I lived in shared accommodation during the first few months of my stay in Sydney. It was a house with 6 rooms and a backyard that was in dire need of maintenance. The other occupants were mostly backpackers and were on holiday-visa. Young Engineers from Estonia, French and Chinese students, a journalist from Iran, a scary bearded guy and a Colombian man who was always playing loud music. My husband and I stayed in one of the rooms. Being the only female, I ventured out either to go to the office or the bathroom.
The rent was cheap while the location was close to the city, so it suited us well, to initially settle in this foreign land until my husband could find a job. We had sold everything, packed our whole life in two suitcases and landed in Sydney. (I will write about it someday)
Everything was going on well except for a mysterious smoke that would sometimes hang heavy in the house. Now I am a simpleton. I just couldn’t figure out where this foggy thing was coming from. As it was winter, I thought maybe the fog got into the house from outside. I know, how stupid right! It didn’t smell like cigarette smoke or anything that I had smelled before, but it definitely had a hint of weirdness. I would stare at it in wonder, sometimes at night I would get up and check the kitchen in case anything was burning.
Most days when I would come back from the office, and open the main door, the smoke would blow into my face. The house looked mysterious at night, especially over the weekend, with the smoke billowing from the living room into the hallway. Quite dramatic I would say, like an episode from Alif Laila.
And then my husband enlightened me one day that it was Marijuana. Every morning one of the guys would roll weed and smoke them. I just laughed when I heard that. Maybe the smoke finally got to me.
The mystery was solved and probably the only thing I feared was smelling like a drug addict. Imagine walking into a meeting, all dressed up and perfect hair, emanating an aroma of a banned substance. I kept my clothes nicely packed inside the cupboard and started using pretty flowery perfumes, which itself might have started suffocating my colleagues. Funny thing is, I hate perfumes.
We stayed in the house for four months, and later on, moved into our own home. I had stayed in hostels and paying guest accommodations since I was 18. For over 10 years I had lived out of a suitcase, moving from one place to another. And let me tell you, it has been quite an adventurous journey 🙂