Almost everyone I know in London lives in a shared house. Apartments are more expensive to rent and buying is rarely an option for immigrants. With the salary you have, you manage to help your family, pay the rent and maybe go out from time to time, but there is just a slight chance that you will afford buying your own house.
Shared house: easy option. Pay your rent, got your room and everything will be fine.
I see two situations: living with people you don’t know, whom you see when you pay those 3 pounds for toilet paper, Fairy and sponges. I would guess that is not that bad in some of the houses, but coming home at 1 o’clock, not being able to eat, because the light in the kitchen troubles someone, you make noise, but you’re not allowed to eat in your room, the stairs are squeaky and the bathroom is downstairs.
We we’re lucky enough to have an entire shared house, living with friends. We all know each others queers, so tolerance comes easier. But it also makes it difficult, because complaining is almost always beaten by friendship.
- Doing the dishes. No one is cooking, no one ate last night, but the kitchen sink is full. Whoever gets frustrated first, will do the dishes. Sometimes, no one gets frustrated for days.
2. Running out of toilet paper. It’s bad. It’s 8 a.m and you’ve already had a coffee and halfway through the „happy moment”, you realize that the closest roll is in Sainsbury. Leaving the empty roll there is just mean.
3. Common cleaning days are as rare as a monkey with feathers. You’ve cleaned your room, the kitchen, the living room, the bathroom, with the amazing mental image of you having a hot, bubbly bath, to reward yourself for your hard work. But as a rule, someone else will enjoy the pleasure of taking a shower in that squeaky-clean tub.
4. No one’s moving around the house for the last couple of hours. So you decide to mop. With mathematical precision, by the time you get at the other end of the hall, someone will most definitely need a glass of water, use the bathroom or anything else that requires crossing the hall.
6. Cooking massive quantities of food, in order to share, does not work. Unless you made a portion’s quantity, no one else in the house wants it.
7. The bins are big enough to handle the garbage for a few days: there is shoving, stashing around the bins or don’t even go close to it, just leave them on the table. Someone will get frustrated, take the bin outside, clean the table.
8. You either have 3 types of bread, or none at all. There’s no middle way. Probably 2 of them are off, but there’s a slight chance that the 3rd one is a refined French sort of bread, with just the perfect mold layer.
9. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. I cannot survive without it. So waking up in the morning, picturing myself drinking hot coffee out of my big cup, called Frothy, just makes me happy. Opening the cardboard, there’s the empty coffee jar. That makes me very unhappy.
10. If you drink water out of a recipient, it’s dirty. Even if you can’t see your lips’ shape. Wash it with detergent. Not rinsing, not wiping it with your fingers. Wash it.
I am sure that there are a lot of happy houses around London, where this sort of things never happen. Please, introduce me to these people. If they do exist.