Now, I know that everyone's been waiting to hear about what my accommodation would be like, so I'll try to give as much information as possible...
The entrance is on the main road (Canary Hill Road) and you walk into a tiny hallway. I say hallway because I'm not sure what else to call it – there is a shower and a staircase! My room is on the 2nd floor, so it's up a set of tiny, steep stairs (health and safety would have a field day here!). All the doors here are secured with a padlock and mine is no different.
Opening the door you walk straight into room 1. I'm not entirely sure what I'll do with this room – it's slightly pointless as I don't have a couch, TV or anything else to put in it! My desk is in my bedroom, so I might move that just to make it look less empty! At the moment though, it's occupied by a floor-buffer, which is supposed to be being used to clean up the stone floor, but that's been happening in 1 or 2 days since Weds and still hasn't happened, so I'm not holding too much hope!
There is a doorway through into the bedroom, which has a double bed, the afore-mentioned desk and chair....and that's about it! I have some shelves for my clothes (there are also shelves in room 1, but again, I've got nothing to put on them) - notice the cunning dust cover to protect my stuff!
Heading back to room 1, there's also a sink in here (sorry for dark pic). I think this is kind of my “bathroom” for cleaning teeth etc. but there's no cupboard to put anything near it. Oh well. On past the sink into the kitchen.
The kitchen is pretty narrow, everything is on the left-hand side. I've got a double gas-hob and a sink. I've bought some lovely metal plates that look like the sort of thing they'd serve army rations on. The water runs sometimes, if the guys renovating the room upstairs don't use it all up. Run a bucket first thing in the morning is the answer...! Oh, and Carl and I did a much better job of fitting my sister's kitchen – the handiwork is shoddy at best ;-)
At the end of the kitchen is my balcony. Ah, the balcony. A lovely place to sit out, watch the world go past, read a book, or go to the toilet. Yes, the toilet is out on the balcony! Thankfully (for all of Hazaribag) they have put up a screen to protect my modesty! Still, it's a squat toilet and no running water – which I'm sure will please all of you hoping that I'm having to rough it a bit :-) The photo attached shows the toilet as it is now – I am absolutely not lying when I say none of that frame/door was there when they first showed it to me!
So what's it like living in my own flat? Interesting to say the least! Every morning they seem to feel the need to play “wake up” music at 5.30am. I'm more used to going to bed at 5.30 than getting up then. Add to this that work doesn't start until 9.30 and I'm left wondering what everyone's doing in the 4 hours in between!
My first night in the flat I didn't get woken by the music though. Someone was banging on the door downstairs, or so I thought. After about 10 minutes, in my semi-conscious state I began to wonder if it was in fact someone banging on my door. 10 more minutes and someone from work phoned to say that someone had come to fix my water (it wasn't running the night I moved in). I got up, opened the door, a chap with a big smile walked in, went to my kitchen, turned on a tap, turned to me, said “water”, smiled and then walked out!
Day 2 wasn't much better. First I had the “wake up” music. Then I was going to go for a run, so I set my alarm for 6.30. At 6.35 I got a knock on my door. I open it and the man from downstairs is standing there with his sons - “My sons”, he says, smiling incessantly. I nod at him. They are indeed his sons - I met them the night before. “They read English” he says as he walks into my flat. I'm trying to remember what I did to entice him in, which means I don't really reply to this. “For 10 minutes only” - his sons are now in my flat too and have books with them – I'm beginning to see where this is going...
...so at 6.35 in the morning, I provide an impromptu English lesson, reading about some girls at school performing a school play on the story of Hanuman. I gave another lesson this morning (only one child present this time). I have no idea if this was part of the deal that my organisation have made with the family or not, but it's going to be hard to back out of now – looks like I'm a live-in English teacher for a while!
Amusingly, one of my colleagues, who lives around the corner, also wants me to help his children with their English – maybe I'll just start my own school...if I'm going to wake up at 5.30 every sodding morning I might as well do something worth while with it!
Anyway, that's a pretty big update, so I think that's enough for now. Stay tuned for the next exciting instalment!