Don’t let their smiling faces fool you…
Two weeks ago I walked into my room to find a homeless Romanian woman and her two children eating soup on my bed. When normal people get drunk they drag home traffic cones. When you live in a mentally deranged squat universe, however, you drag home immigrant families coated in a very potent and undesirable stench. What does it smell like, you ask? It smells like responsibility, my friends—sudden and unwanted responsibility. It’s been fifteen long and very strange days that this mysterious family has been living with us now. They’re really nice and it was kind of funny at first, but if I’m honest I’m getting pretty fucking sick of them.
The family consists of thirty seven year old mom Anka and her two sons, Stefan, twelve, and Pirvu, nine. My flatmates Simon and Hannah found them sleeping on the night bus, and in their drunken state decided it was a good idea to invite them back to spend the night at our squat. Obviously. The family moved to the UK three months ago. At first they were living in some shithole flat in Brixton which Anka, in her pigeon English, describes as having “no stove and Satan as landlord.” Satan then mysteriously disappeared, after which the council came knocking on the door and declared the building uninhabitable. They were left with no place to stay and had been living on the streets of South London ever since. Until, that is, they found another host on which to parasite—my house.
Admittedly, at the beginning of this whole extravaganza, it was kind of fun having the weird Romanian trio around. We taught them how to play Nintendo Wii. They taught us how to bake special yeastless bread that can last for over two months without going stale. It was a give and take relationship. It was also cool to be able to say things like, “Oh yeah, we have this homeless family staying with us. It’s no big deal. You know, just doing my part for the good of the world!” and then smile and make people feel bad about themselves for not being as selfless and world conscious as me. That lasted about a week. The novelty has now worn off. The family’s true colors are beginning to shine through. Hogging the living room for “learning time,” taking down the painting of the flaccid penis in the kitchen because it was “inappropriate,” harmonized singing in languages I can’t understand—they’re driving me insane. My aggravation reached its peak last night when Anka came into the living room (in the middle of American Idol might I add) and offered me a cup of milk with some half-cooked spaghetti strings floating in it. She then stood in front of the TV for ten minutes, shouting repeatedly, “Not much taste, but for you!” Who the fuck are you lady? Do you really think I want a sample of your weirdo, third-world cup of puke? This has gone on long enough.
At the moment I’m trying my best to get up the courage to ask them to fuck off, but I must have a very large heart because it’s proving more difficult than I thought. It also doesn’t help that every time I try and politely drop hints that they’ve overstayed their welcome, they look up at me with their big, sad eyes and smile at me like I’m some sort of Mother Theresa, ‘bringer-of-shelter’ type figure. Shit. Why do I have to be so nice? I’m sorry Anka, Stefan and Pirvu, but you have to go. This is a squat, not a refugee camp. I want my fucking house back.
I’m not kidding you. They eat this.
This beautiful painting, previously hung in our kitchen, is now in the hallway in the basement after Anca deemed in “inappropriate.”