Posted by: martinworster | October 12, 2006

22. MY CONDO

From piso to condo – Stateside living but no signs of human life 

I am very happy where we live. It’s on a complex with two pools, a jacuzzi, a gym, games room and barbecue pits. There’s also a basket ball court right outside our apartment which is annoying when you are trying to work, what with the pat pat of a bouncing ball. Further down there’s a sand volleyball court which I have never seen anyone use. I guess when we have our baby it could be the worlds largest sand pit.

It’s strange walking around the complex as you hardly see anyone. I thought I would instantly make friends with all those perma-tanned Californians whilst they roasted cattle on the BBQ and hi-fived over the volley ball net. But no, it seems like the complex is full of hermits. In tune with this part of the world, the rows of cars are neatly lined up in the car ports but with no sign of their owners. It’s like a ghost town. Even on Halloween not a lost, wounded, eerie soul. There we were holed up with enough candy to rot a thousand teeth but the door didn’t knock once.

Walking around there’s definitely people who live here. The ephemera of So Cal living litters the balconies; surfboards, mountain bikes, roller blades, skateboards and BBQs but again, no apparent life. Hence, I’ve had to aquaint myself with the local wildlife. Two humming birds regularly float outside our balcony in the palm fronds. I haven’t heard them hum. I saw a big barn owl being chased in the middle of the day by three crows. I wonder what it had done, the owl was big, fluffy and wise, like it had flown in off the Harry Potter set. It was strange also as the owl came from a palm tree. Owls and palm trees seem incongruous to me. I’ve also seen a pack of racoons sniffing by the garbage, sorry rubbish, but I steered clear as I heard they attack. ‘English man savaged by herd of racoons found dead in garbage area’.

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