Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Move


So much to be shared but so little time, adjusting to a new place takes a lot more than one would think and I still feel somehow overwhelmed by it all. So firstly I am no longer living with friendly Panetone eating house mate. I would’ve liked to pretend that everything was peachy, but really at the end the only thing peachy was the colour of the walls (which proved to me that I have my mother’s affinity for beige, a wall can never go wrong in a tone of beige).

When moving to another country you accept that you are saying goodbye to your day to day comforts that you are used to. You accept that you are not going to live in the same luxury and that you will have to adjust to many changes.  When I arrived here in Italy I found that the single room that I booked from the internet was in fact a sleeper couch (that in itself not a comfortable nights rest on a long term plan) in the middle of an open plan living kitchen area. Whether it was the language barrier or whether just a omission of information I am not sure, but the fact that my bedroom does not have a door never crossed my mind in any way until I arrived there.  At first I convinced myself that it was just one of those luxuries one has to live without. However this luxury after while does become a basic need when you discover that you don’t share the same sleeping patterns as the person you live with. Somehow supper was often produced at the hour when I was ready for bed (I do not consider 11 pm an unreasonable hour to go to bed). Also when this girl’s parents show up almost every night then a door seems like something really nice to have. 

Another thing I missed was natural light, yes the sky is mostly grey, but even the grey light would be nice if it falls into your window.  This place had stickers (that is supposed to look like stained glass) on most of the windows, on top of that, the girl had the habit of always closing all the shutters and the blinds.  This made the place this dark morbid peach toned hole.  But I was not going to complain about it, I am fortunate and I should be happy to have found a place. 

All of these things I thought I could accept,  however a luxury I would not go without is that of having freedom. Being 26 years old; not having to ask for permission for things is one of the things I consider an advantage of being a grown up.  This was brought to a serious halt when I invited my friends to come visit me for New Years in Milan.  I was demanded to give exact time of their arrival and departure. On top of that I was told that the one friend could in fact not stay with me because, well, he happens to be a man.  No men in the apartment!!!  Now look I am not a promiscuous girl, and have no desire to invite men over every night, but I would like to have the option to do so anyway. And where are my friends now supposed to sleep? Anyway, I sucked it up and informed my friends of the law, because I would like to respect the people who own the place. My friends stayed in a hotel.

Then I arrived home with my friend, including another girl who I met and invited for tea, for an hour.  When we walked in to the house, house mate’s eyes raised and stretched to an inconsiderable size and I was beckoned in to her room with questions about who this is, how long she will stay and why she is here?  Then I was told that in future I must please send a message or make a phone call first before I just bring someone over.  In good rude Afrikaans: “Dit het my moer gekoer” (that was the final straw).  The conversation between us got as heated as is possible when two people can’t understand each other all the time (and also I am very diplomatic thanks to my mother’s temperament I inherited). I explained in my best Italian that this does not feel like a home, and for 450 euro a month, it must at least feel like a home. How in the world can a place be your home if you cannot even invite someone for tea? So that same day I started searching for new accommodation.

The move was difficult (even though I had only two suitcases and a few extra bags). I had to walk back and forth three times. Dragging a heavy suitcase over 3 blocks not so easy. I was tempted to feel sorry for myself and burst into hysterical tears, but it seemed wiser just to use the energy to drag the suitcase.  And now here I am in my new place which I think is awesome and what I am hoping to call my home for the next year at least, and I did not break my back or strain a muscle from moving.  So I am ok, God is good, he takes care of me, no worries. I am a very blessed girl. 

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