After years of the rollercoaster that is share house living, as of a few days ago, I am living alone for the first time ever. Share-housing has been a wild ride of parties and late night giggles, sharing a space with people that stink, arguments over who’s turn it is to empty the bins, stoned binge-watching TV marathons and finding other people’s hair in all sorts of places. It has been sometimes maddening, mostly wonderful, but I’ve decided that at 37, maybe it’s time to start living alone.
I couldn’t have been luckier with the share-houses I have found since moving here to Saigon. Initially I lived in huge place that was a bit like a ran down hotel. It wasn’t the prettiest place, but the atmosphere more than made up for that. There was a bar right there when you’d walk though the front-door and things got really crazy more than once. After two glorious months of hedonism though, it was time to to move somewhere a little more stable.
My next house was so cool. It was a five-bedroom place, with a beautiful rooftop and the housemates were just lovely. I adored the neighbourhood I was in and I’ve written about it here A few people moved out though, and a few things changed so it was time to move again.
My next stop was sharing with one of my girlfriends, Barbara in a beautiful apartment on the 19th floor of a kinda fancy building. We had a blast, two single gals living together. Lots of binge-watching TV, talking about blokes while knocking back beers on the couch and late-night snack runs and McDonalds orders. Barbara is moving too Tokyo now though and as much as I wish her all the happiness in the world over there, I am also a bit heartbroken to be saying good-bye.
There are share-houses a plenty in this town, but I thought I might see, for the first time in my life, what it is like to live alone. There is no shortages of accomodation options in this town and after looking at quite a few, what sealed the deal on the place I chose was that it has a funky loft space, which I have turned into my space for online teaching and writing, giving me a bit of separation from home and work.
When I tell other people who live, or have lived alone before, they keep telling me how fantastic it is.
“You will love it”, they say. “It’s great, you can even eat naked!”
Is this what you solo dwellers do, regularly? Sit alone at the dining table, eating your meat and three veg in the nude? I can’t say that lounging around in the nud, eating chip and dip, with my fanny out has ever been top of my bucket list, but I guess I can’t knock it till I try it.
The joys of chips out, tits out living may have to wait a little while though. My flat is so close to my neighbour’s place that I can touch the wall from my, ‘balcony’ and they have a window that faces directly into my room. My landlord, in his infinite wisdom, decided that the best kinds of curtains for this situation are sheer, flimsy ones offering no privacy all whatsoever .
One of my girlfriends joked with me that as a single girl living alone, my flat is going to become a ‘Saigon swinging sex pad’. I best wait to get darker curtains before any of that though, or the neighbours might call the police and have me arrested for lewd behaviours.
As bit of an extrovert, I am a little nervous about how this living alone thing is going to go. With my two Saigon best-friends leaving town, no boyfriend to be found and not even pet cat, I am slightly worried I am going to go a bit mad living alone. Maybe I’ll be found rocking in the corner, talking to a ball that I’ve drawn a face on like Tom Hanks in Castaway. I signed the contract though, until the end of the year, probably the biggest commitment I have made to anything in my life. I’m looking forward to seeing if this solo-living gig really is a wonderful as everyone keeps telling me. It is a little quiet though here, so please come visit.