Big Question Marks

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Our New Flatmate

We haven't told you too much about our new home yet. It was actually only the second place Adrian checked out on his first apartment-hunting day, but as soon as he saw it, he knew it was the one. And as soon as he emailed me the photos (as I was still in Canada at the time), I shrieked with excitement. It's a huge, furnished two-bedroom with tons of light, a wraparound balcony with a panorama showing the mountains on the west side, and ocean on the east, and lots of other high-rises all around us. We've got luxuries we've never had before, like a washing machine and a dishwasher, and three (yes, three!) swimming pools, two tennis courts, and a whole bunch of BBQs. And did we mention it's just across the road from the beach? OK, OK, we'll stop mentioning that already. :)

We're sharing the place until the end of July with Julie & Liv, from Denmark & Norway- they're also Griifth U students, like Adrian, and are fantastic. It's a bit of change, going from having your own apartment to sharing one with flatmates, but somehow, happily, this transition has been a surprisingly easy one. But then, yesterday we got news of a third, slightly more uninvited flatmate who's lately been making himself at home in our new apartment...
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"Oh yeah, and look out for a bird flying into the apartment," Julie said as she and Liv were heading off for school. "A WHAT??" I replied.

Apparently this black-and-white bird - a magpie-lark, to be exact - scared Julie half to death the day before when she returned home to find it flapping around our living room. Since we generally leave our balcony doors open to let in the sea breeze (as there are no screen doors) and we're about level with some of the trees on the fifth floor, I guess our place is also fair game for the birds. And here I was marvelling at the fact that we never encounter any bugs!

I was sure the apartment bird had to have been a one-time event. So yesterday I open the door after my morning walk on the beach, and am relieved to not witness any flapping, or chirping, for that matter. I'm just sitting down on the couch with a glass of water when I see it - bird crap on the top of one of our faux-leather armchairs. Aha! Well, maybe it was from the day before...

So later on, I'm catching up on some emails in the living room and have all but forgotten about the bird. But I glance up from the computer screen and something catches my eye to the right of me - and I see that just behind the couch, a little black-and-white bird is strutting calmly around the carpet.

It took a surprising amount of yelling, clapping, and shooing (with a mop, even!), but I finally got the thing out of our apartment. The neighbours must have been wondering what all the fuss was about. But I must have scared it, as it didn't come back for the rest of the day. But then today, sometime during the five minutes between the time Adrian and I made our coffees and left the kitchen, and Julie & Liv returned from their morning run, we heard yelling in the living room: our sassy little houseguest had returned... and not for the last time.

So I guess no apartment is absolutely perfect. Some of them come with mice, some with cockroaches, and then there was that pesky flies-in-the-drains problem at our last place in Toronto. And how about our cabin in the woods with all the Huntsman spiders and moths? But a bird in the apartment is a totally new issue. Perhaps we'll have to make ourselves a scarecrow for this one.