Saturday, February 4, 2012

I've had my fair share of weird flatmates

Since I've moved to London, I've lived in some pretty 'interesting' places. Here are some flatmate traits I really could have lived without.

Oh, the notes. I came back one day to find no less than three notes lined up next to each other, taped to various empty household products. The first one: BUY YOUR OWN STUFF! The second one: AND BUY YOUR OWN MILK! Someone's been stealing mine and topping it up with milk. The third one: Well, I can't remember exactly but it was a massive note detailing how pissed off two other people were about it. Not that it had happened to them, they were just adding to the general unpleasant atmosphere. This isn't about the stealing - taking your housemates' food without asking is bad, but does it all have to be conducted through passive-aggressive notes and huffy, awkward silences in the communal kitchen?

Basic hygiene. For a very long month, I lived in a house in Wandsworth which had a very nice landlady, but the other tenants were left... wanting. Three men, from about 30-45. Which is fine, but there was one bathroom and in that was only a bath, no shower. I used to find, erm, bodily substances in there, body hair and, bizarrely, bits of tobacco. Who smokes in their communal bath?! Oh, and of course, the obligatory occasional skid-marks down the loo bowl (who knew there was a loo brush next to the loo, eh?). Pleasant.

Weird landlords. This is a huge generalisation, but I am NEVER living with my landlord again. I lived as a temporary lodger with the owner of a flat for a couple of months, and she was awesome, but otherwise, NO. Simply because it's way easier. And sometimes they're weird. Like this landlord I had in Hanger Lane. Complete arse. He was inconsiderate, didn't always flush the loo and sometimes, when he got pissed and forgot his keys, he smashed one of the window panes in the front door in. And 'forgot' to clean it up. I didn't stay there very long. Still, it's not as weird as one guy I went to see who wanted to live with only girls, didn't give a reason. On the ad it said he was 35. On getting there, I don't think he was a day under 50. Just a bit weird.

Living in a hostel. When I first came here, I didn't have anywhere to stay so I checked into the cheapest hostel I could find, in Ealing. I like Ealing, but there wasn't much going on in that particular part of Ealing, so I was pretty bored. Being skint, I had to share with three other people, so I was constantly on edge that my expensive laptop and life's possessions were ok. Hostels are good when you're travelling, but in real life, they're well, less fun. This one was dirty (I'm pretty sure that if you stay there less than a week they don't change the sheets), boring and the owners were weird and pervy. So if you're going to live in a hostel for a bit, choose carefully! Still, I came out unscathed and it was dead cheap.

Now I'm living in North London, having had 7 changes of address in total, staying on a number of kind relatives' floors and being glued to Spareroom constantly.

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