Long standing (suffering?) readers will know that just a few short months ago there were three of us living in 54 Crystal Towers. But then Stephen, as was always the plan, found his own place to stay, he still visits from time to time which is nice. And, as you know from the last-but-one blog entry, Sameer has now come to the end of his time here, the University of East London's gain is the Aga Khan University's loss. So it's just me living here now.
So how am I feeling about this? A bit sad, to be honest. Clearly, living with others brings its aggravations, but on balance it was quite fun doing various things - going to beach resorts, the gym, restaurants, etc. - together. In practice living to somewhat different time scales - did Sameer or Stephen EVER get up before me in the morning? - wasn't a problem once we'd worked out what each other needed. And I would say that Sameer has left the kitchen rather better equipped than he found it, although I may need a quick reminder on how to use the rice cooker.
One slightly curious thing. As you know, tap water here is not directly drinkable, a number of solutions to this, along with many other people I go for 20 litre containers of water which then go onto a water cooler. This is the one bit of recycling which goes on here, it is hugely cheaper to buy a full container in exchange for an empty one rather than a full container without - something like UKP2 for the exchange and UKP10 from cold. I previously had two, one on the cooler and one spare, and Sameer had three, so between us we had five - except that on one occasion for reasons I didn't really understand, I was given a full container and the empty back, taking us up to 6. When all three of us were here we got through a container in just less than a week, so that is quite a lot of drinking water! I'm not quite sure why, but it became a bit of an obsession to replace one container as soon as it became empty, 4 spares never seemed to be enough!
So, Sameer, if you're reading this, you'll be pleased to hear that in your absence I am still maintaining 5 spare containers of water. I'm still marking my parking out of 10, but it was much more fun when you were here, particularly since I tended to win that particular game.
I'm not going to be actively looking for a new flatmate but am very open to the possibility, do apply if you're interested. No need to come swimming with me at 5am., I'll try to keep my comings and goings quiet.
But - this coming week there will be none! I'm off to Southern Tanzania on a recruitment trip, will be taking my camera with me so look forward to writing next week's post. I've decided that this is to be a Swahili-only week, SikiIngeresa, hapana kabisa kabisa (no English, not at all not at all). So Hellen our housekeeper has a week off, she took three of us to look after in her stride, I wonder if she's missing the other two as much as I am?