I'm right now reading "The Good Terrorist" by Doris Lessing, where a bunch of wannabe revolutionaries squat a big old dilapidating house, and the main character works hard to make the house fit for living in. Some elements of that book seem to have snuck into my dream last night.
I was riding on the bus, and a woman dressed like a Finnish Gypsy sat down next to me. She didn't have any ticket, but I helped her avoid getting a fine when the controller came (I don't remember how, but it was in any case successful). The woman was happy, and started to talk with me. We had a lot of things in common, and we got along quite well, beyond the superficial level. When I mentioned that I was looking for a place to stay, and was getting pretty desperate, she invited me to come stay with her family in the big uninhabited mansion they were about to settle in. They had already arranged all formalities with the municipalities and were in their full right to live there - the only possible problem was that the house wasn't in the best of shapes.
I agreed, and came along to look at the place. It was a very old house that had been a quite amazing building once. On the entrance floor, there were two kitchens in pretty good shape, a gigantic dining hall with amazing ornaments in the roof, a room with the entire walls covered with yellow mosaic tiles, and three bedrooms with deep blue walls with two adjacent bathrooms.
I was subconsciously looking for a room for myself, and these bedrooms were so close to each other that I assumed they would be much better suited for members of the woman's large and noisy family. So, I climbed the broad stairs with their soft chestnut wood railings to the second floor.
It was in slightly worse condition - there was a big hole in the floor in the middle of the big hallway, and, well, for some reason the hallway was full of hay, like a hay loft (?!). But there were a couple of rooms that were in quite good shape. What's more, they seemed to be somehow built of parts from ships (this must have been inspired by the Moomin house
built by Tuulikki Pietilä, Pentti Eistola and Tove Jansson). It was quite clear to me that it had to be one of these rooms.
Before I could decide which one, I spotted a very old woman through a hole in a wall. I went to her to introduce myself, and she was overjoyed that someone was finally moving in. She had been the house-keeper for the people who lived there before, and didn't have any place to go when they moved out and fired her, so she stayed in the house. She was chattering on happily and wanted to convince me to let her be my housekeeper, when the woman who was the actual new owner came in. The old woman took one look at her Gypsy clothes and her swarthy children running around, and she was suddenly ice cold. My new friend was quite used to this kind of stuff happening, and acted like she didn't mind much, while I tried my best to make the old woman soften up and see the people behind the appearance. Still, the old woman wasn't sure whether she still wanted to be our house-keeper, but we assured that she would of course get to stay in the house, like she always had.
Then, one of the children almost fell into the big hole in the floor, and we were barely able to rescue him. After he had calmed down, we had some dinner, and while I was helping my new friend wash the dishes afterwards, she started to complain about this everlasting discrimination she was facing, and how she saw no way out of it. I said I thought the old house-keeper would warm up by and by, and that everything would be all right, but my thoughts were already drifting towards the rooms on the second floor again - I still hadn't chosen which one would be my room ...
Then I woke up.
Posted at 9:27 am by turukhtan