Why in heaven’s name did blogger Kaavya Raveendran move from a comfortable room with private facilities to a room in a corridor where she has to clean the toilets and eat from half-dirty dishes?
© Sven Menschel
Living in a room with private facilities sounded fancy and comfortable when I was finding a room for myself from back home. I then moved to Wageningen and lived that comfortable life for more than one year. But there comes a time we realize that maybe we want more than just comfortable: the privacy in such rooms becomes too private and the want for something totally different becomes pretty strong.
Very recently this thought struck me, and so I made the big decision of moving to a room in a corridor with common facilities. Let me be very clear here: there is absolutely nothing wrong with corridor living, unless your corridor mates like to live like cavemen. That was my biggest fear: having to clean a heap of other people’s mess -- because if you are the only cleanliness freak among a bunch of messy corridor mates, there is not a lot you can do about it, apart from either cribbing and cleaning it all or cribbing and ignoring it. Knowing me, I would be doing the former.
But fate was kind to me, and I turned out to have moved in with people who were quite tidy and very pleasant to live with. The shocker came within my first week in the corridor: my turn to clean the toilets and bathrooms stared me in the face. Don’t know why, but I was terrified about it, and constant thinking about it only made it worse. Sounds like a first world problem, I know, but for me it was big. I gulped down my hesitation and triumphed my way through it until I was blinded by the supremely clean and shiny bathrooms (some dramatic expression may have been involved here). After all, it didn't seem that difficult or a big deal. In fact: in the end, I was pretty proud of my cleaning skills and of course overcoming my apprehension.
As accepting as Mother Teresa
Using the common kitchen has its own perks and pitfalls. The perks being that you are fully equipped to make anything that you want, supporting even recipes that are super complicated to make (thank god for ovens), but the pitfall is really... the Dutch way of doing dishes. Even for the general level of hygiene, I don't know how my Dutch friends are okay with wiping off the soap from plates and dishes -- it just doesn't feel very clean or healthy. But I think this habit really grows on you, and with time you become as accepting as Mother Teresa. I never thought I’d be doing this, but on some corridor meal situations, you can now spot me wiping the soap off dishes with a smile on my face.
The biggest blessing of corridor living is that the privacy is not too private: you rarely feel alone or secluded or bored. Even though I have to wear a greater number of clothes than I like to wear when I am home alone, I think it's a good trade for the amazing company that you get in the form of corridor mates. It's like a mini family you share the chores with, have dinners with and just laze around with during weekends.
New experiences shock and surprise you in various ways. From this moving experience, I learnt that better things can happen to you when you decide to get uncomfortable. So: get uncomfortable and you'll be surprised by what life may present to you.