Thank you for all the views and comments on my previous post — I truly appreciate y’all taking the time to follow my journey, even when the update-consistency isn’t top-notch.
As you know, I had an incident that almost turned me into a real New Yorker, but I never told you exactly what happened, so here you go:
Still high on the feedback and relief of having completed our films, my classmates and I attended the annual “end-of the year-party” with the program and faculty. And when the evening turned into the wee hours of morning and people went to the respective homes, I went to the Bowery House Hostel — my home for the next few days. (Because, you know, I lost my new apartment and was technically homeless. Read more HERE).
Once I had walked through a camping area for other homeless people, waited for almost half an hour outside the door before anyone let me in, I hauled my suitcases up four flights of stairs, took a long shower and looked forward to the first quiet night/morning in a while.
This (over-priced) hostel was — as expected — anything but spacious, and the walls separating the rooms looked more like bathroom stalls. The ceiling was basically just a grid that let no sounds go by unnoticed. I could almost hear which brand of potato chips my neighbor was eating, and there was at least two different octaves of snoring and breathing streaming out of the stalls. Some of the other sounds I’d rather not describe in too much detail, but you can probably think of something juicy on your own.
But, I decided not to care — something I’ve become increasingly good at whilst living in New York. I was just happy to have somewhere to stay after the whole apartment situation, and I laid down on the bed feeling accomplished by how adaptable I’d become.
That was, until my reading got interrupted by a brown spot in my peripheral vision.
The spot started moving further up my shirt collar — still too close for me to see what it actually was — so I grabbed it. Held it. And examined it. Yup, it was one of those little creatures I frequently googled when I first moved to New York — a bedbug. A very large bedbug. I could see all its defining features, and I was not about to let is suck my blood and infest my luggage.
They were everywhere. Here’s one I found on the wall when I grabbed my things.
So, in a pure Erin Brockowich-moment, I marched into the crowded lobby, still in my mini-shorts pyjamas, slammed the bug onto the reception desk and calmly commanded I’d get my money back and all my luggage cleaned. The reception guy, clearly freaked out, squished the bug in panic and ran to get plastic bags for me to put my clothes in. The money refund, however, wasn’t so easy.
My secret tool in situations like these is usually “sweet-innocent-immigrant-girl-with-broken-English-who-is-far-away-from-home-and-very-very-scared,” but when that doesn’t work … oh man, can I be a bitch.
I did get my money back. It just took a bit of an effort and an attitude on my part.
I didn’t even know I had the ability to be that cold and demanding at the same time, but it worked. And gosh, it was quite satisfying.
Pyjamas are clothes too
The only clothes that hadn’t been exposed to the bugs was another pajamas, still one of those mini-shorts ones, so I got changed, grabbed my laptop, harddrive, a water bottle and left this bug-infested hole they call the Bowery House.
The essentials: Harddrive (because filmschool), laptop, wallet, toothbrush, facial cleanser and a water bottle. Photo: Kai Torres.
The attention I got walking the Manhattan streets at 2 PM in this outfit was slightly different from the attention I usually get at that hour, but I called my dear friend, Kai — who already had guests at her place — but she handled the whole situation gracefully. I ended up sleeping my best night in weeks — on an air-matress on her livingroom floor.
Here’s proof, haha. That lady always knows how to capture the moments. She named this “The Cocoon.”
I got all my clothes taken care of, and I inspected every millimeter of my suitcases before I flew back to Norway. It would be a shame if I re-introduced these creatures that haven’t been a problem in Norway since the early 1900s.
Courtesy to postworld.org.
Even if this felt like an unnecessary experience — especially since I already was exhausted from weeks of around-the-clock working — I chose to see it as a rite of passage. I’m definitely one step closer to being a New Yorker now, haha.
I still don’t have anywhere to live on Manhattan, but I choose to hang onto what Frank Sinatra would’ve said:
But more importantly, what God says:
Now let’s see what He has in store.
I’m currently in Italy, relaxing and recharging, so all the stress from the semester feels a little more distant right now. Will tell you more later.
Have a blessed evening,
Jewelry by Skjaeraasen.no. Photo by Rannveig Froestad.