I am in yet another new apartment. Moving day is always strange. You bring your familiar belongings and plop them all down in this foreign space which is supposed to be home.
I look around at my tiny apartment remembering that I agreed to live here for the month mostly out of desperation. Ugh. Although my friends in Istanbul have been incredibly great and insisted that I could stay with them until I found a place I really liked, I felt terrible imposing and also just wanted a place that was mine.
For that reason I also opted not to have a roommate this go. I have had incredibly good luck with my roommates. I have no particular horror stories to tell. But for the past few years I have always felt like an intruder in someone else’s space. I want a place where I can leave my clothes on the sofa if I feel like, where I can do the dishes on my own schedule, where I can wake up at 3 am and take a shower without feeling guilty. They are simple, stupid things but they are the desires that are born from constantly living with other people.
So, this will be the first time in my life that I will be living alone and tonight will be my first night alone in this apartment. Feraz helped me move in and get settled but he just left for the airport back to London. In all the months and years we have spent apart, you would think that time would make it easier to say goodbye. But each time it feels harder than the last. Each time I think, I can’t wait until it is the last time we have to be apart for so long. I think it is the strongest testament of love that a person who craves independence as much as I do just wants to settle down, wants someone who nags when I come home from work late and who’s schedule I have to consider when I make my plans.
But I digress. I came home just now and was met by my landlord. He is an overweight, mute man who smells like strong, strong onions mixed with body odor. Yesterday, he approached Feraz and I outside of our apartment and tried to speak to us. Of course he can only grunt and make broken sounds. He was able to communicate that he is basically mute and seemed to be implying that he is our landlord.
We were hesitant to let him in to the apartment because we had never met him before and the agent who I had rented from had said that she would personally introduce me to the landlord. Feraz and I were unsure of what to do as this man kept making sounds and gesturing for us to let him into the building.
Finally, we asked him to use his keys to get into the apartment if he was the landlord. He couldn’t find any keys. Shady, shady we thought. But then he pulls out a showerhead attachment. That was his golden ticket. I knew that the landlord was supposed to come install that yesterday so I let him in.
He followed us into the apartment, breathing heavily the whole time. He sat down by the futon and with his overweight body and smelly odor and proceeded to breathe heavily all over my apartment. He then started taking out some extra dishes he brought. He unwrapped each one. One by one by one with his big clumsy hands. Feraz and I looked at each other wondering if this was really happening.
The landlord then went into the bathroom to try to fix the showerhead but was unsuccessful. This whole time he is trying to talk to us which is just heartbreaking because there is no way in hell that we are going to be able to make out what he is saying. We keep shrugging our shoulders and responding bilimyorum which means I don’t know.
He finally leaves and Feraz says, “That has to be up there with one of the weirdest things that has ever happened to me.”
“Thank God you were with me at least,” I responded.
Imagine coming home in the dark to a huge man who can’t talk and insists on being let into your apartment. After I dropped Feraz off, I came back to the man waiting for me. He asked to be let upstairs and I let him in. Today, he brought me more dishes, which he also unwrapped one by one and some new towels. He is coming back in half an hour to fix the shower. I don’t think I will be requesting anymore repairs or things for the apartment…
Another new place, another new adventure.