Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Sitting in an Old Villa...

At the moment, I'm living in a villa in Wellington, which is not nearly as glamorous as it sounds. He's a grumpy old man of a house, creaky and stiff and given to conniptions over the weather.
I love him to pieces.
I have my very own secret hiding space under the floor in my room. It's something I've always wanted.  The boards have been cut and can be removed, and I could put something in there, if I wanted. I could hide treasure in there, put a rug over it and no one would ever find it. I could stow away forbidden literature, or ill gotten gains. I could even secrete a baby whose parents are on the run for some reason, and unfortunately ended up entrusting their baby to me.  It would have to be a quiet baby, but I could do it.
Or, you know, since we aren't quite living in a totalitarian state (not yet anyway... no thanks to all of you out there who didn't vote in the last election!) I could put something awesome in there for the next person to find. A little story, maybe, or a handful of beads, or an origami crane. Or, you know, a voucher for free chips. Something nice.

The last person to live in this room left me an emerald green bottle, small and fat, roughly same dimensions as a nectarine.
I thought it was some kind of antique until I noticed a row of them in the liquor store. But it's pretty, particularly with a nosegay of wild flowers.
Where do I get the wild flowers? Why, from the jungle in my backyard. It might only be a small jungle, about four meters square, but we are dedicated to letting it go back to its natural state, wild flowers and all.
At least until the next house inspection.
 Because this crotchety gentleman doesn't belong to me. I am only visiting. If he did I would scratch his itchy windowpanes for him, he's always wriggling them about. I'd get rid of the old paint and fancy him up for company.
He's already been host to a decade of dwellers, most of whom have left a layer of themselves behind, in the cupboards and the drawers. In the cracks between the floorboards.
I'm planning to take everything when I go. I'll scrub my room clean, ball up the blue tack, clear out every nook and cranny.
But I'll leave something in the hiding space. What, I hear you cry?
Well, that's between me and my grumpy old man of a house.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, I'm also a West African RPCV at VUW in Wellington. We should meet up.