Housemate Horrors

Madrid has been pretty great to me since I’ve been here and the only problems I’ve had have been related to my living situations. My first apartment had a broken door which meant I kept locking myself out and the second looked like it could be the setting for one of the REC sequels. So of course there was a lot of hesitation when I moved into my new place… but everything seemed great. It was clean, it was new, my bed was the size of some of the other apartments I viewed. I thought I’d lucked out with the perfect apartment. O what fools these Rosys be. I forgot about the roommates.

Let me preface this by saying that I have three roommates. One of them I knew from my teacher training and they actually told me about the apartment– which I will forever be grateful for. We also cook each other food and drink a lot of tinto, two of my favourite past times. My second roommate is also pretty great. She’s like a ghost most of the time, you’d barely know she was there. And she’s like a built in Google Translate for me when I want to quadruple check that there’s no meat in my food. But number three… I’m pretty sure she decided she hated me from the moment I walked in the door and I’m not sure what I managed to do in those first three seconds, but I guess it was pretty terrible. Sure, my roommates have done things that have annoyed me, but I’ve never said anything as I figured it was pretty obvious that sometimes stuff like this was gonna happen. In my case, it would be getting woken up at like 5AM three days in a row and not particularly appreciating it when someone invites a random traveller they met once before to sleep in our living room. But I digress, the point is that roommates aren’t gonna agree on everything. So here’s a list of some of the things my roommate, we’ll call them G, has complained to me (or to others, about me) about in the three weeks I’ve lived here.

1. Leaving my clean plates out to dry for too long, because nothing threatens to ruin the sanctity of a hygienic kitchen like clean plates (I don’t like putting them away wet, alright?). It’s definitely more annoying than how you move around the apartment like you’re the entire Real Madrid football team, G.

2. That I don’t take the bin out every single day. Apparently there is some unspoken agreement that taking the bin out is my job and no one else in the flat should have to touch it. This apparent rule is also totally more reasonable than having at least one person stay in our apartment for twelve nights out of the 22 days we’ve lived here.

3. For considerately deciding to wait until the morning to do the washing up as to not wake anyone in the flat up, as it’s woken me up at least twice since I’ve been here. And despite not all the pots belonging to me, it was still my fault. Something that is a constant theme throughout all of these complaints. For this I’ve been repaid with at least four nights of 3AM passive aggressive dishwashing that sounds like you’re remodelling our entire kitchen with a sledgehammer.

4. Using too many plates, despite probably not eating more than two meals a day in the flat and washing them up immediately because I’m trying to have the whole minimalist bedroom look going on (and it’s not because all of my belongings are in the UK, I swear). But it’s totally fine that when you ‘wash up’ after yourself, bits of whatever you’ve eaten remain stuck to all the plates, pans, and cutlery.

5. Someone else putting my cheese on her shelf in the fridge when I was out of the house, but because it was my cheese, that means it’s my fault, right? But it’s okay to move my lettuce out of the vegetable shelf because your food is more important.

6. Talking quietly in the kitchen at about 10:30 at night, despite the 5AM wakeup call I’d had from her earlier that day 😀 It’s especially great when you decide that 5AM is the perfect time to have a conversation on the balcony right by my window.

7. Filling the vegetable drawer with, y’know, vegetables when no one else was using it. Sorry? I’ll save space for all those imaginary carrots you were buying, shall I? Or, my mistake… perhaps you’re keeping them with wherever the fuck all our glasses go to whenever I want a drink?

8. Putting my tupperware on an empty shelf. Admittedly this one involved my tinto twin roommate, as we both decided to keep our containers there. But I guess G didn’t like this, as when we got back later in the day, we found they’d been moved to a different cupboard, only to be replaced by– nothing. The shelf was empty. I guess she just didn’t approve of where I chose to keep my Hello Kitty sandwich box. Although maybe whatever you replaced the tupperware with was just stolen by that stranger you let live in our house for two days.

9. When I bought soap and washing machine powder for the flat to use but said I didn’t want any money for it. When I suggested that someone else could just buy the next lot, it looked like her face was about to fall in on itself. Although the soap is nearly in negative amounts, but no one’s yet to replace it yet…

10. Eating “too many pizzas”. She’s said this to another of my flatmates twice now. Ummm, first off: there’s no such thing as too many pizzas. Pfffft. And secondly: go fuck yourself. Don’t comment on my diet. I’m a vegetarian in a country that only seems to sell bags of frozen vegetables mixed with ham. I’m gonna take what I can get. And FYI, I’ve never once commented on the fact you’ve had explosive diarrhoea for what seems like two weeks now and seemingly have yet to master how to flush the fucking toilet.

So yeah. I think I’m a pretty reasonable person. I keep to myself, I keep quiet if it’s late at night, and I buy our cleaning products without asking for anything in return. But god forbid I ever want to sleep through the night, use a clean plate, or not want to vomit every time I go in my own bathroom. This isn’t even an introvert problem anymore… this is all about being a decent (and sanitary) human being.


Author: Rosanna Parrish

Brit exiled in Spain.

4 thoughts on “Housemate Horrors”

  1. Mate, I have a massive list of anecdotes about mental house mates down in Sevilla. I think you might have inspired a new blog! Love this post, can I add it to a list I’m making of useful blogs about Spain? Cheers.

    1. If you class whatever I’m spewing out as useful, then be my guest. And write the post! Housemate horror stories are my favourite… and keep me from going crazy through Internet solidarity.

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