Saturday, October 30, 2004

A homestay that's less 'home' than 'stay'

Well it finally rained in paradise. Both literally and figuratively.

I've decided to move out of my host family's apartment. I can't handle living with them any longer. It was never really a huge problem, but just a bunch of little things that added up. The biggest reason I'm leaving is because they're never here and therefore I don't have the advantages of a host family. It took me so long to figure out I wasn't happy because when they're here, they're great. And I told myself that it was cool that they weren't here a lot because then I had my freedom. But now I get more the impression that they just simply don't care about me. Which then leads me to wonder what their motivations for having an exchange student are. I really think I'm just a cash cow to them.

The straw that broke the camel's back was on Thursday when I returned home to find a maid cleaning the bathroom for the first time in two months (except once when I did it). I came into my room, and there were muddy dog prints all over my floor (we don't have a dog), and I realized that the day my host brother came in my room and said, "oh, sorry, I didn't think you were here," wasn't just a one-time thing. All the sudden all the little things like having to hide my shampoo so that they wouldn't use it and the fact that there is rarely fresh food (the bread is always hard as a rock because they don't believe in plastic and they leave stuff out all the time) and that they are never here, exploded into a realization that this is way not the way it's supposed to be. 

The next day I went to Centre Oregon and there happened to be a furnished apartment that would become available at the end of November. It's a block to the tramway and a block to two bus lines and is in walking distance of at least three friends' places. It'll be 351 euro all included as opposed to the 530 I was paying here (oh yeah, we just got the heat turned on too... it's been cold...) and receiving practically no benefit. I'm stoked.

But first, I have to notify my family a month in advance that I will not be staying here any longer.

I just gave the letter to my host-dad and he did exactly what I thought he would do. Kind of a "we'll see about that" attitude. He thinks I'm stuck here, paying them a ridiculous amount of money every month until the end of the year. Well, considering that they leave constantly and it's well-documented how disgusting it is here, I don't think they'll win. I just hope it doesn't turn into a big legal deal like it would in the States. At the least, it's going to make for a very shitty month.

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