Friday, 24 November 2017

#322 Ready or not

10:30pm. Some guy named Zafar's house. Neasden. I was now a refugee. Twenty-four hours ago, I'd been supping E14's cheapest pint, banking on a decent night of shut-eye. All had been going to plan until 3:30am when Miguel returned home, slamming the front door and proceeding to the kitchen. I was livid. It was the third time he'd done this recently. He went to bed shortly after. My anger kept me awake until 7am.

I'd never used Air B&B before. Stuart had suggested it when I'd asked about ways to find a room on Facebook a couple of weeks back. It seemed pretty straightforward. I'd had a browse and found places that were the equivalent of what I was paying in rent, so I'd decided to test one of them for a night.

Zafar was a twenty-three year old accountant, who had shared the house with his sister. When she'd got married and moved out, he began renting the rooms out to guests. He was an amiable sort of chap and kind enough to give me a lift into town to find food. I was just glad he existed. After rocking up, ringing the doorbell three times and trying his phone, I'd been wondering if his ad was a scam. I'd thought about returning home, except it was practically inhospitable and seventeen tube stops away. So I waited. After a few minutes, I got a call saying he was on his way.

I'd come straight from a room viewing in Balham and had managed to make the journey in just over an hour. The tenants at the viewing had been absolute darlings. Having walked up their road and found the house, I'd noticed that all the lights were off. Puzzled, I'd asked a stranger to confirm the street name. They'd said I was on the wrong road.

I went mad for fifteen minutes, walking around in circles, trying to find it. It seemed to have vanished. Exhausted and low on patience, I decided to give up and started walking back to the station. The tenants sent a stream of texts to try to help. On the way, I walked back past the beginning of the road I had taken. It had been the right one after all. I walked back up it and found the house number. The lights were on now. They showed me around and we had a proper chat. It was one of the few suitable houses I'd seen.

There were good places to live. I just had to be patient. In the meantime, I had wi-fi, an en-suite bathroom and somewhere to sleep. In Neasden.


Fizzfan said...

En suit and Wi-Fi sounds lovely.
I’m very invested in you getting a good nights sleep with no interruptions!

Basic human requirements are very under valued until you’re deprived of them.

Dan Copping said...

It's amazing how much difference it made. It was like being on holiday.