I am ensconced in a two-bedroom apartment all to myself. I have not bathed in such luxury since I left my three-bedroom London squat in 1993. There is a very friendly woman across the corridor from me called Fazna, whom I quiz. “How many bedrooms do you have?” “Two. The same, like you have.” “And how many people live with you?” Fazna has a little think. “Twelve.”
I have never lived in an apartment block before. This one comes with a soundtrack that includes, crying, laughing, talking, yelling, music, door-knocking and furniture moving. Someone is doing washing but the machine is not plumbed in. The waste-water exits via a pipe sticking out the window, which is very near mine. I can add ‘waterfall’ to the sound-scape.
12.40 am: All quiet on the South Asian front.
Next day I am told off at school for being absent on my moving day even though the school arranged it. Of course.