There are a lot arguments in favour of flat-sharing, the primary reason being economic. On social and sociological, there are also numerous reasons one could and and should dive deep into this crazy world of flat sharing, and if I were 30 years youngers, I would never have hesitated or bat an eyelid. But in your 50s, you do crave for your own four walls, privacy, peace and quiet over the weekends, your own bathroom, and more importantly, your own kitchen. Well, my adventure is far from over here, and as you know, the hunt for the elusive permanent residence is still ongoing, and very much on the unpredictable side. I really don’t mind waiting for the perfect place, because when I do find it, I know it will have been worth the wait.
In the meantime, I have to contend with the bizarre conditions of never really knowing who I will run into in the kitchen, who has blocked the bathroom at more ungodly hours than mine, who has no clue about the three-way opening / tilting system of european windows, and worst of all, who doesn’t give a rat’s ass about noise after 22:00, smoke when it is explicitly prohibited, or leave such a disgusting mess in the kitchen. I thought having to contend with the child upstairs who stomped around without any rhyme or reason was bad enough already, triggering spikes in my blood pressure and headaches, and I learned to ignore the rude or strange guests who stayed one or two nights, but the people staying in the room next to mine at the moment are truly the flatmates from hell.
They smoke, drink, are rowdy both in their room and the kitchen, and have no regards for their fellow flatmates’ personal space or need for silence. At first it was just the couple who stayed out on the adjacent balcony until the wee hours of the morning, and I didn’t really mind that. The double glass doors muffled most of the animated conversation, and I simply put on my noise-cancellation headphones. Oh but yesterday was Hell Sunday. They had guests over in their room, who were obnoxiously loud, slamed doors, and when they began chattering in the early afternoon, they didn’t seem to stop! The family on the other side of the room in question asked them to bring it down a notch, a few times, but I kept my silence, hoping that it would all quiet down after 20:00. Oh, I was sooooooo wrong! It escalated and got worse.
The more they drank, the louder they got, the door slamming became more frequent, and then much to my horror, they moved the whole roadshow to the kitchen and began cooking at around 22:30! The last straw was when they had so many appliances going at the same time they blew a fuse. Being the only long-term resident left, I am also the only one who knows how to restart the fuse box, so I was forced out of my room in my sleepware, roused from my failed attempts to sleep (hey, if I have to get up at 04:45 every morning you bet your ass that I am in bed before 22:00!). Oh boy was I pissed, and my head was throbbing from the sky high blood pressure. I re-set the fuse box, and stomped back to my room, slamming my own door, not that it did any good, because the flatmates from hell were still shouting and drinking. Words failed me at the time, and I was scared of blowing my own fuse and landing in the hospital.
I had barely landed back in bed and closed my eyes when the fuse blew a second time. This time my neighbour down the hall blew her fuse as well while I stomped out again to reset the fuse box. My portuguese is not good enough to berate anyone at the moment, and from my previous dealings with this obnoxious bunch, no other language would be of any use. So I left the temper tantrum to my neighbour, whose stony furious expression made me feel much better. She met me at the fuse box and muttered softly in portuguese to message our landlady immediately, regardless of the fact that it was almost midnight. Which of course I did.
Back in my room, it made a second attempt to sleep, and guess what, the fuse blew a third time. Oh hell no! This time I stayed in my room and refused to lift a finger. The could all jump into the Tejo and drown for all I cared. Apparently someone else had sufficient brain cells to figure it out, and not long after there was a loud shouting that came from the kitchen. I cannot tell you definitively whether it was a livid neighbour or the landlady who rushed over, but there was a lot of door slamming after that and what sounded like suitcases being packed (crossing my fingers that was it was) and then the noise finally died down around 01:30am.
So yes, I am a bit groggy this morning, feeling massively cheated out of a weekend, especially since I spent half of Saturday in the office. If the flatmates from hell, for some bizarre reason, are still around next weekend, I think I will toss them over the balcony during the bull run! Suddenly I am very much ooling foward to the bulls being set loose in Vila Franca! Oh revenge is a dish best served… fresh.