You’ve been thinking about the (share) housing market a lot lately.
Well, you’ve had a lot of time on your hands to think since your LTR (long term relationship) went south. You thought they were TO (the one), but in the end you slept alone on a paltry yoga mat in the lounge room of the charming one bedroom apartment you shared. It was their parent’s investment property, so unfortunately you were unable to lay claim in the divorce settlement.
Now you’re back on Mum and Dad’s couch nursing a heart that’s smashed to smithereens, bingeing on *The Secret Life of Us* re-runs; you can take the millennial out of St Kilda, but you can’t take St Kilda out of the millennial. You’re on the wrong side of 25 and your lack of direction is suddenly significantly less cute than it once was.
<img style="width:50%;display:block;margin:0 auto;" src="http://i.imgur.com/FM4viBR.jpg">
As you watch love triangles unfold and alliances form and dissolve between Deborah Mailman, Claudia Karvan and Samuel Johnson, you feel a surge of jealousy and regret. You’ve wasted the prime years of your roaring twenties in a loveless marriage, when you were meant to be finding “your people” and living a photomontage of buck wild house parties and illuminating late night chats over red wine.
To make matters worse, your book club just read *Monkey Grip*. Where is your passionate Javo-esque romance (minus the substance abuse)? Where is the crumbling Victorian terrace where your free spirited friends and acquaintances are always coming and going? The one in which you feel that you can be your true self and be not only accepted, but truly loved?
That’s it, you’ve got to get the hell out of here.
You’ve got a strong wi fi connection and a can do attitude. Time to [[scour Fairy Floss]].
You need to clear your head with a [[brisk walk.]]First you look at job ads, hoping to find someone who wants to pay to drink your urine or have you trample on their body in a non-sexual way, but no bites. One can only dream.
The house ads are slightly more fruitful:
'Chill backpacker seeks similiarly likeminded chiller to revel in my filth with.' Hmmm interesting...they sound chill.
'OPEN MINDED SHAREHOUSE WITH A LOT OF PEOPLE FROM ALL WALKS OF LIFE NOW TAKING APPLICATIONS. Horny extroverts with personality disorders preferred. Quit your day job and msg us now – fuck PLAN B!'
You are horny and your ex definitely diagnosed you with a personality disorder at one point, so why not [[send them a message?]]
That first guy sounded so chill you're inspired to pack your life into a knapsack a la Blinky Bill and [[head right over there without calling ahead.]] It is in the Docklands, but that area is up and coming these days right?
You get an immediate response from a friendly lass called Gretel Killen. Sounds vaguely familiar. Weird. She requests that you send her a vlog response outlining your fears, sexual orientation and history, gross habits, signature quirks or items of clothing (ie bunny ears), etc.
You are a digital native, so you get your little brother to film you walking around the house bitching and moaning about your family and pleading with Gretel to help you escape, and [[send it through.]]
YOUNG PPL THESE DAYS! SRSLY! Whatever happened to the good old days of hitting the wide open road in search of adventure with nothing but raging hormones and the sense of entitlement required to think you can craft a better world? You grab a dog eared copy of *On the Road*, download *The Beach*, and [[hitchhike to somewhere/nowhere...|Munchytown.]]
'General good vibes including weekend brunch, family dinners and Adele singalongs' – NO.
'Aloha' – NO.
'On the weekend I like to do "arty things" (I'm a folky harpist)' – NO.
'Unfortunately our beloved roomie will be moving out and we will need some one to step up and fill his massive boots (size 13), as well as take the role as lead story teller/drunkard/legend' – for fuck's sake, NO.
<img style="width:30%;display:block;margin:0 auto;" src="http://i.imgur.com/9OfbRQf.jpg">
To add insult to injury, all of the wildly inappropriate options above are way out of your price range. Shit rlly be costing money outside of your parent's house these days. There is one converted warehouse filled with an abundance of monsteras that catches your eye. Like a devil's ivy, you thrive on neglect. But your partiality to mistreatment is what got you into this bind in the first place. Maybe all you need is the patience and maternal instinct of a hobbyist greenthumb to make your thirsty roots thrive?
Take a pic of yourself with a skewiff mother-in-law tongue to show how much both you and the plant need this, and [[slide into their dms.|Send them a pic of you holding a skewiff mother-in-law tongue to show how much you both need this, cross your fingers, and figure out the unpleasant matter of how to pay your rent later.]] You can figure out the unpleasant matter of the bill later.
You didn't want to do this, but [[resort to Gumtree.]]
DING, DING, DING, JACKPOT – Greenthumb Charlie sends you an immediate and frantic response. They explain that they are VERY worried about your mother-in-law tongue, and that, well, normally they wouldn't do this but this situation calls for radical action.
'Can you please move in RIGHT NOW and bring your plant with you and PLEASE try not to send its poor roots into shock on the drive over??????'
Pack up your knapsack, tuck your plant under your shoulder and [[get down to the nursery.]]
<img style="width:40%;display:block;margin:0 auto;" src="http://i.imgur.com/wNuYQT8.jpg">
You want a better life for your plant but also ALARM BELLS. What kind of a kook let's a perfect stranger move in without assessing them, just to save a plant? You don't even like plants that much anyway! Sometimes you burn your cigarette ash into their leaves when no one is watching as a quiet fuck you to the aesthetics of the Tumblr generation.
Get Greenthumb Charlie's address, drive by, and throw the plant out the window onto their porch. Back to the drawing board aka [[resort to Gumtree.]]
Greenthumb Charlie is waiting expectantly at the door when you arrive, hoe and watering can in hand. The succulent survives thanks to an emergency repotting ceremony. Witnessing the immense stress of the procedure together immediately bonds you and Greenthumb Charlie. You shyly hold out a gardening glove covered in loose soil, and Greenthumb Charlie takes it in theirs.
It feels real, it feels right.
Most of all you love the gentle and caring way that Greenthumb Charlie nurtures the plants everyday, quietly murmuring positive affirmations all the while. Before too long you are sneaking into each other's rooms at night and laying your roots.
Initially you try and hide it from your other housemate, a yummy yopro who works at a well known local publication called *Broadshit*.
<img style="width:50%;display:block;margin:0 auto;" src="http://i.imgur.com/FNlRr6q.jpg">
One day Greenthumb Charlie proposes and you announce that the two of you will wed in a tasteful home ceremony. Two roses amongst the monsteras, if you will. Your housemate roll his eyes and tell you he has known all along. *Broadshit* comes down to cover the event and dedicates an entire print edition to your lush and fertile nuptuals.
You spend the rest of your days wandering the streets with Greenthumb Charlie, holding hands and foraging plant clippings to display in centrepieces at your classy dinner parties.
<div class="end-text">[[THE END.|intro passage]]</div>You let your feet do the walking and nek minnit you're outside the office of your family travel agent – Penny Melon. Funny the things one comes back to in this crazy game we call life. Penny Melon has always been a stable and comforting presence in your life. She advised you not to go on Sail Croatia back in 2008 when all of your friends were doing it. For that you are forever grateful. In many ways you owe Penny Melon your dignity and insidious sense of superiority.
You push the ailing grandmother infront of you out of the way - serves her right for not knowing what Expedia is - and collapse in a heap in Penny's arms.
"Penny Melon, you gotta help me," you gasp, bursting into tears. This woman has an effect on you.
Penny holds you in her warm, heaving bosom, takes your scared little hand in hers, and guides it towards a world globe.
<img style="width:30%;display:block;margin:0 auto;" src="http://i.imgur.com/BvBfjuh.jpg">
"Spin the globe kid. Trust me," she whispers.
Why live in fear? Why settle for anything less than extraordinary? You and Penny Melon both know you're destined for bigger things than this quaint little town has to offer you. DO SOMETHING CRAZY! [[SPIN THE GLOBE AND POINT!|SPIN THE GLOBE AND POINT! DO SOMETHING CRAZY!!!!]]
As if! Snatch your hand away, mop up those tears, regain composure, and [[ask Penny if she knows any rich people holidaying in the Bahamas who need their mansion babysat.|ask Penny if she knows any rich people holidaying in the Bahamas who need their mansion babysat.]]
Your next sharehouse is in... JAPAN!
Nah, that place is overrun with <a target="_blank" href="https://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/2008/02/07/58-japan/">too many white men with a suspicious enthusiasm for anime.</a>
What about... KO-RE-A?
OMG you LOVE, LOVE, LOVE shamanism and Psy. Have Penny charge your flights to your parent's account and [[make tracks to Tullamarine with nothing but the clothes on your back and a pollution mask on your face. |You have your co-conspirator Penny Melon charge your flights to your parent's account and make tracks to the airport with nothing but the clothes on your back.]]
Don't be ridiculous. You fear the unknown too much to go anywhere that Contiki tours don't service. Goodbye Cruel Melbourne, hello....
[[Byron Bay? |Byron Bay.]]
Unfortunately Penny doesn't bite, and Air Asia aren't doing any deals to the Cayman Islands so you can't jetset in the hope of finding a rich benefactor.
However, Penny Melon has your back and promises not to turn you out on the street with nothing but the smell of an oily rag to sustain you.
"Speaking of embezzlement and fraud, my son attends a local grammar school with the children of many well known tax minimisers. Word on the street is they're looking for a live in live in caretaker. All expenses paid baby!"
You hated school the first time, this is your chance to [[go back and set things right!]]
No thanks, you abhor the establishment. Penny rolls her eyes, but suggests a [[working holiday in London!|London!]]
You know what Penny Melon didn't tell you? THERE ARE NO SHAREHOUSES IN KOREA. All the young people live with their families, or in teeny little self contained apartments with padded walls so people can't hear each other scream.
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You're innocently strolling through the streets of Gangnam contemplating botox, when an <a target="_blank" href="http://lavidanomade.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/ajumma.jpg">ajumma</a> aggressively snatches your phone out of your hand and insists you take a photo of her and her friends infront of the *Gangnam Style* sign. They look so carefree and happy that you almost well up. Pleased with the photo, they invite you to break bibimbap with them.
You're in no position to turn down Seoul mates, even if they are a pack of no-nonsense aunties. [[Say yes!|Follow Halmony]]
You're tired, and you've just spotted a neon "bang" sign across the road. Politely decline and [[go investigate.|Bang bang bang]]
Sharing a room with a lecherous Irish backpacker in the Docklands for $250 a week turns out to be decidely UNCHILL.
Cyrus is not funny like Irish people are meant to be.
<img style="width:50%;display:block;margin:0 auto;" src="http://i.imgur.com/Ec1PyKZ.jpg">His girlfriend has thick, long black hair. When she showers it clogs the drain; not only are you living with a lecherous Irish backpacker, but also *The Grudge*.
<div class="end-text"> [[THE END.|intro passage]] </div>
You spend your days tending to impossibly well manicured football fields, shining the shoes of future oil barons, and yelling at five year olds who dare to let their knee high socks pool at their ankles.
Some older kids start a rumour that you were a loser in high school and it hurts because it's true. This time, you won't let the bullies win. You embrace your position as the village eccentric, hiss when the children pass you in the halls, and flirtatiously insist that the older kids call you either "Mummy" or "Cabana boy" rather than plain old Groundskeeper Willy.
Who knows, if you play your cards right you might even cop an invite to the RACV club and get to hob knob with patrons of the arts in pearls. A caretaker can dream...
Following some unsavoury rumours that you have been holding wiccan seances for students (this is a good Anglican school after all) you are discreetly asked to move on. You are faced with two options:
A particularly upstanding grammarian (captain of the firsts jousting team three years running) invites you to start a sharehouse with him and some other soon to be old boys. [[Say yes! Sweet salvation, you're finally "one of the chaps".]]
Fuck the establishment! Down with the institution! Take off that tie and move to [[Byron Bay.]] Percival and his chums predictably use their SRC experience to become active university politicans.
They resolve to run their new sharehouse like a revolutionary "neoliberal utopia" (read evil dictatorship) with Percy at the helm. The other inmates get a glint in their eyes when they talk about him – a leader who holds a strong vision.
You thought you were finally being welcomed into Percy's inner circle, but his band of brats continue to treat you as hired help while demanding you pay exorbitant rent for the social capital you are apparently gaining.
If you fail to change everyone's sheets, cook, and take out the bins each week, you are financially penalised. Your domestic shortcomings and resulting fines are recorded in a complex spreadsheet system that only Percy is allowed access to. You have no means of recourse and when you try and protest Percy simply shushes you and tells you not to bite the invisible hand that feeds, whatever that means.
Percy is deeply suspicious of other young people, which means that apart from going to work you are only allowed to leave the house as a large, supervised group. Percy drives the group around on approved excursions in his parent's Range Rover.
You try to make your eyes scream "help me" to strangers on the street, but to no avail.
One day after work, [[you curl up into a ball under your desk.|don't come home one day.]] Stop the world, you wanna get off.
Dammit, it's time to build your own competing communist utopia. No one's ever tried and failed to do that, right? You download *The Communist Manifesto* via Amazon on your kindle, read the 20 first pages, and [[find a suitable patch of land in Coburg.|Munchytown.]]
Penny Melon sets you up with a "working holiday" pub job in Tottenham. As in THE Tottenham of the 2011 riots – so edgy!
You pull beers for the saddest bar flys on earth. Their misery is enough to send you running to the grog yourself, which is unfortunate because you don't get a staff discount. You run up a bar tab so high you'll be on your working hell-iday for another five years.
You've also recently discovered you're an introvert. This comes at a particularly bad time because you're sharing a cramped dormitory with ten others; notably, a lecherous Irishman and a vivacious Brazilian who like to stay up late and flirt outrageously with a flagrant disregard for the sleeping patterns of the rest of you. You grin and bear it, until one morning you wake up and everyone is acting strangely towards you. It turns out you sleeptalk and you told them both to fuck right off last night. Things are never quite the same after that.
<div class="end-text"> [[THE END.|intro passage]] </div>You love Byron Bay – everyone is so affluent, culturally homogenous and open minded here.
One night you attend a cacao ceremony hosted by Jemma from the first season of *Big Brother*. It turns out Jemma found spirituality and raw food after realising that no self respecting adult woman wears lipgloss.
<img style="width:30%;display:block;margin:0 auto;" src="http://i.imgur.com/EbDFczn.jpg">
Anyway, you're feeling so delirious after all that hot choc and surrender to a non-descript goddess that you stumble into the back of an open van and fall asleep. When you wake, you're curled up in a ball with an unfamiliar hand gently stroking your hair.
"My name is Shroomy," says the beautiful stranger in the felt hat. "You can stay."
You come "home" to the van one night to find Shroomy performing an Indigenous smoke ceremony. He has taken an interest in Aboriginal culture after being moved to tears by a boomerang he found in a gift shop on a recent trip to Darwin. Shroomy is a deep guy.
<div class="end-text"> THE END. </div>Percy keeps calling you but you don't answer. You peek outside your office window and see the Range Rover doing increasingly frenzied burn outs up and down the street.
You confide in Mindy, your perpetually bored office receptionist. Her eyes visibly light up at the prospect of gossing about you to your colleagues, but she lets you hide out in her spare room nonetheless.
You change your name and pray that Percy will never find you, but sleep with one eye open just incase. You gather strands of your hair and use sticky tape to tautly pull them over your cupboard draws to make sure Mindy isn't going through your shit. She could be covertly sending information back to Percy. He has eyes everywhere.
Mindy tells you you're crazy, but she doesn't know Percy like you do. Hell hath no fury like a private school boy scorned.
<div class="end-text"> [[THE END.|intro passage]] </div>Imagine a place where introverts are forced to become extroverts. A place where it is an enforced rule that there are no closed doors, and no shirts. A place where people can be whoever they want to be. This place is called Munchytown.
It is beautiful to watch those around you flourish into the unique snowflakes they were always meant to be. One bloke just pulls down his pants and salutes the sun every morning! How wild and free spirited is that, though?!
<img style="width:40%;display:block;margin:0 auto;" src="http://i.imgur.com/tl1YKSn.jpg">
One day someone finds a culturally insensitive tea towel in the kitchen and the inmates begin to squabble over what to do with it. The white girl who has deemed herself the unofficial spokesperson of Melbourne's minority communities insists you burn the object and bury it in the back yard. The village eco-warrior rejects that suggestion as a crime against the environment – you must rip up the offending towel and use it as rags.
Like *Lord of the Flies*, your Munchytown brothers and sisters begin to turn on one another. The resident stoner grows increasingly paranoid and takes to hiding his frying pans and crockery under his bed to stop others from using them. His attachment to worldy possessions is so not Munchytown.
The spell is broken. One day your Dear Leader sheepishly announces that he has sold the block of land where Munchytown sits to foreign investors. You pack up and set off in search of your next neverland.
<div class="end-text"> [[THE END.|intro passage]] </div>
<img style="width:60%;display:block;margin:0 auto;" src="http://i.imgur.com/qCn5hkC.jpg">
A couple of days later you receive an "acceptance" letter to the house. You are slightly confused, but too keen for your dramatic exit from the family home to ask too many questions.
You arrive outside an ominous looking door at an unmarked address. Here goes nothing. Gretel greets you flirtatiously, with a barrage of questions. Before waiting for your response she slaps you on the ass, nudges you inside, and disappears.
Something's not right...there are no windows and your phone's not working.
"Hello, this is Big Brother."
OMG you've been committed to the *Big Brother* house? Is that even still a show? OMG is that Germaine Greer in a bikini ranting in the corner? WTF is she doing in here?
You spend the rest of your days in a dystopian loop, crying in the diary room, as Sarah Marie does her bum dance and Robert "Millsy" Mills walks past topless. Oh wait, he wasn't on *Big Brother*, but whatever.
Oh well, maybe you can use this experience as a launchpad for your career on *Neighbours*.
<div class="end-text"> [[THE END.|intro passage]] </div>
<img style="width:80%;display:block;margin:0 auto;" src="http://i.imgur.com/9BYNmlw.jpg">
<div style="text-align:center;">[[START]]</div>The ajummas love you, they really love you! They laugh uproariously at everything you say, keep touching your eyelashes to see if they're real, and encourage you to "eat more, please try and eat more."
By the end of your third round of soju, your future is settled - you move in with your new Umma that very night. Umma is a firm but fair homemaker. Each day you rise at dawn, don lycra and hiking sticks to accompany Umma on her vigorous morning walk, then spend the afternoons pickling cabbage and talking shop. By night you watch Korean dramas and cook up plans to meet and marry your favourite idol.
You hope you grow up to be an ajumma one day!
<div class="end-text">[[THE END.|intro passage]] </div><img style="width:30%;display:block;margin:0 auto;" src="http://i.imgur.com/SZJ94dX.jpg">
Forget sharehouses, hello bangs!
Bangs are themed, pay by the hour rooms scattered across Korea. Your favourite is the sleazy DVD bang, Korea's discreet but horny answer to netflix and chill. A close second is the jjimjilbang, a day spa where you are stripped of your personal items and presented with mandatory orange uniforms that make you feel like you are in a bougee prison, before being unleashed in an incredible maze of karaoke, meeting rooms, cafes, and even beds.
The living is easy...but sometimes the dining is hard. Happiness only real when shared – this phrase is generally bullshit, but relevant infront of a Korean bbq grill. You stuff that loneliness void with kimchi, and livestream the whole thing. Suddenly, you're a mukbang sensation! Is mukbang sad, bad, mad or sexy? Who cares, you're practically a Korean idol!
You spend your days moving from one bang to another, filming each meal and frantically curating social media content for your growing audience. Bang, bang, bang.
<div class="end-text"> [[THE END.|intro passage]] </div>
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