Last night I consciously worked to get comfortable in my apartment. With classes starting tomorrow morning, I need to be able to be confident in the layout and atmosphere of my (shared) space. My front door, 15 feet from a desk attendant (female for female-only housing), opens onto a large living room with a stone floor. There are two couches, a large dinner table, desks and a TV shrine. It opens onto a balcony over-looking a playground. We (my roommate and I) have a full kitchen, full bath and a shared bedroom. In the morning, the living room is beautifully lit by the sun.
To force myself to memorize the layout of my apartment (for my own security and future lack of stubbed toes) I turned off the lights in every room I wasn’t currently occupying. This was no so much to conserve energy, but to make myself comfortable walking into dark rooms in my apartment and finding wall-switches. I am no fan of the urban dark (dark forests feel much safer to me) and I know I need to push myself to get comfortable quickly in my new home. I now know where all of the wall-switches are, and the feel of the different stones and carpets.
The oddest thing about my apartment is the silence. I have always lived near freeways (101 in East Palo Alto, 101 and Embarcadero in Palo Alto, 87 in San Jose, 5th Avenue and Forbes in Pittsburgh) but my housing in Education City is away from the hustle of Doha-proper, and it is camping-quiet outside. In the morning, I awoke to the squawks of some large-sounding birds. (As I had nearly finished Terry Pratchett’s Nation and the image of the grandfather birds came to mind.) I look forward to seeing what they are!
Action is what separates a belief from an opinion. —Eboo Patel, This I Believe