Tales of the Shared House PART 1: Many Questions, No Answers

We’re standing in front of a beautiful colonial Mexican house in the capital of the forgotten state; San Luis Potosi. This will be our home for the next 2 weeks.

A girl completely dressed in lab clothing – dust mask included – opens the door but she doesn’t know of anything. A couple of minutes later, an older woman greets us and lets us in; the housekeeper, I assume.

This is the first time I live in a shared house. Everyone has their own room and bathroom but the kitchen is shared.

Living in a shared house isn’t just saying hi when you bump into each other in the kitchen. Living in a shared house also means imagining about the life and past of your housemates.

“Where do they come from? (stupid question – from San Luis Potosi of course). What do they do in life? Are they students or do they have a job? Why is everyone home during weekdays? Is the tall big man together with thís woman? Or with the other one? Or with neither of them? Is there a drug lab in the back of the house where they make crystal meth and is the owner secretly El Chapo? Or rather Nacho? And where is the owner? Is the housekeeper really the housekeeper? Or is she simply an older woman who does the dishes every now and then?”

It’s not easy to ask questions like that. Talking about the beauty of this country and about what I’m gonna cook for dinner tonight is easy but how, for God’s sake, can I find out the marital status of the tall big man and of the woman who’s always cooking and how can I ask the owner in a subtle way if he’s El Chapo?

It’s not impolite when the housekeeper asks me if I’m a mother. But asking the same question to her is something else because what if she always wanted to have kids but ended up having none? If that would be the case, she would feel hurt by my question. On the other hand, she might be a proud grandmother of 12 grandkids already. How do you ask such questions? The only thing you can do is wait until THEY tell you.

To be continued.

P1180021 - kopie
Me in my natural habitat.

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