there were no tenants in this house when i moved here on january 1st 2002. the house was newly bought by frank wang, a middle-aged chinese man working at Nortel and his wife, wendy wang. they showed me the empty house and told me that the other tenants will probably be students as well. it is a very nice house; 3 bedrooms on the 2nd floor, 1 on the main floor, and then a basement bachelor’s apartment. i was the first one to move in the house with my few belongings that were stored at shekhar’s house while i was in toronto.
the basement apartment has been rented out to all kinds of weirdos. the first one was a japanese guy named wei. maybe he was a chinese pretending to japanese.. i don’t really know. he had a poster of japan in his room with two computers and a laptop and a huge SONY VEGA tv but he just laughed whenever i asked him how to say something in japanese. his english was quite esl-ish but that is okay considering that he had come to canada only a few months before he moved here. after he left, a chinese guy named paul moved in. paul was never available and when he was he always seemed to be in a rush and you couldn’t really talk to him about anything. he had a girlfriend and both of them had cars and they would park them in the driveway. luckily that meant paul would be responsible for shoveling the driveway during winter. i didn’t know him much and he never bothered me or anyone else. he would always say “hey” when he would see me and that was about it. the latest weirdo is a tall baseball cap wearing canadian quarter-aboriginal indian guy who blames immigrants for taking all the jobs in this country and sits outside with his girlfriend and keeps asking her “what would you do ?”. he has access to the house from the basement and he can come upstairs if he wants but he prefers to leave notes such as ” i am freezing down here. please turn up the heat ” under the basement door while the thermostat is just a step away from that very door. also, he ignores people who knock on his door and you hear him and his girl friend ask each other if it is the “cable guy again” who is knocking on the door. lisa, the other housemate who i have not introduced yet, got really really angry when she heard that and yelled “it’s your fucking pizza so come and get it”. anyhow, patrick has told me that i am very selfish because i (and everyone else) keep the recycling bins upstairs in the kitchen instead of in the basement so his highness can get access to them. he also told me that he paid his share of the cable tv and internet bill because he was just being nice. this was after i asked him to pay the money for the past two bills. patrick believes that there are no third-world countries and that all the computer software companies in ottawa dont like him and dont hire him because they prefer immigrants who actually have the required qualifications instead of what patrick has. i dont really hate him or anything and whenever we accidently bump into each other i keep looking at him in case he looks up at me instead of the ground so i can say hello to him. but he is very good at avoiding me and he drives away, or walks away, or keeps looking at the ground, or stays inside the car if i am in his vicinity. i have some of the letters he has written to me after i asked for the cable bills and maybe some day i will type them up and post them here. he is quite a character. he sits outside his house every single day with his girlfriend and they just talk and talk and talk… i dont know what they talk about but they just talk and talk and talk.
the main floor’s bedroom was rented by a canadian girl named margarita. i was upstairs in my room arranging the numerous computer wires when the bell rang and i went downstairs to open it. i was greeted by a fatso with a beard and he told me his girl friend is moving in here so he wants to move all her stuff here. later i learned his name was mitch and that he was margarita’s boyfriend. when margarita moved here she had a swollen jaw because of a tooth infection and some dental surgery. she turned out to be a very nice person, although very unorganized and irresponsible.. but not in a bad way. she is one of those people who just don’t change and don’t care and are perfectly happy to be who they are. which is a pretty good thing i think. but it can get quite frustrating when you see dishes lying in the kitchen sink for days and laundry lying in the washer for weeks and garbage bags lying in the corridor for months. on top of that, she would tell everyone that she is going to clean the kitchen or the bathroom this week but that week would never arrive. finally, after a few weeks she would roll up her sleeves and start cleaning the kitchen and then complain to everyone how no one cleans the kitchen and it is always dirty and that we should be more responsible. heh, it was quite infuriating but thats just margarita and she got along with everyone. i think she cleaned the kitchen maybe two or three times the entire period she lived here. she moved from thornbury in may of 2004. she broke up with mitch a year and a half after she moved here but then got invovled in a new relationship with a doctor who worked at the same hospital as her. she seemed very happy with the new guy, adam, and loves to mention him as her “boyfriend” every opportunity she gets. he is a neuro-surgeon… one of those smart rich genius doctors. if you meet a canadian girl who is talkative, openminded, a little clumsy and irresponsible, and treats you as a friend regardless of who you are or how long you’ve known her, then you’ve met margarita and please say hi to her from me.
when margarita moved out another canadian guy named sean moved in and he has an awesome flat panel monitor for his computer. he doesnt bug us and we dont bug him. he works as an over night security guard and is usually asleep during the day and gone to work in the evening. when he is home he is pissing me off by using Kazaa and crippling my bandwidth. sometimes when i want to play Rocket Arena III i just take out his network cable for a minute and then i feel bad and i put it back. he’s a nice guy but he just moved here and he’s our housemate for only two months so i dont think we’ll get to know him very well.
the 2nd floor has three bedrooms; one master bedroom and two smaller rooms. the master bedroom was occupied by a chinese man named chan tong lam. he liked soccer a lot. he also liked to stay in his room and he also liked to keep his girl friend in his room. she was an algonquin esl student while he was working at some communications company. again, you didn’t see chan so much. his girlfriend would cook all kinds of chinese food in the kitchen downstairs and then just take the food upstairs. chan had an air conditioner in his room and everyone was jealous of it. he moved out after he bought a house and weird # 3 moved in. this guy was an arab guy named aimen who emailed me two days ago asking for his “hop” back. aimen was a big boned man who liked to walk around in the house in his underwear meaning boxers and a small white t-shirt. he brought a hub to the house and we used that to share the internet with it instead of my computer being the gateway for all. this hub he gave to us when he moved out but over the past year and a half he has asked me four times to return his “hop”. i’ve set up meeting time/place with him two times and then left the hub outside in the mailbox but he never came to pick it up or to meet me. so i’m just ignoring his email. margarita’s mom had a huge fight with aimen when he left the house door completely open and went to the corner store. margarita had been robbed once so her mom was very angry at aimen and aimen in turn could not handle a woman scolding him so they had quite a fight. later lisa’s things would disappear and magically reappear when she asked everyone in the house if they had seen it. his cousin stayed with him in his room for about a month. lisa complained about that to him and told him that we are not allowed to keep someone else in the room with us. aimen’s defense was that chan’s girlfriend stayed with chan for a long time so it should be perfectly okay for aimen’s cousin to stay here as well. when lisa pointed out that chan first asked mr wang and that the person was chan’s girlfriend and not chan’s cousin, aimen started telling us that he is gay and that his cousin is his boyfriend so we shouldn’t complain about him being here and watching tv in the living room all the time. personally i never had any problems with him except when he complained to me about how bad lisa is. i resented that because he would say that in islam a girl is not supposed to do this and that and then just continously back bite about lisa. once, when i met him on bus #95 and he started complaining about lisa again i just asked him, “doesn’t your religion also tell you not to back bite ?” and he became silent after that and told me that he wasn’t back biting but just making conversation. anyhow, i don’t know where he is now and i don’t really care. when he moved out in january 2003 lisa moved to the master bedroom and lunato moved in in lisa’s old room, the one beside mine.
which brings us up to lisa. lisa has a boyfriend named shawn and i know more about shawn than i know about lisa because shawn talks to me more than lisa does. lisa was at algonquin when she moved in here. she had a few classes during the day but the rest of the entire day and night she would sit in front of the television downstairs in the living room. now, you cannot enter the house, leave the house, go to the kitchen, or go to the basement without passing through the living room and running into lisa. how many times in one day can you say “hello” to the same person ? because of this and because of my inexperience of living with girls, i didn’t get along with lisa at all. i would say hello to her the first time i would pass the living room while going to the kitchen to make breakfast but after that i really did not know what to say or do when i passed her. i could only pretend that she is not there and that i am not passing in front of her. and she did the same. so we never really got past the “hello” stage and are still kind of strangers in this house. after two and a half years under the same roof, i can’t really say anything about her personality other than that she is a feminist. her room is full of books like “war with boys”, “war against women”, “women who live in the earth”, “the love of women”, “how to get multiple mind-blowing orgasms”, “wild women”, “sex and single girls”, “women’s struggle for the body”, etc.. her boyfriend, shawn, is in the military and he went to afghanistan as part of the canadian troop deployment there. he spent about half a year there but i have never asked him about it because i dont want to know if he killed anyone because that would scare the fuck out of me. whenever he comes here and is climbing the stairs he yells “sikander” and i open the door and we say hello to each other. he’s a nice guy and has given me and lunato ride to algonquin and he even gave me glow sticks when he went with lisa to a rave here in ottawa. same goes for lisa… from what i know of her, she’s a nice caring person but she never cares about her room and her room is in a constant state of chaos. but, lisa is very responsible and you can depend on her to do something that she should do or something that she says she will do. if you need anything done by margarita, just ask lisa and lisa will get margarita to do it. lisa has also helped me quite a few times to take out margarita’s laundry and lingerie from the washer and dryer when i wanted to use it for my laundry and hickory-stick lingerie (don’t ask). she finished her economics diploma at algonquin and got a job at Finance Canada. after august she will be continuing her studies at Thunderbay University and i wish her and shawn all the best of luck… i wish i had gotten along with them better but we just never did.
finally, there is my room and lunato’s room just beside my room. but if you’ve been a regular reader of this humble web log, you already know about them. the reason i started typing this up at 11 at night is because last month our old landlord sold the house to another chinese couple and they were here today to meet us and to get us to sign papers that said that we will be moving out at the end of august. it is a bit sad.. everyone leaving ottawa. all thornbury residents will have left ottawa by the end of august this year. maybe we will all meet again in egypt climbing the pyramids and probably even at that time the only conversation lisa and i would have would be : hello.