Monday, April 19, 2010

The dream crashes

Yes, the bubble has burst and the dream has come crashing down - all the way from a fourth-floor apartment in Furn Al Chebbak. I should have known the minute she spoke to me last week without looking me in the eye! The biggest tell-tale sign ever! But she was so sweet, and she sent me a lovely SMS about how much she's looking forward to living with me. Little did I know that she was probably more looking forward to having someone to clean after her.
The state of that flat was so bad when we arrived yesterday that my poor yoga aunt and tall uncle were left wondering whether I'd lost my mind in taking it. Turns out the skew-look girl never got a maid after seeing me last Tuesday (as she said she would). And then she proceeded to tell the yoga aunt and tall uncle that the maid was coming yesterday. On top of that, the only reason we went to drop off my things at the apartment at midday yesterday was to get the key as arranged. Turns out she never thought of making the copy during the week, and now realised that everything was closed on Sundays. So we went for nothing, because I had to be dropped back last night after going up to the mountains for lunch. Upon arrival, it was clear that the maid had not come. Oh, now the story was that she wasn't getting back to her and would come today for four hours. When I left at 2pm today there was still no sign of the cleaning lady. How do I know this? Well let's take the entrance hall for a start. It's a massive entrance - large enough to be a dining room for 20 people. But it's sparse - the only things visible are the straw paper, cigarette wrapper, coins and random sock occupying its dusty floors.
While yoga aunt and tall uncle peered into the dust cloud, I tried to see the experience as a random occurrence - a party weekend perhaps. But I was disturbed as soon as my family members left and I heard the sound of loud arguing. Straining to hear what skew-eyed girl and loud man were discussing, I found myself bumping into French boy - one part of the French couple living in the third room. We exchanged pleasantries without me registering any of his vital stats, still using my ears to translate the arabic conversation in my mind. French boy gave me the low-down. The man was the owner of the flat. He's wasn't happy. He really wasn't happy. Skew-eyed girl has not been treating his place well. He's so not happy.
In the meantime I met the other half of French couple: French gal. She's lovely; they both are. I was sad to hear they're leaving, as I was suddenly regretting my decision to move here. I cannot be left alone in this pigsty with skew-eyed girl! French boy didn't really want to talk badly of skew-eyed girl, and left it to French gal. She was more than willing to share. As it happens, French gal never knew French boy when she moved into the apartment that he was sharing with skew-eyed girl. After two great weeks of partying with skew-eyed girl, French gal and boy got together. It seems skew-eyed girl didn't like this idea and things turned sour. So bitterly sour that they can no longer live with her. And the filth? Yes, it seems that's a constant. If it weren't for French boy, none of the dishes would be washed.
Still thinking that I could handle this and get things looking good after the maid came today, I paid my $300 deposit and the $145 for the remainder of the month. While deciding on the amount for the 13 days of my stay, skew-eyed girl even spun me some big story about how money isn't a problem for her - I must pay her whatever I want to pay her... Now I see how it was her way of manipulating me into paying her there and then to show my 'loyalty'. Okay, it's not quite that deep, but I've realised now that she's a little bit psycho.
I went to bed with one eye open - hence I never got much sleep! Her and her boyfriend were talking really loudly until 1am. This morning, afraid to see her, I left before she woke up. I felt so anxious in that house that I just knew something wasn't right. Then the landlord called me. He wanted to meet with me and warn me about a few things.
I found my way back to the flat and got an SMS from him to meet him in the flat below mine. There I went and met with him and one of the neighbours who had the sound of skew-eyed girl's bed crashing above her one night. Apparently skew-eyed girl and her boyfriend kept the neighbour very much awake, very often, with the things that led to the bed crashing. The neighbour also recounts stories of skew-eyed girl's friends writing obscene things in the building's lift, and her loud comings-and-goings at crazy hours of the morning. The landlord had even more to add. He'd wanted to warn the tall uncle and yoga aunt yesterday but couldn't do so in front of skew-eyed girl (as he's in the process of finding a way to kick her out). She's destroyed the furniture he'd put in the flat - it's all oozing cushion foam. She's caused four other tenants to leave - one only lasted a week. She's overcharged tenants for services not rendered (maid, her Internet downloads etc) without showing them any receipts. She's threatened some of them with stories of her boyfriend's dad who's in the army. More warning than that, I didn't need. I'm now at the safe house (tall uncle and yoga aunt's house). Later tonight I'll go with tall uncle to get my things and my money and that will be the end of skew-eyed girl.
Thanks goodness because I much prefer seeing things eye to eye!

The entrance hall - the random sock and a pillow that suddenly appeared this morning.

The washing room/ toilet - wet clothes piled up since midday yesterday until today!
They might have been there longer.

The kitchen rubbish bursting at the seams!


  1. Goodness... No, get out of there as soon as possible!

  2. Happy you have moved to your family safe house!
    Rather safe than sorry...
    Good luck!

  3. I'd say - I even locked my bedroom door when I left today!

  4. Well, who said it wasn't going to be an adventure... Haraam Tra. Guess you know what to look for now. In the meantime, enjoy life at the safehouse

  5. Crisis friend, what an adventure.....! It brought back so many memeories of when I stayed in the UK, only my experience was filthy Frenchman and Filthy french girlfriend and ALOT of very very smelly cheese, so much so that I couldnt stomach going into the kitchen. So so happy that you have a safe haven! missing you in Muizenberg.XXX K