‘Oh No, woman! not me… I have been raised better than this ‘ I thought to myself. I would never give this woman the satisfaction of going along with her gossiping about my new flat mate.
And oh boy, she tried to get me to talk about him. I played as dumb as I could possibly muster. Finally, after a long 5 minutes she just gave up .
Just between you and me though, he is a bit of a creep .I mean if you sneak in somewhere you shouldn’t be, to see something you shouldn’t be seeing… you just shut up and pray that no one notices right!? Not him .My new flat mate would tell you .Proudly .Weirdly. I’m glad I’m not staying here for much longer. That all I’m saying.
To be honest, when I finally settled in that flat – after a period of homelessness ; I thought my issues with flatmates were over as I had initially shared it with a writer and her boyfriend ; they were so annoyingly in love . But I liked them both so much that I shed few tears when they moved to their own house.
Dealing with flat mates hasn’t always been easy, I must admit. I’ve come a long way since I have landed in this country a little less than 2 years now. I’ve changed address 6 times during that period and been in shared flats during most of it. My attitude towards my flat mates has evolved dramatically.
My first shared flat was in London; I remember giving the warden a complaint letter on my second day about my flat mate even before meeting him. And oh how nice he turned out to be … I stayed there for few weeks only but we’re still in touch!
My next shared flat was in Hertfordshire – England and this time I shared the flat with an adorably loud Spanish student majoring in English. We bonded almost instantly no thanks to me. She used to knock on my door and let herself in to my room and in her broken English she would chat and chat until I could take it nomore but being the exotic girl she was, she somehow got away with it every single time.
‘I m dating an Irani ‘ She once told me ‘What do you think about Iranian men?’
‘I don’t really know dear. I haven’t been to Iran and I don’t know any Iranis ‘
‘Well you should know something about Iran , you’re Iraqi ‘
After giving it a quick thought, I blurted ‘I know about the hot topic nowadays, the nuclear program in Iran’
‘Tell me more ‘ you must be kidding !
‘About the nuclear program ...its all over the news …why don’t you teach me a new Spanish dish?!’
‘No tell me about middle eastern men! ‘
‘ hmm … OK…!! ‘
‘Are they good ?’ I don’t remember the exact conversation but I still vividly remember that question
‘Are Spanish men good ?’ was my answer
She couldn’t answer and that was one of the rare occasions that I managed to break free from her late night chit chats ….but it was good ,we cooked Tortilla Espanola later that night -I meant she ;). She eventually dropped out of uni, hang around for abit then went back to Spain. I wouldn’t have chosen her as a flat mate tbh but she is another person I missed alot when we parted.
Then I shared my flat with a nurse ; same age as I am .Just came back from a year of ‘travelling around the world with mates ’ .Only her version wasn’t exactly what I refer to as a spiritual experience but she later turned out to be one of most knowledgeable British people I’ve known when it comes to world’s cultures. Most of my colleagues are clueless to say the least. I also used to share my cooking endeavours with her. Every time she finished her plate I can’t help to wonder whether my cooking was actually nice or she was just starving after a long shift .Probably the latter!
I spent the following six months in a resident hall in south Wales with four crazy university students. My room wasn’t too big but definitely the largest I’ve been since stepping foot in the country and it was river facing, the view was so soothing. One problem.Our flat aka – party flat – was never short of banners. Birthday banners, party and Christmas banners...etc . Oh boy , my flat mates loved partying . There were always random people in the lounge, sleep bags in the kitchen (with people sleeping in them!) and slumber parties every week (on week days). There were times when the music was so loud I would fret and just leave the place aimlessly. I paid tickets for smoking and late night partying because it was ‘my’ flat after all! . It was a hopeless situation. So hopeless I didn’t even bother addressing it. But like everything else in life it finally came to an end. sigh!
I needed to settle in for a life of quietness after south wales experience. I stayed in a hospital accommodation knowing that I would most probably encounter people who are a bit less into partying ... you’re not allowed any visitors in it and that was what I thought I was looking for...
‘I m sorry but you can’t come over...’ ‘why ?’ ‘One of my flat mates is a lunatic ‘
Was all too familiar conversation for the few weeks I spent in there ...On my last weekend I brought my sister to stay in with me..I thought heck with it ...I was leaving that weekend anyway...
My sister was having a shower when I heard the dreadful knock on my room door ... for a while I was too scared to answer the door ..but I knew this woman wasn’t going to leave and I was worried my sister would come out of the bathroom and say the wrong thing to my flat mate ; a British born Kenyan , won’t –take- no- bull -sh’t -from -no body kind of woman , probably had watched a bit too many black American movies , she fit very well into the stereotype of Hollywood depiction of black American women...Only she was not American and well...she was half black ‘her words not mine’! In all cases, you didn’t want to mess with her...
My other flatmates had managed a low profile ...there was another nurse from Nigeria; I like to call her Angel – partly because her name was so unfamiliar I couldn’t learn . I hardly saw her around.
And then there was another male nurse who was staying in our female only flat. I was puzzled a bit until I met him and his partner as for a while I thought they were one! He was a source of confusion for me from all angles ... those people didn’t stay for long but Ms. America certainly did. Strangely enough, I sometimes remember those dramatic knocks on my door and break into a smile!
That's it for me for now
You keep smiling loyal readers!