As I am currently helping out in a Bed & Breakfast, I have to deal with new guests almost every day. I’ve only been here for about a week now, yet it already gets to me. 90% of the guests are married couples, the other 10% either unmarried couples or mother/daughter, father/son teams. On the four days I’m on the job, I also have to spend time with the guests, e.g. during breakfast, as it’s a B&B with a personal touch. You might think this isn’t the best choice for me, but when you’re basically a person without a home, you often only have limited options. So I’m in a B&B for the next five weeks, working in exchange for full board.
The problem is that new guests always ask the same questions. Where am I from? Why do I live in Scotland now? Do I miss my family? Do I ever go back home? And so on. What do you answer when you have no home, when you are glad the people you’re officially related to are quite far away? I always paint a picture of me being very independent, travelling to different parts of Scotland to find out which part I like best, and then settle down in that part. But that’s not it. I travel around because I have no home, I travel around because I don’t have the money to afford a home. I can’t go back to my home because I don’t have one. And every day I get reminded of it. Every day, I have to think about it, answer questions about it, pretend to be positive about it, bend the truth a little.
When I still worked on the organic gardening farm, I could at least pretend that I belong. I was able to get to know some of the people, even though it was only during work hours. I told myself not to get attached to anyone, after all none of them cared enough to spend time with me outside work. And none of them got in touch with me after I left there. I would like to send someone a message, but now I’m worried I’d just annoy him. He’s been a good “friend” during work, but maybe being friendly was just part of the job. I doubt that any of the workers actually miss me at all. I wish at least one did. I wish I would mean something to just one of them.
And I wish I had a home. At the moment I don’t know where I’ll be in August – and that is a bit scary. I would like to be around Edinburgh because Haruki Murakami and George R.R. Martin will be at the book festival in August, but who knows. Money is the problem. And by now I doubt that the farm will take me back in August. I asked but did not get a reply, so I can probably write that off.