The bathroom has mould all over the walls, and you don’t want to touch anything except the water that comes out of the shower head. Apparently, there is a stagnant pool of water collecting adjacent to the bathtub which has been sitting there forever – I don’t want to check it out. The toilet floor is a real outdoor dunny with a flimsy wooden door, and floor made of uneven concrete. The room had a tiny wardrobe, and no mirrors. In fact the only mirror in the house was a small one above the sink in the bathroom. A clothes rack and a full length mirror was the only thing that has motivated me for a trip to IKEA. Is it vain to have to spend at least a few seconds in front of the mirror before you leave the house each morning?
Not that I’m complaining. I’m not that fussy and rent is cheap. Anyway by the time I started living here, I had spent enough here that I didn’t notice these things much anymore. And it was my choice to leave the lovely home-like place with beautiful white walls, striped zebra carpets, spotless kitchen benches, a fat cat, lovable dogs, and their kind owner. All because even a five minute walk and a fifteen minutes tram ride to work is too far. So that’s how I came to live at a somewhat chaotic house, intially with seven other housemates sharing the one kitchen, one bathroom, and one toilet. No cleaning roster – what?
But there’s good aspects. I like getting together for house dinners, I like food. I have a housemate who I get along with, most of the time, and is becoming more and more like a sister. As a house, being hospitable is a reasonable ministry, after all, I so loved a free communal meal as a student. There’s also quite a bit of work involved it, but doing domestic tasks with others is almost as good as catching up over coffee, in terms of getting to know them. It’s less stressful too because you don’t have to talk, but you can, if you want. In the middle of conversation-over-cleaning I am reminded again of how unkind Christian fellowships can be. Not only in being exclusive (which I will write about separately another time), but in judging others. Too preoccupied with judging to be loving to those who need it most.
How unkind I can be, too.