Sunday, January 30, 2011

There is a strange New Zealand man in my house. He is in my living spaces with his odd accent and his putting the word 'ay' after every sentence, and his calling his shoes 'Jandals' instead of 'Thongs'.

He's not here uninvited, though - he's staying with us for the next two weeks. He's a friend of the bosses who has taken a job with the company, and while he waits for his permanent accommodation to be ready, he's staying with us.

It's strange to be sharing a house with someone that you don't really know. My best friend lived with us for a couple of months once, but this is different. This is a stranger - a friendly stranger, but still a stranger. And Mrs Martin spent a long time back in grade one teaching us about stranger danger.

I always knew that i didn't want to share my space with a random stranger, and that's why I never lived in a shared house. I never had any desire at all to.
I'm a quiet-ish person in my down time and I like the place i spend my time to be quiet too. And I guess that's pretty easy if your roommate is quiet too. But the thing with sharing a house with someone is that sometimes you want to break the silence, and you can't just do it - you have to be reserved about it. And to be honest, there are some things that really shouldn't be done quietly (and which I very much struggle to do quietly) in order to get maximum enjoyment out of them.

So here I find myself trying to live my regular day to day life in my house and trying to ignore the innate desire to play hostess non-stop (an inborn urge that I'm pretty sure comes from my mother's side of the family). And I'm a little vague on the rules about sharing living space with someone. Do I have to treat him differently than I would if it was just a friend staying for a week while they were in Melbourne? Do I insist that he buys all his own food and drink and basic household requirements like he would if he was a renter? Do I have to do loud things quietly so that he feels more comfortable, even if it makes me less comfortable? And just how many times can I ask him to say 'six' and 'flip a car in a ditch' before he gets annoyed at me giggling at his accent?


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