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Thursday, 28 April 2011 14:11

Ovrhil smokes like a chimney. Emebet often chatted with her husband and friends in Ethiopia
using Skype whole night.   Shahin loves cooking. Unfortunately,  he does not like washing his
dishes. As such, he often left the dirty dishes in our only sink for days

 

We did want to kill each other. Shahin wanted to kill Ovrhil. Both I and Emebet wanted to kill
Shahin. And I bet all of them wanted to kill me…


Last autumn, I moved from the Asia’s easternmost country of Vietnam to Antwerp, a charming
medieval city in Belgium. Living in an international student house, I had three neighbors coming
from three different countries.  Emebet, my neighbor to the right,  is  an Ethiopian  girl, while
Ovrhil, my neighbor to the left, is a Philippine guy. Living next door to Ovrhil is Shahin, a guy
from Bangladesh.  The four of us shared a living room and a kitchen. During the first weeks, in
our separate and unique ways, we were  terribly  annoying. Each of us created  a distinguished
annoying trait.

Ovrhil smokes like a chimney. Emebet often chatted with her husband and friends in Ethiopia
using Skype whole night.   Shahin loves cooking. Unfortunately,  he does not like washing his
dishes. As such, he often left the dirty dishes in our only sink for days. Whenever Shahin cooked 

chicken curry, his favorite dish, both Emebet and Ovrhil covered their nose and kept grumbling
“it is so stinky”. Since I always use loud music to ignore the outside world while working, I was
a horrible noise-maker for the three of them, and even got several violent knocks on wall. 

That morning  it was so evident  to our eyes that we all wanted to kill each other. I flied off my
bed with fire bell roaring loudly enough to wake up the entire world’s dead. A few seconds later,
I heard Emebet and Shahin’s  screams  from the kitchen, which were  even louder than the fire
bell. Darting  to the kitchen, I  landed  into  a pile  of dishes. Crack! Crack! There were, on  the
kitchen’s floor, Shahin’s dirty dishes, piled up and broken into pieces under my weight. Standing
nearby were the angry Shahin and the terrified-eye Emebet.


Eventually, we managed to turn off the fire bell after completing a 15-minute search throughout
the house without any  trace of fire.  It turned out that Ovrhil was the one who had  ignited our
mess by carelessly smoking near the fire alarming bell. Emebet accidently worsened the situation
when  removing Shahin’s dirty dishes from the sink to the kitchen’s floor  in the previous night
with an effort to teach him a  hygiene  lesson.  Then the turbulence reached  its  climax when I
shattered  all Shahin’s dishes into pieces.  After learning the truth, we all fell off our  seats
laughing our heart out.

Although our emotions were torn that early morning, thankfully, none of us was killed. There
was a happy ending,  instead. Since then, we realize that we live in a multi-cultural community
and respecting others is the best way  to be respected. By the time winter came, Antwerp was
already my second hometown and the three used-to-be-annoying neighbors already became my
family. And my heart will always remember  that hilarious early morning when we laughed so
hard, and started becoming friends. 

(Written by: Vu Thu Huong - IOB, Anwerpen, 2009-2010)

Last Updated ( Thursday, 10 January 2013 03:28 )
 

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