What is wrong with staying in the same place for 100 years? Why do circumstances always have me moving from one place to another every two years? And when I have finally settled in and mingled with all my fellow neighbours and learned their names, I’m asked to pack up my bags and leave again.
I moved from my huge, lovely house to a smaller one and then again into a more smaller one in Lahore. Then we made the outrageous decision to move to Bangkok and bought a house there. But the bathroom was un-go-able so we had to switch to a building/three floored apartment on On Nuth street. After that, we had another meltdown and before we knew it, we were in Karachi. The apartment we first bought was okay. Just that in summers the floor and the cabinet and every visible piece of furniture was covered with creepy crawlers and it has another un-go-able bathroom. So we moved a floor up- this house I’m living in. So that’s six apartments in less than six years. I’m officially retiring from this shifting business.
I moved or “shifted”, if you prefer, around in Lahore because the rent got too much to afford. I am moving now for more or less the same reason. The shitty landlord has decided to increase the rent by a few thousand rupees. He did this last year as well. But judging our sour faces while paying the rent last time, he must have guessed we wouldn’t be too thrilled to hear him increasing it further and instead asked us to move out. Accompanied by a “I hope you will vacate this apartment sooner than the due date”
First of all, excusez-moi, but where the hell is this confidence coming from? Where and how will we buy apartment in less than two months? And why should we pay the extra rent in the first place? Like for what particular reason? Is he giving us an extra room in this mouse hole of a place? He is only doing this because he is an asshole who will continue to exploit us until he gets another pawn.
Another reason I’m shifting is because of my step father. There’s no way the five(the awkward five) of us can stay in this dingy place. We need at least three bedrooms that are furthest away from each other, so that everyone can keep their privacy and mind their own business. Also, to avoid walk ins on any incident that might be hard to un-see once you have seen it. You know what I’m talking about.
My mom has been on house hunt for weeks. So far, the results have been nothing but poor. Mom and I went to see this apartment the other day. The person who showed it to us was very lucky I didn’t slap him in the face. He kept emphasising how airy the apartment was.
“Yeah, but it doesn’t look very clean.”
“Oh, but look at how airy it is!
“Oh, but look at how unclean it is!
He obviously picked up on the mimicry and stopped responding to my questions. He kept telling my mom this apartment will be sold any minute, any minute and that if she really wanted it she should tell him soon. Like now.
My mom said that she was going to let her husband make the decision.
“Oh, it doesn’t matter what he thinks. After all, it’s the wife who manages the house!
Mom went to see another place, owned by a reasonable family. Or so she thought. It was a three bedroom apartment but it was on the end on the street so every screech of a car,every turn of a van and every honk of any horn would be heard.
“But you can close the windows and you won’t be able to hear a thing“, the old lady said.
Yeah, and no one will be able to hear our screams either, when we die of suffocation.
In addition to the sealed windows idea, Grandma Noisyhouse wanted 300,000 Rs in advance. That’s like nine months rent.
“Don’t you think that’s a little too much?”
“Actually, we sent our daughter to Canada this year. We borrowed 300,000 from a friend and now we have to give it back. The sooner you’ll give us the deposit, the sooner we’ll be out of debt!”
Like I said, so far the luck is zero. I haven’t even started packing yet. This is how my closet should look like…
And this is how it actually looks like:
With this rate, Mr. Landlord, we are not going anywhere, any time soon.