So today our blogpost is going to be quite different from what you guys usually see but i know you will all love it! One of our staffhouse residents has written a beautiful account of some her experiences in Vancouver in general and more specifically in our staffhouse. This wonderfully written short passage will give you a realistic glimpse into what you could or currently are experiencing on your international exchange. This really needs no introduction so i will stop and just let you read on…enjoy!
It’s been 6 months and 9 days to be precise since I entered 1549, W. 34th Avenue. Seasons have come and gone….and so have many people. Seconds, minutes, days, weeks and months have passed by, and this house of madness has become my home. My home not just away from home, but actually MY OWN home. Where I cook what I want, say what I want, watch what I want and best of all think exactly what I want. Of course you do have to do this surrounded by people, but that just adds to the beauty of it all. Never before have I lived with 18 other people at the same time but I’m doing it and have enjoyed every moment of it. Of course there have been ups and downs, like meeting fantastic people and becoming great friends with them, only to have to say goodbye just when you fall in love with them. Cooking different cuisines and learning while watching others cook, while realizing it’s now going to be your turn to do the dishes. But the best part is walking into the house knowing there will be someone to say ‘Hi how was your day’. It’s been great.
It has tested me in terms of my strengths, my weaknesses, my love, my indifference, my craziness…the house has had me at my wits end…especially when walking in to the kitchen finding you can’t cook because someone has cooked and left the pots dirty, or walking into a conversation that is not in English and being completely ignored because you don’t know that language. But that has been a part of growing as a person and not throwing a fit at people who you can’t stand. Because at the end of the day you have to live with them. The house has also never stopped surprising me in the 6 months I have been here. People have surprised me with their beautiful gestures, or showing me sides of them I never expected to see. Things have surprised (like after staying in the house for 4 months, I realized we had a door in the kitchen). But what has surprised me the most is the growth of relationships and even the end of them. How people have fallen in love with their house mates….and fallen out of love with the people they left behind. How they have understood that what was in the past, was in the past and that good they left that part of them behind, because it was holding them back from experiencing a whole new world.
So back to some more stuff about the house. For all those who have no idea…it’s a 10 bedroom house (with matt’s room) hidden away in the corner. I live in room 10 (the biggest room in the house). There are 2 living rooms, one on the ground floor and one in the basement. 4 bathrooms, 1 kitchen a front and back garden and a beautiful Patio – which is perfect during the summer time from July to October. We have 4 TV’s, 3 of which work though. We have 4 Vacuum cleaners – 1 of which works. A couple of couches, 2 dinning tables and a lot of other broken stuff.
We have 2 cleaning schedules – one for the whole house and one for the kitchen. We also have individual cleaning schedules for every bathroom. On an average working day…the house wakes up about 7ish and goes to bed around 12; of course this changes depending on the kind of people who are staying…as in are they working, studying or doing an internship. On weekends the house is loud and stinks of booze (in a good way). Everyone goes to bed at 5 in the morn and wakes up at 12. Sunday is Skype day….the whole house Skypes…people even take their laptops to the loo to Skype! (too much information? lol)
We try to have big parties once a month and everyone tries to cook together. It’s a good arrangement, just that not everyone likes the same thing….then u have a slight problem…solution?…Potluck!…cook a little for everyone. There is always alcohol in the alcohol fridge and no space in the two fridges that we have. Food keeps tumbling down on your head (literally). Oh ya we have a washing machine thanks to which I will need to have a shopping spree once I’m back home because all my clothes look and feel old and tacky.
We have a flag in our Lobby and every time, anyone from the house leaves they have to sign it to prove that they are part of the legacy known as The Staffhouse. There are some crazy signs and some fun signs, but my favorite goes something like this – “The house of love. Keep the house the way it is”. It is the house of love. Innumerable people have come and have fallen in love. With the people, the city and of course the house. I have felt it all but one thing extra that I have felt is falling in love with myself! The house has given me the assurance to know that no matter who comes or goes out of your life you always have yourself to live for. It has shown me that people who love you the way you are, are the people who really matter. I always had people like that in my life, but staying in the house has shown me how important they truly are.