it everyday (I have given up on that). And I have a chronic runny nose because my flatmate smokes in the house, claiming that because he does it in his room the smell is unable to permeate the rest of the house. Everyday the first thing I do when I get home is open the windows, and every morning the first thing he does is close them. When I paid my share of the last phone bill I realised that he is charging me for his calls. And it doesn't matter how many times I wipe down the stove top, every day when I go in the kitchen it is covered in random crap.

But here is my thought on share-house living: it's not been completely terrible.

I hope I'll be calling Viki for coffee in 30 years.

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