A few weeks ago I moved into a damp and dilapidated but cozy little flat. Rent in Melbourne is far from cheap so to save on housing costs, there are six of us living together in our little three bedroom flat. My housemates come from all over the world, making us quite an eclectic little bunch. Let me introduce you!
Meet J'rae. Most people, myself included, couldn't pull off having an apostrophe in their first name but this girl definitely makes it work. At 19 she's the baby of the house but she's so well spoken and confident in her own skin that I often forget she's still a teenager. This American has an affinity for words and keeps a beautiful hand-written journal she writes in on a regular basis, but she doesn't care much for most movies. She finally saw one she liked the other night though, which was a big step.
Meet Mana. She's from Japan, making her the only person in the house who doesn't speak English as her first language. Taking that into account, I am constantly impressed by her ability to go about her day to day life completely in her second language, and at such a young age to boot. She recently got a job at a Japanese restaurant, which we are all very proud of her for. She can often be found curled up into a tiny ball on the couch (she is so small and flexible that sometimes we're not sure if it's just the blanket there or if she's underneath it) or singing in the shower.
Meet Andrew. His accent and affinity for tea leave no doubt that he's English, however he's so enthusiastic about traveling that it's been a couple of years since he's been back on his home soil. He's not only my housemate but also my co-worker; he helped get me the job at the cafe I work at. In addition to being a talented barista Andrew is also a ski instructor. He's actually going to be leaving us soon to go work a ski season at a nearby mountain. His replacement is still TBD.
Meet Rich. This Welsh fellow's real name is Richard but due to an unfortunate typo in a group text message a while back he is now commonly referred to in our house as Rick. He isn't thrilled about it but the nickname has stuck... I think it's finally starting to grow on him. Rick bikes to and from work each day and hits the gym most evenings too, making him arguably the most active out of all of us. He never fails to offer a sweaty hug after coming home from the gym.
Meet Ben. Unlike my other housemates, I knew Ben before I got to Australia. I actually met him way back in Cambodia, saw him again in Japan and then met up with him here in Australia. This English boy loves everything to do with being outdoors, especially skiing and mountain biking. He has an infectious laugh, so there's a good chance you'll hear him around the house before you see him. He also happens to be my boyfriend.
Like I said, we're a pretty eclectic group (I can only imagine how strange we must look together when we're all out the bar) but it keeps things interesting, and at the end of the day we all get along great. I've never shared a place with this many people before and wasn't sure if it would work for me but now I honestly can't imagine living on my own!