It didn’t take me long to arrange another viewing. Next day, I was already stepping into the underground hell that got me to a nice quiet
in West London. Maybe a little too quiet, I thought.
I was wandering around a weirdly located playground and checking the number plates on the
houses. Before I even noticed the house number,
a builder leaning on his van pointed at a house in front of him, proving that
there had been a solid number of viewings.
I gingerly enter the house through its widely open door. The man, who is clearly in the middle of giving a tour to a shy looking Asian girl, waves me to join in. He shows a teeny-weeny kitchen, weirdly looking lounge area (apparently, some people do use floral carpets as sofa covers) and a small garden at the back – we look at all of these from one spot in the stairwell. Now I wonder if there were any doors in that house at all.
The highlight of the viewing is Brandusa, Romanian house owner. Wearing his sports jacket and a gold chain on his neck, the man reminds me of some cheap mafia character. Very cheerfully, he explains that he just came back from a small 2-month break back home with his wife, and hopes to rent out the room until his next holiday. His next holiday starts tomorrow. Other 8 rooms in the house are occupied, but he is not sure who lives there. There is no contract, and notice before moving out is a week. I see how the little Asian girl shivers after realizing that this is not her dream house. Surprisingly, she still writes down Brandusa’s phone number.
The tiny girl and I both leave the house at the same time. The girl runs off as if the house was on fire. I go home grinning, because Brandusa and his little landlord business brings me back to Eastern Europe more than I could wish.
The decision isn’t hard to make – I delete Brandusa’s number as soon as I get into the underground. I didn’t go 3000km to feel ‘at home’.