Tonight there will be three guests in my house. My parents are here and my ideal man is coming over from Germany to spend the weekend with me. I enjoy when people stay over. For that reason I always have enough beds and linen to host at least two people. A home that cannot fit two guests for a night is not a good home. Even when I lived in a twelve square meter room at a student house I had one or two guests every once in a while.
My parents sleep in the living room and my ideal man will sleep on the couch in the dining room. The rooms are divided by built in closets and stained glass doors. When the doors are open the two rooms make one. I looked around the place imagined my friend sleeping on the couch and thought that with three guests the house would be rather crowded. It will be fine tonight, but I'm sure I'd grow tired of it pretty fast if this situation were to last.
And then I thought of my grandparents' place in Saratov. It was an apartment of twenty-eight square meters. The place fitted three rooms, a kitchen, a bathroom, a toilet and, as I remember it, a very long corridor. I can clearly remember one time when I was there at my grandparents' place with my mother, her friend, my aunt and my cousin. My mother has just brought me from Kiev. She would stay for a couple of days and then go back. Her friend lived on the other side of the town. She came to catch up and stayed for the night because there was not enough time in an evening. My aunt and cousin lived in Magadan at the time. If you don't know where it is, look it up on the map. It's quite far from Saratov. It's far from anything. So they were staying as well. This means there were seven of us on twenty-eight square meters. And somehow the place didn't seem crowded at all.
So what happened in the past thirty years? Do I experience space differently because I grew up? Or did I (partly) lose my ability to enjoy company of people?
My new Putumayo discovery: Beatriz Pichi Malen - Canción para dormir a un niño