Living in a Shoebox…

15 Aug
My new territory...

My new territory...

Oh horror, I was homeless in Brussels. My former flat, furniture, job and friends were taken over by my lovely Estonian colleague. So where would I go, besides ‘regressing’ to mum’s place in the countryside (read here). Luckily enough two Samaritan friends of mine adopted me, like a wet puppy lost on the Brussels cobblestones. They didn’t feed me hot milk, but they did offer me a place to stay – a shoebox

The idea from the start was to have a place to lay my head for the ‘very few’ days I would be in Brussels:

  • Wednesdays for my Copywriter evening class,
  • Thursdays for my Body Conditioning course,
  • Fridays is Badminton,
  • and maybe I’ll stay on to Saturday for going out and Sunday to go to the Tea Dance.
The walk-in dressor - euh - visitor's room

The walk-in dressor - euh - visitor's room

Adding a doctor appointment or a meeting here and there on Mondays or Tuesdays, I think I took my hosts by surprise sharing much more time than they bargained for. (But I love them to pieces for it)

At one time I was thinking that 8 hours on a couch for the night would do, but I was quite happy to get offered the spare room… Hm, I don’t think the shoe-box size room was actually intended to be a guest room, judging from the wardrobes and cloth-hanger-rails in it (fancy Louise people would call this a walk-in dressing room, I suppose). But it was great to have some territory of one’s own, even though I don’t mark it peeing in every corner of it.

You see the metal frame...

You see the metal frame...

The ‘room’ is just big enough to fit a bed along the longest wall. I’m enjoying one of those sturdy tubular frame beds which is either made for hospitals, or for some kinky games if you add some handcuffs to it (no, I did not bring mine!). I suppose they bought it for the latter – hehe. If you open the door, you can’t open the wardrobe at the same time, and you have to close the door in order to be able to reach the light switch.

  • But beggars can’t be choosers ;-)

The shoebox doesn’t have any window or any kind of ventilation. So I’m dreading the day that I’ll oversleep and finish all the oxygen in the room… But who needs a window anyway, if the shoebox has the magic window to the world: there’s wireless internet! (Voilà Serge, tu vois, même ici!).

Don't open the door and wardrobe at the same time

Don't open the door and wardrobe at the same time

I invested quite some sweat and tears in making the place my own: decorating, settling in, organizing,…

  • Tears because I had to steal away some of my things from my colleague (from my apartment) – the poor thing.
  • Sweat, because I transported my stuff by Villo shared bikes up and down between my Duquesnoy residence and my Résidence Louise. And I can assure you going up is really UP here. It only takes 5 minutes to race down to the city centre (the lower town) but to crawl uphill to Louise takes me 25 minutes for the same stretch – and I’m cheating because I take the ‘symbolic’ elevator they built to reconnect the lower and upper part of town (read: lower and upper class).
Roadsigns to my new Résidence Louise ;-)

Roadsigns to my new Résidence Louise ;-)

So now I’m fully functional at my Résidence Louise: I’ve imported my cuddle pillows from my Duquesnoy Residence, a box of office stuff, my reading light, my good night music & prehistoric diskman, and a whole bunch of clothes and suitcases – ready for those moments of escape sponsored by airlines’ special deals. (120€ flight to Warsaw, 110€ flight to Gran Canaria,…)

Living together with my friends is quite easy – as we hardly see each other: we all have different timetables, we play different sports at different moments, we don’t eat at fixed hours and when we’re home all together, chances are that 2 of us are on the internet working or writing messages.

  • Easy ;-)
  • But not sure it’s supposed to be like that…
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