Tuesday, April 1, 2014

three rooms in three years (2010 memories)

since i decided to pursue my postgrad in 2008 in the north part of the country (the national capital region), i have lived in three different rooms... all i wanted was a space, good enough for me to be able to do my reading, my thinking, my laundry and ocassional cooking...and yes, some space for once-in-a-while-sleeping (read: i sleep once-in-a-while, but i stay there all-the-time).

first was chosen by an old flame who went all the way from his place in cavite to manila area to find me a room/bedspace conducive enough for my needs yet affordable enough for my budget (the scholarship fund isn't enough you bet). he found a beautiful 3-floor townhouse accepting lady bedspacers for 2000 php each (US$1=45 php). there may be four or six in a well-ventilated, semi-furnished room with one toilet and bath on each. it's a great deal save for-- you have to pay extra for each electronic or electrical gadget you might use and contribution for the gas if you'd be cooking/using the kitchen. lived there for more than a semester til i have to look for another place coz the residents have become too comfy for comfort.

in situations such as that, you have to practice maximum tolerance, especially you are dealing with about twelve people (most in their 20s-some generation gap huh) in just one roof. some may borrow your personal stuff without permission (or belatedly); some may wonder about you and presume things about you (your schedule and way of doing things such as your-wanting-all-your-books-near-you-in-your-bed) without even caring to ask you upfront (honestly, why should they even care as long as you are not using up their space/time); and some may bring in their friends (though friends of the opposite sex aren't allowed to enter bedrooms) playing cards, laughing , giggling and shouting til the wee hours of the morning. the place was beautiful but that (the noise and nighttime gaming events, including the possible SH-invits sssh sssh) went on until you feel like you have to find a new place.

second was a room in a three-bedroom flat near the university. it's an old old building with about 20 units for rent. all i needed was a bedspace (and that time, two other girls from the previous place decided to transfer with me). we have found a room for 4500 php. it's small and dusty. it's bare and the wall paint (one side on cement, one side on wood) is obviously more than a decade old. the provision for kitchen, toilet and bath is shared with residents of  two other rooms. maybe it's the no-curfew, no landlady-in-the-house situation that made us decide to get the room. maybe it's the fact that it's a ride away from the nearest mall, or a walk-away from the university, the hospital and the church or maybe, just maybe it is all we can afford--that would be 1500 php for each of us. cleaning up, putting life-sized landscape posters, we managed to make the room as homey (best-effort) as it can be. lived there for about a year with only some issues not that difficult to handle or disregard.

now that the roommates have left (one graduated from college, the other decided not to take the board exams after failing, hence deciding to work somewhere and somewhat unrelated to her course), i couldn't afford the rent for the entire room. so i transferred to a smaller (smallest!) room - the third, say about two meters long and one meter wide (?).  i have to haggle with the landlord to have me pay 2500 php instead of his initial offer of 3000 php, so he gave in (500 php is about two weeks supply of eggs and instant pancit canton!)-thank goodness.

was it liveable? oh well,  i have to make it that way. cleaning up (with soap, antibac and later floorwax), purchasing a small electric fan and recycling old CDs and magazines made it look less of a staircase-storeroom. being alone isn't that bad at all, in fact, it is way better. it's like having your own world...up to the time that you need to answer the call of nature. snap! back to earth. inday, put on your bathrobe 'coz the boyfriend or the father of another housemate or the nephews or the aide of the landlord may be just on the common area, you don't wanna be seen in your usual-almost-see-through-pjs, dontcha?! haaayyy

...the wall drawings that you are seeing are my almost-hopeless efforts to make the second room/bath a little homey. armed with just a pint of pink paint (one housemate had her on-job-training at boysen paint, how she got it is another story :) ), i did the deed one very hot dawn...