Sorry to disappoint you, but this is not another romantic story about two people, who live miles apart and are destined to meet. … It’s not sleepless in Seattle, but insomnia in Nr. 67!
To be honest, I never pictured myself sharing a house, made out of paper thin walls (it’s a joke) with four door banging males in their twenties. Being owned by a dubious landlord, who in my imagination, might well be part of the Irish mafia, if such a thing exists. I haven’t met the gangster in person yet and I’m not sure I’m too keen…
He not only owns half of Galway, but a strip club and a casino as well. The rent, the shady landlord collects himself. Interesting…
The house is lovely though, when you ignore the amazing, secret soundscapes it comes with. I remember, after tossing and and turning through my first night, I wanted to immediately pack my bags the next morning and run for miles on end. That was a month ago. Yes, I am still here, while listening to all the curious noises the night has to offer in house Nr. 67.
There’s the rattling ventilator in the bathroom (of course next to me), which is roaring menacingly, while one of the lads is peeing in the toilet. Just to remind you, they’re four. The water pump in the kitchen downstairs (of course I’m above it) sounds like someone is being beheaded each time the water is turned on or off.
Not to forget the sound of the blender, when one of my lovely fellow Indian guys decides to cook at 1:30 am, mixing all these special spices. Imagine a washing machine in spin cycle, but 10 times louder. To me it feels like as if someone evil was reaching into my brain to tie all thoughts into one gigantic knot, while seasoning them with a good whiff of irritation. A recipe for murder!
‘Grrrrrr, I’ll come and get you!’
Maybe you’re thinking I am too sensitive and most probably exaggerating. Which might well be the case. But I am surely not the only one, who’s dealing with sensitivities. My former housemate Doris for example, didn’t like particular smells, like steamed cabbage or fish for example. She’d come in the house and exclaim:
‘What’s that smell. Yak! What are you cooking?’
I don’t have so much of a problem with smells. It doesn’t bother me, that our house is constantly infused with the fragrances of chili, cardamom, cinnamon, garlic and what not. On the contrary, I quite like it.
The thing is, I get easily startled and I hate any kind of noise imposed on me. All the ones I am not producing myself… Someone else’s music versus mine for example.
Do you by any chance know the Ellen show? How she pranks her guests with scary clowns, jumping out of hidden boxes in the middle of the interview?
I tell you, I would be a great target! I could compete with Andy, the producer, who gets startled by the tiniest thing and therefore is pranked by Ellen constantly. She each year has him go through the haunted houses at Halloween. It’s a lot of fun to watch, when you’re not the target yourself.
Yesterday night, I felt I was in my own house of horrors, when the evil blender started at 2:00 am again. Just to torture me, as it seems. I run down the stairs, opened the kitchen door, looked into Han’s innocent, lovely face and told him:
‘You know how bloody noisy that blender actually is? And, you can’t bang the cupboard doors like this.’
Then I took one of the cupboard doors in my hand and shut it loudly several times.
He probably thought:
‘She’s a lunatic. I’m just cooking. What the heck!’
I tried other things before I had my little freak out:
Ear plugs, listen to music to distract myself. Not to forget my ingenious idea to try the Byron Katie approach. To put it short, she thinks it’s all in your head and you just need to perceive the world differently. She has a set of questions to work through when faced with a challenge.
It goes something like this.
‘The guys should not cook in the middle of the night’
Is that the truth?
No, because they are exactly just doing that.
‘How does it make you feel?’
‘Pissed off, irritated, fuming.’
‘Who were you without that thought?’
‘An angel of course!’
‘How can you turn that thought around?’
‘The guys should cook in the middle of the night. I should cook in the middle of the night. We all should cook together in the middle of the night?’
This helped for about two minutes, before I started pondering all the different ways in which I could kill my housemates:
‘Strangle from behind. Use a knife, (wait a minute, we don’t have any sharp ones). Bummer, what else… Could I throw something heavy towards the head?’
Don’t get me wrong, I am a very peaceful person. Very peaceful indeed…
Most of the times…
Until I am hit with a nasty spell of sleeplessness. This one has been lasting for a month now. I’m a teeny weeny on edge. Just ever so slightly.
To be fair, I have had phases of insomnia in the past. And even though I would love to blame it all on my housemates, I most probably still would be dealing with it, even if my surroundings were totally quiet. That’s the truth.
I know I’m more likely to encounter a phase of insomnia, when there is a lot of change going on in my life!
And that’s definitely the case. You bet.
A new country, and a lot of moving in a short amount of time, as well as different, new circumstances do the trick! Bang!
Yes, I am an adventurer. But it doesn’t mean, that I don’t get thrown off kilter.
Apart from the paper thin walls, including our gangster landlord, I like the house. There’s a desk in my room, which is a huge bonus and I love the area. Although I sometimes could strangle my housemates, I actually have grown fond of them at the same time.
They’re an interesting, lovely bunch of people!
Han loves films, like me, he constantly wants to nick my music and he comes along for swims in the freezing, cold Irish sea. Vivek writes fiction and always tells me about his latest ideas for plots. Likith has big plans for his future, wanting to own a farm one day. I like people, who dare to have dreams! I don’t know so much about Sean yet, but he seems nice too. He speaks Irish fluently, which I find fascinating, because not so many people still do. He told me, he went to an Irish speaking school for the first four years.
Nothing is black and white in the end and I haven’t just landed in an unbearable situation. It isn’t that simple.
On the one hand, I’m a curious person and I’d love to get to know more about these boys, their backgrounds, their culture and how they tick. I also see it as an opportunity to connect with a younger generation again. That’s great.
On the other hand, I am not happy about their habits of banging doors, cooking in the middle of the night or claiming they have cleaned the bathroom, when they clearly haven’t. I have the nagging feeling, they won’t change anytime soon and the house certainly won’t grow thicker walls all of a sudden.
The question is:
‘Will I be able to become a bit more immune to all the noises, that disturb me so much or not?’
At this point I don’t know yet. I guess only time will tell. In the meantime I’ll go for swims with Han and I try not to kill anyone, who’s living in my house.
I can’t guarantee though, but I’ll blame it on the insomnia in Nr. 67. And now I’m gonna go and watch ‘Sleepless in Seattle’. Care to join?