Monthly Archives: November 2013

Hippie Ville

I once stayed in a house that reminded me of  Jesse’s house, remember in season 2 where he buys his parents’ house and then at some point throws parties that last days? this house looks and feels like it can be that kind of house, it even has graffiti all over the walls. the only difference is that the music is live (one of the rooms doubles up as a practice room for the many musicians that live or are always crushing here.

there’s a housemate who nobody really likes. she doesn’t hang out with the rest, and apparently is really bad with peoples’ money. she takes long to pay her debts. she’s interesting to watch,  the way she only seems to appear when there’s nobody else about. her teeth kind of stick out, and she’s dyed her hair red. she smells really nice.

Manchester is the place, off a road called the curry mile ’cause it has seven million, five hundred and forty-seven thousand, three-hundred and eighty-six Indian and Pakistani restaurants (7,547,386) . If  I was allowed to write wikipedia based on one-off experiences,  I’d write that Manchester also has one of the biggest Somali communities in the world outside helsinki-finland, or maybe all those people i saw were in one family. btw, is it rude that when i saw the trailer for Captain Philips i wanted to tag all my Somali friends and ask if they were in it…is that acceptable? I thought it would be funny, but a little too raw. #moha

In this house, in the kitchen, there’s a guy slowly crab-walking his way towards me.  he’s  short, arrogant and french-vietnamese and has seen it fit that I stand in his presence, now that I am a fellow musician.

‘never stop playing muzik…’, he says as he lights up his cigarette in this kitchen with no rules…we had just been to a pub that was kind of an open-mic for instrumentalists/bands. we ended up playing together, him on the guitar and me on the drums.

‘ you know…my parentz, zey force me to do muzik when i was a kid. i ‘ated it at first, but zen when i waz a teenager i started to take it seriously…i never looked back since, and look at me now…’ he pauses for everyone in the room to google him,

‘…muzik is my life…’

Frenchie exits stage left, and emerging in the centre is an odd-ball. he doesn’t live here, but he really wants to belong in this  crowd of hippies, he wants to be a hippy, because it’s cool to be a hippy. it’s cool not to conform, especially to capitalism, it’s cool to have a mulika-mwizi as a status symbol of your rejection of the system when half of your UK agemates have i-phones. you possibly do party drugs, play music, appreciate strange art/are an artist yourself, and enjoy philosophical discussions, you often embrace Indian/asian religion… pretty similar to the original hippy movement. while there are people that genuinely believe in this as a way-of-life, there are those who are drawn to the movement and the ‘lawlessness’.  i saw this guy that’s now in the kitchen on the streets earlier, with his guitar and presumably girlfriend, howling (literally) about pirates, it was just bad…he has a fake gun and wears a pirate hat, apparently he’s promoting some pirate party. Moha are you going? #moha #johnniedeppmohamed

there’s the guy with the pony tail looking through the fridge right now. all the food is from the bin. UK supermarkets throw away food on the expiry date. by law they are not allowed to give it out to homeless people, or hippies (or students). it’s not really expired to be honest, it’s just that food here has a short shelf-life, that’s how extreme consumerism works, the system is designed to be like that. keep people buying, even when they don’t need to. tell them they need it. so yeah, good food is thrown away. and hippies collect and eat it- it’s called skip diving, skip being the name of the huge bins used. the pony-tail guy has whipped up food and we eat it, food from the bin never tasted that good.

food is not the only thing skipped in this house, their bikes too are from the trash and some of their clothes as well. it’s a university city, so thousands of students moving out of dorms throw stuff, why bother when you can buy a new one next term. i imagine rows of homeless people, dressed in designer clothes, eating 3-course meals with all the cutlery. i might never skip-dive,  but i see the sense in it when a system is designed to be wasteful.

the trash-chef has a brother, i meet him later. they’re from eastern europe. they grew up rough, he tells me some really tragic stories from his past, stuff i wouldn’t even write about out of respect. he works loads of hours at the docks, shifting crate after crate, but his passion is his music. he hopes to make it someday. he’s going home to visit after a long time, he seems to have mixed feelings about it. he’s a good guy, but he’s got too much going on in his mind, he’s like one of those people on a tight rope. he makes me feel like im watching a grey movie, everything’s monotone, even the highs and lows.

there’s also a spanish girl, who looks like she stepped out of a magazine. you can tell she’s pretty rough as well, she’s here to make a life, not to ‘travel and have fun’. she has no time to skip for fun, but she’ll skip for need. she’s astonishingly hot, and it just makes this house even more interesting. she’s just a friend, not a housemate, but i can tell that most of the guys want her for a roomate.

there’s a girl that’s just come from outside, because she was talking to the cab-guy for 1hour after he dropped us at the house. it started when she spoke a few Urdu words from her pakistani roots, and somehow their conversation morphed into Islamic values and pre-marital sex. She sits cross-legged on the counter, and in between puffs on her joint, she debates about the virtues of celibacy and asks philosophical questions about contraception…she talks about how children are a gift from God and shouldn’t be planned…that’s what the cab-guy told her, and she says she sees the light in that. Cab guy needs to abandon his cab and become a motivational speaker or…or maybe she was just high.

i sleep in a hole in this house. that’s not figurative, it literally is a hole. a hole that can only be locked from the outside. the guy with the fuzzy hair, the one who wears glasses that make lights look like love-hearts, jokes and says that they won’t lock me in. that’s not a comforting thought, especially coming from someone whose stories usually involve acid or some other drug. i don’t want to be locked in there, it looks like the kind of place you could be locked in for days. ‘Kenyan reappears in manchester after 10 years’ kinda headline. im a light sleeper though, id hear it even if someone tried it as a joke.

I thought it was bordering on violation of privacy if I posted photos of their faces, so I reached a compromise here.

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