The Blog of Dabido (the Baka one). Everything in this blog is copyrighted. Copyright 2004, 2005, 2006 by D. Stevenson.

02 February, 2005

Spinning My Wheels – Part Eight

I got to stay at Anthony's place. His mother got up in the morning, and because she knew Greg was staying over, wasn't surprised to find me sleeping on the couch. We explained the situation, and she agreed to allow me to stay till I found a place. I spent the day just hanging out with Greg and Anthony. Greg drove back to his place that night, and I got the spare room with the bed.

The next day I just hung out with Anthony talking to him about his stamp collection. I had been a stamp collector when I was younger, but I had stopped. What was left of my collection had been damaged when my belongings got flooded out. I told Anthony he could have it.

Monday was a good day. I went into the city with two things to do. I went to my University and looked for the “share accommodation” posters. Some were very out of date. I started phoning around and trying to find accommodation. I lucked out. The first place I went to and looked at, was walking distance from University and just around the corner from where I could catch a bus to work. (Though I didn't know that at first, and used to catch the train). I asked the landlady if I could move in that day. It caught her a bit by surprise, but I gave her a bond and a fortnights rent. She agreed. I then went back to Anthony's house and got my bag. I was all moved in by the afternoon.

The house only had one other inhabitant at that time. His name was Leo, he was in the Merchant Navy. He was in Sydney studying and helping out at a local emergency ward. We had a good rapport because he was from Malaysia, and I had lived there as a child. The house was a two story townhouse. He told me about the other inhabitants who stayed there when University was in session. One guy James. Some other girls from Indonesia. James was from the country, and the Indonesian girls were not coming back, because they didn't like the land lady. (Well, they came back to collect some things they left. Leo was keeping it for them.)

I still had five weeks off from work. So I walked into the city and went to my favourite book store. Galaxy book shop. I spent that summer reading Edgar Rice Burroughs “John Carter of Mars” series. I had a nice sunny room at the front of the house. Leo had the big bedroom upstairs. The house had no lounge, and their were five bedrooms in all. They were very small. The landlady lived across the road, and with her lived another Malaysian guy names Minkin. (I hope I spelt that right). Leo told me his name was Lim. I have no idea if that was some sort of joke of Leo's.

I became pretty good friends with Minkin too.

Christmas day, I spent in the city playing at timezone. I think I went through one hundred dollars playing gauntlet with a group of three guys I'd only just met that day.

Leo eventually went back to sea. I had the house to myself for a short while. I had a slight disaster one night. My clothes were falling apart, and at some stage, the key to my house fell out of my pocket through a hole it had made. I had a spare set, but it was inside the house. I wasn't too worried, as the landlady was just across the street. I got home, and found I couldn't get anyone from her house to answer the door. Either they were out, or fast asleep. I tried the door bell, I tried banging. No one was answering. I went back and sat on the steps of my house for an hour or two. It was after midnight. It ended up raining that night. So I was out in the cold and the wet. I went up to a local bus station, and sat there drenched to the bone. Probably because of my lack of fat, I was really cold. It probably was a normal sort of night, but to me, it was freezing. I sat there shivering most the night. I couldn't sleep because I was too cold.

In the morning I went back home. Luckily the landlord (landladies boyfriend) had come over to do some repairs or something. The door to my room was open. So I went in. I was able to get dry and changed. I waited till I heard the landlord leave. He'd been in the bathroom, probably getting it ready to be tiled, which he and a friend did later that month. I ducked into the room and had a nice hot shower. I had to get my core temperature back up. I really needed new clothes.

When Leo left to return to sea, the landlady decided to rent the entire house out as a unit. Another guy Bernard had moved in from Newcastle. James was back for a short while, but moved across the road to the landladies. Two other girls moved in, Robin and Ann (I think. I might have got that name wrong). So four of us were there for a while, but the landlady was going to charge us two hundred and fifty for the house. She had been charging fifty dollars a room up till then, so she wanted to make the same amount of money.

Eventually, another guy from the country Phil moved in. Across the road, Minkin moved out to a share house up the road. I visited him, but it was pretty disgusting there. Cockroaches were walking all over the walls and there was always washing up to be done. Minkin complained because whenever he wanted to cook, the kitchen was always a mess and cockroaches fell in his food. Another guy names Fergus moved in across the road.

I got on quite well with Phil. Bernard was a problem though. He felt people should have been doing things for him. The way he explained it was, his parents did stuff for him at home, so someone should be looking after him in the house. He grated on my nerves, but other than that, wasn't too bad to put up with. He went home on weekends, and locked himself in his room at night.

The girls were used to living boarding schools. One of them had her boyfriend constantly there. Basically, he was living there. They also had their friends from school constantly staying over. That wasn't what annoyed me though. I found I was the only one doing housework. The girls would cook, and then leave. I would come home and find I needed to wash up if I wanted to eat.

Phil and I also found we had trouble following their conversations. The subject would change so fast. They'd be talking about one of their friends, then something they read about someone in a gossip magazine, then something they saw on a soap opera. Then it was back to a friend or another soap opera. We couldn't keep up, because we didn't know any of these people. We didn't own a TV. The girls made out we were idiots because we couldn't tell who anyone in their conversations were.

They had a thing worked out, where they would watch a soapy at one friends house, while someone else taped others. Somehow they had it, so they never missed on soap opera.

I got tired of doing all the housework. I tried to get a roster system together so that the house would stay clean. The girls and their boyfriend refused, claiming that when they were in boarding school,there was never a roster, so they didn't work. Bernard flatly refused to, because we were supposed to be waiting on him hand and foot. So Phil and I basically did everything (and Phil I'm not sure about all the time).

By this stage, my year away from University was up, and I returned to try to finish my degree. I had arranged with my work to allow me Wednesday afternoons off, and the rest of my subjects I did at night. It seemed to work. Rather than cut my pay, my employer arranged to have me work extra hours each day, so I was getting up earlier.

Phil's Aunty had come to visit too. She told us, she'd lived in the exact same house when she was at University in 1973. Back then, they were charged thirteen dollars a week. This was only a little over ten years later. The landlady was making a fortune from us. All of it was tax free too, as she wasn't declaring it to the tax department. (We didn't have a proper lease arrangement).

The girls found out that normal prices in the same area were one hundred and fifty dollars for a similar sized house. They were able to have a lounge room with three bedrooms. They decided they wanted out.

They'd be paying the same price for a better deal. Phil wasn't in the best of ways either. He'd quit his Uni degree, and was unemployed. He took a job as a trainee manager at Coles. One day he decided it was too nice a day to go to work. He got off the bus and went to sleep in the park. He later phoned in and found he needed a Doctors Certificate. He couldn't get one, because he hadn't been sick. So after about a week, he'd lost his job. He was really low on funds, and arranged some emergency package with Social Security. Bernard was also wanting out. No one was doing things for him, so he wanted to be moved to a house where he would be treated like a child. His parents arrange for him to have board at another house, where two old ladies would cook him dinner each night, and he didn't have any housework to do. They'd wash and iron his clothes and make his bed. The girls arranged to move out with one of their friends into a house jut down the road. It was nicer, larger and cheaper. Phil was poverty stricken and arranging to move back home to the country too.

I was in a bit of a bind. So Phil and I went over to the Landlady to explain what was going on. After a year of living in the house together, we were all going to go our separate ways. I was pretty much in control of where I was going anyway, so I gave my one months notice. The house was going to be empty. There wasn't much the landlady could do, because to take the girls to court, would have meant admitting to the tax department she'd been renting the property. I think everyone leaving was best for everyone.