Monday, January 4, 2010

History of a home

Something funny happened... I got a mail through a flat swapping site, from a woman that lived in my flat in 1980. She wrote me a lovely letter about life before stambytet (English help, please).

From her letter:
I moved away from Söder in 1981, it wasn't as popular to live there then as it is now. The kitchen had a simple sink and stove, a few cupboards that I think were blue, and a pantry. The fridge was placed in the hallway. A big gas meter (right? gasmätare?) hung on the wall.

The laundry room was located in the attic of the street house. The laundry machine you had to heat up to 60 degrees C and then switch off. You paid to use it with tokens you bought at the tobacco shop by our house. The drier you had to sit upon so it woudn't fly off its' base. You hung your laundry in strings above the machines, and while they were drying you could crawl out through the window and sit on the roof overlooking the city.

I guess it's not like this anymore?

The blue cupboards are long gone and the laundry room in the basement. The booking system is electronic so there's no need for tokens. The rent was 1/4 of what it is today. And the flat apparently a few m2:s larger according to her contract! I can't be bothered to measure this crooked doll's house though, it's one irregular angle after the other.

She also wrote that before her an old woman lived there, that had to move to a nursing home. I'm not a "believer", but I can't help think about the old woman with glasses and curled hair that would stand by the door to the living room and look at me. I guess I mean a ghost. She stood there on and off until I had my massive moving in / 30th birthday party. Either she lost interest or accepted that I lived there, it's hard to tell.

I wonder if it was that woman?
The funny thing was I felt she was attached to a much larger flat, I could sense darkened large rooms behind her with chandeliers and heavy furniture. A home.
It's hard to reason about these things, and I really don't have an opinion.

Before me a man lived here, from 1993 - 2006. I don't think he liked it. His furniture were too big and during the five people four flat swap that made this flat my home everybody felt sorry for me, like I was trading down.

For me this was it! I felt like this flat had been waiting for me, like we were two friends of different kinds that would live together. I still have this feeling, though I need a bigger place, unfortunately.

I'm from the suburbs and have since I was much younger felt that an inner city flat and especially a Söder flat was completely out of my reach. I've had a chip on my shoulder that I sometimes still fight with, feeling excluded or rather that I in some ways are excluding myself. Some kind of working class consciousness that doesn't enable but prevents.

In 1999 I got my first first hand contract to a beloved roach infested tiny three room ghetto flat. Through Stockholm City Housing List I five years later got a much nicer, more "socially accepted" (ridiculous, but true) flat in another suburb.

I'm much curious of where I'll go from here, and when?
Moving house in Sthlm isn't easy.

The pics are from my add that the former inhabitant saw, and a few years old.

1 comment:

Daisy said...

Vad coolt att den där kvinnan skrev till dig! Det är ju inte så vanligt att man vet något om dem som tidigare bott i ens hem. Jag vet bara att innan oss bodde det en kille här som jobbade som dykare. Vi köpte lägenheten av honom. Inte särskilt spännande.