If it’s not batshit roommates you have to deal with, apparently it’s batshit neighbors. Seriously, I am starting to miss the elderly lady who used to play church music super loud on Sunday mornings and the Caribbean choir that liked to have koombaya jam sessions on Friday afternoons–our neighbors from when we used to live in Prosperidad. It was slightly annoying, but tolerable. Being spied on when you are potentially naked? Yeah, not so much.

Ok I am already feeling like crap because I’ve caught yet another virus from the children I’m around all day long. So pardon me from sounding so bitter. I was feeling crappy all day yesterday and I was mad that I couldn’t leave early since both science classes I assist in were having tests, meaning I had nothing to do. But I still had to stay because I’m supposed to work 25 hours, even though if working means doing absolutely nothing.

I came home yesterday feeling tired and was greeted by my sympathetic roomie Veronica (henceforth known as Vero from now on). After she asked about my well-being, she inquired as to whether I had known what had happened in the apartment that afternoon.

I took a wild guess. “We finally got Internet?”

Shame on me for being so optimistic.

No. But Veronica got to meet our new neighbors thanks to their cat that broke into our apartment.

Now if you know me, you know I hate cats. I am a dog person–cats are evil and all the legions of cat lovers in the world will never be able to change my mind. Nicole is also deathly allergic and wouldn’t you know it, her allergies had been acting up that week and she couldn’t understand why.

My brain was already addled thanks to whatever virus is currently in my system. For the life of me, I could not understand where the hell this cat had suddenly materialized. However Vero was very patient with me and she is an excellent storyteller. I only wish I could reenact the way she told the story through my writing.

So Veronica came home to find the hugest, most ferocious cat wandering around our apartment like he owned the place. Hissing and baring his claws.

She immediately closed my bedroom door and went back into her room. When she went back into the living room, the cat was already gone.

So because Vero is a logical person, she went knocking on our neighbor’s door. An elderly man answered the door.

“Do you happen to own a cat?”




At this point, some younger woman who I will refer to as the Concubine came to the door and explained the old guy was deaf. Vero asked whether they had a cat. They did. Well the cat had somehow got into our apartment.

Oh well, that seemed pretty normal to them.

Come again?

So it turns out that the old guy has a severe hoarding problem and he likes to put all his crap in his patio. Their patio abutts our living room window and Vero’s window. The cat lives in the patio and the old guy apparently beats it. So of course the cat is aggressive and is constantly looking for a way to get out. The closest way out is via our apartment windows.

We have fly screens on both windows but it seems the cat has figured out how to open them (which doesn’t surprise me because they are evil enough to be that smart). So it came in through Vero’s window and then escaped through the living room.

And apparently the owners seem to think that’s ok. It was apparently an issue with the former residents last year and according to Vero, we were the ones who were supposed to be aware of this. Well, our landlord never mentioned anything to us.

The Concubine also freely admitted the guy used to sometimes spy on the former residents through the living room window and Vero’s room. This of course makes me and my roommates incredibly uncomfortable. However my mother’s suggestion was just “Buy some better curtains.” I don’t know, I was expecting her to be more outraged by the fact that some older perv is potentially spying on her daughter but apparently that isn’t enough to keep her awake at night.

The Concubine asked whether they should kill the cat to solve the problem. Vero was horrified when she suggested this. This poor, poor cat. I hate cats but my heart isn’t made of stone. Animal cruelty has always been on my black list. I can’t fault the cat for wanting to get out. However Nicole is allergic and if the cat somehow damages something in the apartment while we are gone, we are the ones who have to pay for it. It seems the only reason these people have a cat is to “kill the mice” that live in the patio. And the guy hates the cat so he beats it. None of it makes sense.

It also appears Concubine eavesdrops on us because she rang our doorbell today wanting to know whether Vero’s brother would fix her Internet. She explained she “heard a man’s voice” and that is why she came over to ask.

My mother’s suggestion to this: “Play some loud music. One of you must have an Ipod. Speaking of which, Steve Jobs died!”

On top of all of this, after Vero got through with Concubine, the doorbell rang. Guess who it was? The technician from Orange, the Internet company that has been giving us hell for the last month and who has simply refused to help us connect our router. AFTER we told them we were canceling their service, they decided to send someone.

Oh and finally, after a month, our landlord is coming this week to get the doors on our shower installed. Yes, I’ve been taking showers for a month by squatting to avoid turning our bathroom into a lake each time I take a shower.

I seriously wish I had made up all of this. It sounds too much like something from an American sitcom. But yes, this is how ridiculous my life is.

And I have yet to tell you all about my adventures navigating the Spanish education system.

Til next time.