Things have changed somewhat, since I last wrote about my living conditions.
Firstly, my flatmates changed. Shortly after I wrote about my apartment, way back then, I got an American colleague to stay. At the same time, Save the Children was promoting a wellness program for its staff, from openly talking about your traumas to dealing with excessive workload and stress. From here it was just a small step to developing our personal wellness program, complete with copious quantities of wellness consumables. This was also the time that we were a male-only crowd, which became instantly visible in having the pans on the table, instead of proper serving dishes. Men are just so much more pragmatic. Luckily, we then had, for a brief spell, a female colleague, whose main contribution, in terms of wellness, was the reintroduction of avocados, and guacamole. An excellent combination with some of the other wellness consumables, it must be said. Then, with further staff changes, our security adviser came to live in the apartment, a friendly fellow from Lebanon. The wellness program was immediately dropped, and replaced by a daily survival package, incidentally with a conspicuously similar contents in terms of consumables. I wonder who is next. (We also have, temporarily, another colleague at the house, but he is a bit of a hermit, locks himself in his room for most of the time).
Another change is that Legrand, our domestic cleaning helper, has left. I never understood why he had to clean under the breakfast table every day whilst we were having breakfast, as in theory he had the whole rest of the day to do so, no? Right! He has been shipped off to another house we opened, which created a place for Fleurissant, the guy who used to work for us 10 years ago, and who I found back by accident. The world is small, indeed. Not Fleurissant, he has grown a lot fatter, but for the rest he hasn't changed much, he came 20 minutes late on his first day of work, and is just as lazy as he always was. At least he doesn't clean under the breakfast table whilst we are having breakfast. But he is good fun, an he deserves another chance. On the positive side, after I told him off on his first day, he has been showing up in time every day since, a full three days in a row.
The only one who has returned after having been away for a while is our four-footed, long-tailed, sharp-snouted grey-coated friend the rat. Or maybe he never left, just kept a low profile for a while. If I ever under-estimated a rat's intelligence, I apologise. This one is just unbelievable. Never mind that he eats half a mango, and a quarter avocado (there goes another good guacamole). Last night he managed to pull two Snicker bars and a Kitkat to his hiding place, which we found out is behind the stove. Seriously! My flatmate had bought them, that afternoon, and the next morning the were missing. Did I eat them? No. The hermit? No chance, he would have had to leave his kingdom. And sure enough, we found a little paper trace next to the stove, and after pulling the stove out, there they were, half opened, half eaten. In the mean time all the traps we have set remain untouched, apart from the food that we have strategically placed inside the trap, which has miraculously disappeared. I don't question a rat's intelligence anymore.