The Bijltjespad Mice
One thing I will give “De Key” (an Amsterdam based short stay housing organisation) is that they sure know how to put on a good show. Upon arrival at the housing office I was greeted with a steaming hot cup of coffee, deliciously fresh fruit and a… dum, dum, dum BACK MASSAGE! Despite the masseuses unwarranted and overtly explicit account of her colon problems I was pretty much in heaven and I could only imagine how gorgeous my little room was going to be. So, with my de-stressed shoulders and vast knowledge of the wonders of Colonic Hydrotherapy I skipped down the road.
Oh boy was I wrong! This brilliant show they put on had seriously deluded me with visions of grandeur and it was only later, over a cup of piping hot earl grey tea that I realised such a show of splendour could only ever be followed by disappointment.
I walked into my new Kitchen and was greeted by a fellow housemate (and a swarm of fruit flies) who began to tell me all about the Bijltjespad (Belch-es-pad) mice (This is the block of flats where I will be living for the next 5 months). Apparently when she arrived, a week earlier than me, they were everywhere! Jumping out of kitchen cupboards, running under feet, behind the fridge – you name it, the Bijltjespad mice were there. A little nauseas and trying to delude myself that they were like the mice in Cinderella (A singing, dancing act of sorts who would cheer me up and mend my ball gown) I opened the door to my room and again, was unpleasantly surprised. A wave of stale smoke hit me in the face, a boot print was strategically placed on the ceiling and the mattress, well I won’t even attempt to describe the state of it or the stains that resided upon it.
After a tear, or ten I made the decision that a few mice and a smokey room were not gonna’ get this gal down and I decided to purchase some industrial cleaning products. Five hours later, with the help of my darling mother and her inner hygiene freak, my room was sparkling. With a new mattress on my bed, scented candles wafting through my nasal passages and a vase of flowers resting on my bedside table I suddenly felt at home. The freshly washed turquoise curtains framed my misty windows quite wonderfully and added just a touch of cosiness to the once clinical space and again I thought, “damn, this really is going to be pretty fantastic!”.
The boot print however, after many severe scrubs, remains.