Monthly Archives: January 2015

The joys of living in a dump

So I’ve been living in this strange guardianship programme and the agreement principles hint at certain inalienable rights that should be present in the first world when you are paying rent to live somewhere.

These include

  • heating (circumvented in this instance that instead of switching on the entire system, little oil gas heaters that effectively only work on a space the size of a closet were given out)
  • running water and flushable toilets (circumvented by stating it is our responsibility to ensure the toilets and drains are not blocked due to carelessness on our part – fair enough – but that there is no need for them to fix any plumbing that goes awry immediately SO LONG AS THERE IS ONE FLUSHABLE WC on the site.This works for small properties but in this instance it is a really large one and is a get out of jail clause meaning that so long as one toilet works among over 50 people, they could ignore every other one on the site
  • hot water

So the actual owner of the property went on a big asbestos hunt a few weeks ago. In the process of which it was deemed easier to switch off the boilers supplying hot water than to work around them in order to remove dangerous substances which I sincerely hope have not leaked into the pipework as a result. I know it’s BREATHING asbestos that is the issue but you can’t tell me drinking it is good either.

This was three weeks ago. We had become accustomed to being cold. Where I come from it is normal to be a bit chilly indoors in the winter. The boiler going off took the hot water out though.

This has not been so fun. I’ve chipped a mug and almost dropped entire baskets of dirty dishes as in order to clean them I have to run kettles of hot water for the sink which is really tedious. Washing your face in the mornings is a herculean effort as it’s like dipping it in ice.

There is one shower that connects directly to electricity in the part of the building where I live. Usually there are three working showers. This has meant over twenty people trying to use one shower in one wetblock.

This means additional hair in the drain, additional wet and damp to the room and most tiresomely, you often waltz all the way there to find it is occupied by one of the other twenty odd people. It took three goes to get a vacant slot last night.

The room itself does not have a working extract fan for humidity. People have been leaving the door open to air but there is still moisture dripping off the ceiling and a few of the walls have gone a funny colour. It’s all very Tim Burton.

I had sort of grown used to this.

What I was NOT amused by was, last night, while take a shower I saw something like a black and yellow snot ball – a large finger nail sized one – on the inside of the shower. Looking at it more closely, it moved. It was a slug, attracted to the heat and humidity in there from outside where it should have been hibernating or dying of cold.

So I had an audience and a companion in there.

I hate slugs.

This situation really has to change.

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