Sunday, November 02, 2008

The trials and tribulation of settling down as a student in Brisbane and the funny things that comes along and in between

Is it the bank balance, the physical appearance or the general disposition that makes house-hunting in Brisbane as difficult as it is? Or is the population explosion that results into housing crunch pushing students into an emotional crisis, of laughing and crying at the same time, as they get turned down time and again?

First of all there is the endless internet browsing: from rental agencies to share accommodation adverts. Not to forget the notice boards at the bus stops, lamp posts and signboards outside apartments, stores and Queenslanders. Then there are the numerous calls that drain your phone of its credit and your pockets of its changes.

Then you finally get an appointment to ‘check out the place’ only to find out that the place is a total disappointment while trying to rip you off. Or far worse - that the lessor is the job interviewer reincarnate which shredded you to pieces the last time you were interviewed. You suck up as much as possible and try to be as cheerful and as intelligent too. But when the much awaited call comes you try to recall where you went wrong.

By then you’d already planned which room to get into, where you’d keep your study table and how comfortable it would be to finally have found a nice place to live in. And while you do like living with friend you reluctantly end up at your friend’s place, squashing or simply chasing them out of their rooms so they can create space for you. Hospitality would never have aroused such feeling of intrusion and dependency.

You finally get a place to live in; you adjust and then start to love it. And then you remember how you laughed and cried at the same time and thank god it only feels like a dream now.

The pain of walking street after street in the blazing sun looking for the apartment or the stress that darkened your days and skin is all gone. It seems unreal. But the lighter part of it remains as something real, which still brings a smile to your face whenever you remember it. And I muse at the realisation of how beautiful a human heart is in being able to make difficult things light. Maybe that’s why we have something called ‘jokes’ which never ceases in accomplishing its task of making people laugh.

I remember the funny or the interesting adverts that flatmate and I came across- from those wanting strictly halals to those who were queer friendly. Some wanted flatmates who were singles for couples “changed the dynamics”. Some wanted non-smokers and some wanter roomies ‘who had a life outside the apartment’. Some offered themselves as music enthusiast who loved to jam up now and then and some wanted clean, quiet and tidy mates.

Whatever the case, once you get in its the expected problem of who cleans up the kitchen, who throws the garbage out and who gets to use the laundromat first on a Saturday or Sunday morning.

To be contd...

No comments: