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21 October 201108:47AMlife

I've been back home from housesitting for about 2 weeks now, and I've decided that it's time I wrote up my findings, since I've become used to things at home again. More importantly, I've powered through one glut of assignments and I need to procrastinate from the next one, so I've got time to kill.

First, let's answer the hypotheses.

The Culinary Convergence Corollaries_._ That cooking skill will increase as time passes, while quality of ingredients decreases, resulting in no net change to edibility.

This turned out to be pretty accurate, but not for the reasons I thought. I thought the decrease in quality would be due to buying cheaper stuff, when actually it came down to not buying any stuff at all. Seriously, I went shopping once. And bought milk and bread. And apples. The rest I just used up until it was gone, and didn't really replace it, which meant that by the last night I was eating salsa, olives and tuna in pasta, without cheese.

On a related note, if you ever want to be completely turned off pasta, I recommend moving out. It's delicious, and so damn simple... Which inevitably means you eat too much and suddenly it's not so delicious any more. By the end of this I was missing entire vegetables, and entire meat. I was actually craving steak and broccoli, which is normally the kind of meal I'm less enthusiastic about than pasta.

The Hyperbolic Habit Hypothesis. As time passes, habits of the experimental group will diverge from those of the control to a significant enough degree to cause frustration upon returning to a non-experimental environment.

Not this. Dear gods not this. The problem with housesitting, see, is that you have to keep up someone else's stupid habits. Nothing against this specific person's habits, per se. It's just that any habits that aren't your own are stupid by definition.

Like, I don't do compost bins. I never have, and probably never will, because I'm not really into gardening. Thus, having to look after and use someone else's compost bin is kind of a pain in the butt. Then there's stuff like the tap in the kitchen, which has something wrong with it, and takes about ten thousand newtons of force to actually get it to flick on and off. And when the water does come on, it's so hot that it makes the pipes expand all the way out and then you have to turn it on even more. Possibly this is a problem with the hot water system, I'm not sure.

On the upside, I did get to invent a fun little habit of my own. I decided from day one that I was going to keep all the little covers which came on the teabags I was using (which is really wasteful (the covers, not keeping them) but we did get them for free, so it wasn't by choice.) and in doing so keep a tally of how much tea I drink. It came out to be 33 cups in 22 days. That's 1.5 cups a day. Or 10.5 cups a week. Or 42 cups a month, which is almost an entire box of tea.


The Internet Inaccessibility Inferences. Removal of internet will result in an increase in free time, which will be mostly filled by the additional duties of running a house. Additionally, time spent on-campus, outside, reading and at friend's places is expected to increase dramatically.

Yeah, no. This was just a total pain in the ass. Because a) running a house is easy (cook, feed cats, clean occasionally. Easy.) and b) having not internet is just a total pain in the ass. Which is not to say it wasn't an interesting social experiment. For example, I credit this lack of instantly accesssible entertainment with introducing me to a whole social group I'd previously ignored, (by way of the Arts common room) which is pretty cool. And it certainly made trying to complete a digital project... interesting. And it's not like I was unable to find entertainment (podcasts and books) or anything like that. It was just (seriously, I cannot stress this enough) a total pain in the ass.

The Transportation Theorem. Modes of transportation will become significantly more bus/bike/train- centric. Furthermore, transport will become a key consideration in choice of activities.

Not really a huge problem. The house I was sitting was pretty much as well situated as my own (two buses, one train station in walking distance) as my home. It was a little more expensive. I never did use my bike. All in all, not a massive change, since I pretty much use bike/bus/train to get everywhere anyway.

Now some other stuff.

Empty houses are empty. It's weird not having anyone else there. I found myself talking to the cats, and listening to music and podcasts, and even turning on the TV solely for the sake of having some sound in the house. At one stage I even started talking to myself. I thought I was going crazy.

Well, crazi_er_.

And dishes. I fail to see how dishwashers are more efficient than doing dishes in a sink, especially if you don't actually generate enough dirty dishes to fill a dishwasher. I'd have to wait all week to fill the dishwasher, it seemed much simpler to just fill the smaller sink and do them by hand every night or two. Actually, maybe that's why they use less water, because you save up all your dishes to do at once. Interesting.

Finally, this entire experience taught me a lot about decor. Specifically, my own preferences in it. I would never have said I had preferences before this, but now I can say with regards to interior design that my preference is to have as little as possible. Not that this house was bad. It was lovely. It was just all pastels and wood and tassels and runners. Just not to my taste. My tastes defintely trend towards blank walls, posters, and boring furniture (read Ikea). Also, rugs? Stupid. Either put proper damn carpet in, or leave the floors as wood. And I'm not just saying that because I slipped on them, or because they're really really hard to keep clean.

It was a pretty cool experience, and I think I'd definitely give moving out a shot. I'd enjoy that more, I think, cause I can have internet and bring my posters and my stupid habits with me and have someone else to talk to.

So that's about that then.

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