So near yet so far

(For uni) This is my penultimate post for my Advanced Online Media module. I have just gathered my audio and photographs for my audio slideshow, but I feel the context needs a little more explanation than the audio slideshow will give. A little back story I suppose: the things that you won’t see or hear or know if I didn’t feel compelled to write them now.

Little did I know what I was going to discover when I arranged to go into my work colleagues house to compare the differences between a student and a residential home. I don’t think ‘culture shock’ even comes close. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I may have been naïve to how different life is for some people. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t disgusting or unfair, and the people who live there are happy, but it was such a stark contrast to our house that I still feel a little confused by it.

DSCF2001

So this is me and Keshav. We both work in an indian restaurant across the road from our houses. First things first, I was a little more than surprised to learn that after living close (or so I thought) to Keshav, I actually live right next door to him. A little awkward but hey ho. We have been working together for the past five months, and although we’ve passed each other a few times near the entrances to our flats – I literally had no idea.

who would've known
you learn something new everyday.

The second thing that shocked me, and I still can’t get my head around, is how two houses that are right next to each other can be exactly the same building yet have not one single similarity, except for the layout. I almost feel ashamed at what I took for granted as quite a nice flat, if a little rough around the edges. I won’t be so ignorant again. I can’t really believe, and still don’t quite know how I feel, about ten people living in the house next door to me, with up to three people in one bedroom and one bathroom for them all, when me and my flatmates moan about the cold or the dodgy shower. Here are some of the stills from today, so you can take a second to see how different the houses are.

the only similarity
the only similarity
the downstairs double bedroom
downstairs double bedrooms
upstairs smaller bedroom
upstairs smaller bedrooms

Our flat’s are quite sizable, granted we have a lot of space for only four people, but the fact that next door houses almost three times the number of people is shocking. There is minimal decoration in the house, and very few personal items. From what Keshav said about his living arrangements, I have realised how often we take for granted how much we have and how important and ideal our home lives are – I know I did until this afternoon anyway. I am a self-confessed emotional person, but I am quite upset at what I found out today, yet there’s nothing I can do to help. The world can be quite a cruel place, so make sure you count your blessings before you go to sleep tonight.

My audio slideshow will be online at some point tomorrow (hopefully).

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