When you move out of home, you realise that you are confronted with small challenges that you had never anticipated and that there are so many little things that you just seriously didn’t consider.
This relatively normal process is slightly amplified if you are a tight-arse who has just moved into college in a foreign country on the opposite side of the world.
In this position, you learn that if there are no crazy ways to save money, you will invent some. And that you are capable of reaching extraordinary new lengths of innovation to avoid beating the laziness and walking in the cold to go to the department store.
To demonstrate, I present to you, dearest readers, my greatest achievement for the month of May. This flowerpot:
If you are thinking, “hey, is that a plastic cup stuck into the whole of an empty tissue box?” then you would be 100% correct.
I also reached new heights of stinginess in realising that rubber bands make excellent modifiers to clothes hangers:
These beauties lasted the whole five months. Yes, ladies and gentlemen – I am just as shocked as you are.
And talking of clothes storage, I had one cupboard to put my things in, which was totally fine, but a bit awkward in deciding what went where. So I optimised the ‘sections’ of my cupboard as follows:
- top shelf: shoes, laundry things, luggage
- hangers: skirts, dresses, cardigans, nice clothes
- left side: dirty clothes bag
- right side: pants and shirts
- back wall: shopping bags
- random space at the bottom right corner: food, food, food
- draw one: socks and hosiery
- draw two: chargers/important things/random stuff which had no other place.
It turned out a little something like this (note that the food section is basically overflowing):
Surprisingly – or maybe not, if you are familiar with the general dis-functionality of all things Italian – using the Internet was also a test in improvisation. When the Wi-Fi in college (which made me sign in every hour) got really bad and then straight-out refused to work, I purchased a USB and a plan and it was happy days for a month or so. At which point, the USB ceased to work. So I set off across campus, scavenging about in all courtyards and outside classrooms to find a magical spot which had a steady Wi Fi connection so that I could Skype my family in Australia. And it worked for a little while … sporadically … when it felt like being cooperative. But it did allow for this beautiful moment when my mum accidentally turned herself into a cat on Skype and then couldn’t figure out how to get rid of the filter.
Cooking and thereby maintaining nutritious intake was also a challenge while I was overseas – not only due to my minimal experience, but also due to the fact that I had to make do with a kitchen which wasn’t brilliantly furnished by any means and the fact that I couldn’t keep many fresh ingredients, as I was the only one eating them.
But all that kitchen drama is for another post, ladies an gents. So for now, marvel at the mastery of my housekeeping improv, and keep your eyes and ears open for my college recipes, coming to your computer screens soon!