Today I bought canvas, acrylic paint and brushes. I’ve decided that I will make a painting, my first one, and I already know it’s gonna be shit. I can feel it. Well, maybe not absolutely shit but certainly not as good as I would like it to be. Oh well, I will give it a try and see where it takes me, in the meantime, let’s time-travel for a bit, shall we?
October 7, 2011
Oh man, what a day. I had to leave in the middle of my first “Design for the Internet” class to sign the contract of a new house me and some friends are renting, which means I’m moving out for the fourth time in 15 months I’ve been living in London, a ridiculous average if you ask me. The reasons behind every change are different but at the end, it all comes down to one thing: I can’t stand injustice. Or arseholes.
When I first arrived to England I had the fortune to have a good pair of friends to lend me a bed and embrace my bag of bones and suitcases for a few weeks while I looked for a place to live. Soon I found a nice room in a cute little house in Camden Town, a neighbourhood I later discovered to be way overpriced. But that wasn’t the real problem, the issue here were my housemates: 2 physics students and 1 law student, all in their early 20’s, which are probably the most boring and inconsiderate people I’ve ever come across with in my life. These were the kind of guys who would wake up at 7:30am on sundays to hoover the house, starting with the kitchen, the space closer to my room. These were the kind of people who would wake up early in the morning to cook breakfast and bang the kitchen cupboard’s doors mercylessly, day after day, without any care for me or my sleep. These were the kind of persons who would take you on your move-in day to the dullest pub they could find, buy you a beer and break the ice by asking what do you think about Tony Blair. These were my housemates. After 5 months I had enough and decided to move out, just before Christmas.
It seemed pretty smart back then but in January I discovered things wouldn’t go as smoothly as they went 5 months earlier. This time around, my dear friends, the process was as painful and miserable as it could get. Over the course of 2 whole months, I visited no less than 50 flats and every single drop by felt like an episode of some twisted version of American Idol but with rooms and housemates instead of wannabe singers. It was a fuckin’ nightmare. I would travel for an hour to some random house in West Acton only to find out the room they were renting out was completely different to the one portrayed in the pictures of their ads, or I would spent 45 minutes on a bus and 10 more minutes walking to finally reach a small council flat in the middle of Shoreditch with a decent room but a bunch of looneys who interviewed me for 15 minutes before procceding to read me a list of house rules that made no sense whatsoever.
Each day I would go out to check out at least 3 flats in various locations around London and come back to my friend’s house (again), completely defeated. Back to my laptop to go through thousand of ads with pictures of the garden, the front door, the kitchen, the living room, the stairs, the garage but no pictures of the fucking room they were advertising in the first place (something I can’t understand and consider to be absolutely moronic), until I finally found potential houses worth spending time visiting. After 2 months, I came across an ad that only showed one single picture: of wooden stairs painted white and a big IKEA globe lamp hanging from the ceiling. That was it. I was about to close the browser window but a second before I clicked it, I saw the price: 380 pounds all bills included. All of a sudden, a single picture of the stairs was good enough to give it a try. Called the guy, arranged a viewing and an hour later I was in the heart of Stamford Hill, the biggest jewish community in all Europe according to wikipedia. The house was quite run down, there was a hole in the kitchen’s roof and the garden was ridiculously full of rubbish and debris but the room was spacious, the rent was dead cheap, the people in the house were incredibly friendly and most important, I had no patience to keep looking or much money to afford anything else so I took it right away. After a string of failures, victory was finally mine. Or so I thought.
I won’t say I didn’t enjoy my time at 90A, I really did. My housemates were some of the nicest guys I have come across with since I got here and some of the happiest days of my life were spent in that room but there was something that bothered me: my landlord. Imagine a miserable guy who wouldn’t move a finger to improve anything within the walls of the house he was running and still feeling like he was doing us a favor. When I moved in, I was told the hole in the kitchen was going to be fixed, six months after all he managed to do was to cover it with a drywall panel. The garden was a joke and a couple of weeks ago, when I decided to move out, one side of the ceiling at the entrance got ready to fall at the slightest movement. I kid you not, the roof could have fallen on any of us at any given time and he would do nothing about it. Why? Because rent was cheap. Make sense until you realize there are 2 types of people in life: the ones who can put up with this kind of bullshit and the ones who can’t. I belong to the latter.
Fortunately, by the time the ceiling started to fall apart, a good bunch of friends found a sweet little house near Green Lanes, close to all sort of shops, restaurants, pubs, a big Sainsbury’s and a few blocks away from the mighty 29 route so when they rang me to ask if I wanted to move in with them, I wet my panties in a burst of happiness. The place looks like new, all walls have been recently painted (the smell is killing whatever brain cells I have left, though), the garden exists and there are no holes in the ceiling. Quite a change, if you ask me. That’s why I didn’t complain much when they told me I had to be today at 12:30pm to sign our contract so we can move in this weekend. Not looking forward to the process ahead but very excited to all it represents; batching things in boxes and suitcases to later unpack them in a new place you’re bound to make your own always brings a sense of hope and expectation that I find quite thrilling.
I will let you know how it goes.