Tuesday, November 11, 2008


A cry for help in the form of an email crossed my desk yesterday.

My desk is currently a small table outside a french bakery in Hoi An where I am intermittently interrupted from my work by a cheerful man with no legs who tries to sell me a newspaper. I imagine his injury was acqured during what is known here as the American War. And now the poor man reduced to peddling newspapers to the very same kind of people who blew his legs off. That really sucks.

Below I reprint the missive that I received. My advice will appear in my next blog post.


A couple of months ago I moved into a new sharehouse, and about a week ago I discovered that one of my housemates is ignoring me. I don't know why they are ignoring me, and quite frankly I find it very immature, and would like to know what you think I should do about the situation.
I became aware of the situation when I arrived home late one night last week, and noticed on my way inside that the lock on my bike had been broken, and strangely the bike not stolen. I brought the bike in, carried the broken lock in to the loungeroom to discuss the odd event with whomever was about. The only person in the room was housemate X. He completely ignored my story, sitting arms crossed, staring at the TV screen. I repeated my story, tried to grab his attention a few times, even shook the broken lock in front of their face. Housemate X bluntly refused to look at me. I double checked and their eyes were open. They were totally ignoring me. "Riiiigght... " I said, comprehending the situation, and left the room. It's been a week now and they still have not said a word to me, leaving the room whenever I enter it. It's very peculiar, not at all the sort of behaviour you'd expect from a 29 year old.
So over the past week I've been thinking about when this person might have actually first developed an 'issue' with me. I remembered that there have actually been a few times over the previous couple of weeks when they had ignored me as well, which I had put down to grumpy hangoverness.
But there was actually an earlier event which occurred a few weeks ago when I was rolling a joint in the loungeroom. Out of no where, housemate X said "you're not fucking smoking that in here are you?". At first I thought they were joking, but they were not. They were actually being a rude cunt. I have no problem with not smoking a joint in the lounge room if this is a problem, and I duly smoked it in my bedroom. However I don't tolerate aggression of this sort, either abusive words, or passive-aggressive 'silent treatment'. Do you think I should move out, which I don't want to do for any other reason, the rest of the housemates are lovely. Should I humour myself by waiting and seeing how long this person is actually going to attempt to annoy me with their petty mind games? Or should I expose their issue in front of the other housemates? The obvious solution would be to ask them if they have a problem with me, however I can already see them ignoring my question yet again, and leaving the room.
I should note that I made sure to mention at the house interview that I enjoy the occassional joint, and should anyone have had a problem with this you think they might have brought it up then. It was also not the first time I'd smoked in the lounge room, with no complaints on earlier occassions.
Thanks ahead for your strategic reply...

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