(In relation to the previous article on housing - this is a bit more light-hearted)
- Last week they dug up, painstakingly, by hand, every single bit of grass / greenery / weed in the front yard. This means that when it is dry, dust blows across the yard and straight into our window and over our bed; when it is wet, the ground turns into a quicksand of mud and rocks; and all the time that the ground is perilous under your feet and you have to be careful not to turn your ankle. The grass cover was patchy, but at least it kept the rocks together and meant there was a bit less dust and mud puddles. I feel like writing a pamphlet on ‘Erosion and You’ and sticking it under their door.
- About five weeks ago, they disconnected the light in our bathroom (never found out why) and have since... just... left it. Funnily enough I'm used to using rooms without the lights, because I couldn't change the lights in my old flat so I always had to wait four months for the landlord to get around to it. But still. I'd like to have a light in our bathroom again.
- The fact that one week after we had moved in, they wanted to paint our bedroom. UMM NO I HAVE SPENT SIX WEEKS LIVING OUT OF A SUITCASE AND I JUST UNPACKED EVERYTHING. I understand it's *their* house so they view it differently to the way landlords view houses in Australia, but man. It took more than one conversation and telling them that I would be allergic to the paint (not necessarily a lie as I am allergic to many strange things) to put them off. They painted the bathrooms instead.
- The process leading to our house being pink. I am told it was an inoffensive colour, and just before we arrived our now-housemates arrived home to find the house was bright, Barbie pink. When they inquired as to the reasoning for the choice of colour, they claimed 'Kitu likes pink' (Kitu being the Timorese, male half of our housemate couple).
Now I have noticed that Timorese people (a) favour garish, clashing colour combos in art and design (b) are not at all hung up about 'girls' colours' (i.e. pink) and 'boys colours' like in Australia. I read that the Prime Minister, Xanana Gusmao, got into trouble off his wife Kirsty Sword Gusmao for letting their house in the hills (that they've now left for one closer to town) be painted pink. I do notice that the new residence has (like our house) a bright pink tall-but-decorative concrete wall, though...
Why pink? Why paint our house pink with a green roof? Inside rooms are green, blue and yellow. With bright pink curtains. Now as I've said, it's lucky I like eccentric things. More stylish friends I have, though, might die.