Saturday, May 14, 2005

Mi casa

By popular request (ok, ok, The Composer asked), here is a photo comparison of my old house in Colombia with my current house in Berkeley. I just spent two and a half weeks at my old house, because some good friends of mine are now living there. I lived there for two years on and off (basically whenever I was in Colombia) and despite its quirks, it was a great house.

So first up, the bedroom. This is actually my old bedroom, but I had a better bed and some actual other furniture in there. I painted the door a couple of years ago, it has little gold stars and moons on it. There are still white marks on the wall where I had my glow in the dark kiwis stuck.

There are no more angles to take photos from in the bedroom. But there is a pretty cool view out the bedroom window. The house is at the end of a cobbled street in an artsy kind of neighbourhood. This first photo is looking towards the San Antonio hill. Unfortunately I was too lazy to actually go and take a photo of the beautiful church on top of the hill. The white house on the next block, known as La Casa Blanca (duh) has also tended to be a "foreigners' house", and I've stayed there a few times too. It has a fantastic party roof.

This is the view the other way. The street down there is a nasty busy street called la Circumvalacion. It's a nightmare to cross. I once had pretty blue flowers in that windowbox, but it seems the landlady pulled them out for some reason.

The bathroom. Again, hard to get a good shot. Especially as I was trying to avoid being in the mirror. One nice detail about this house is the cardboard furniture, made by the woman who lived there before me (and she's related to the landlady who lives downstairs, who isn't really the landlady, but she's who the rent gets paid to - but anyway, that's why the furniture is still there). The plumbing is incredibly scary - I'm sure The Editter still has bad memories of that toilet.

The shower is also quite scary. There tends to be no hot water in many homes. This isn't too big a deal in Cali, as it's usually quite hot. Even so, sometimes at least a warmish shower is nice. So this is the solution. An insta-heat shower head. Yep, let's connect live elecricity to where the water comes out and then stand underneath it. Definitely an incentive for quick showers.

The dining room. Dining corner. Space in the house where the table happens to be. It's actually quite nice because you can open the window and get a nice breeze coming through. Notice the hats. I'm not sure what to say about them, so just notice them.

Here's a detail of the window. Nice cardboard thingy. One of the things I really liked about the house when I first saw it.

Here's the lounge. Ok, space in the house where the sofa happens to be. There are two stereos because we'd just had a party, so had to borrow one that actually works properly. If you stand in the right place (a little to the left - back a bit - stop) you can see the Tres Cruces (three crosses) through the hole in the wall. I've never managed to get a photo of it. But it looks cool, trust me.

The kitchen isn't quite as dingy as this photo makes it look. But it is small. And that shelf on the wall is crooked, yes. And the sink leaks. And the stove gives you electric shocks sometimes. The door on the left leads to the stairs which lead up to the little rooftop patio. I used to have a hammock up there, that was nice.

On the patio is also what serves as the laundry. This photo makes it look absolutely disgusting. It's not really. But it is just a sink outside where the maid washes everything by hand. Luckily maids are relatively cheap. Still.

I can't end with that laundry shot, so here's another nice part of the house. The little nook with plants. Behind the plants is completely open to the outside so the neighbours can look straight in and when it rains it can get quite flooded. And you can hear the downstairs neighbour (landlady) singing, quite badly, quite often. But aside from all that, it's quite nice to have that open to the outside thing going on.

And that's it folks. Just a wee bit different to my current home.