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Expat Kiwi’s Misadventures in Birmingham – Back in Brum – Part 1

Back to Birmingham

I made my way back to Birmingham in a bit of a hurry, funds approaching Zero, no more ability to travel until I replenished my money.

I returned to Orlando’s house and stayed in the spare room, but this time the vibe was different. Orlando’s general mood was much lower, he wasn’t as sparky as before. He was broke, like me, and was looking for a job.

In case you’ve missed any of the growing number of posts on this blog, you can check out the Contents post to find them in some sort of order or chronology and/or organisation by topic or location.

Luckily he had a friend who worked for a job agency and had put him forward for a job in an office, nothing special but still, he would have cash coming in soon.

In a slightly ill-advised ploy to get me a job, Orlando encouraged me to call the same company, saying that his friend in the agency had put me forwards for the job. It didn’t feel like a good idea, but I did it anyway, completely unprepared. I suddenly had a telephone interview, and as this was my first corporate-type interview I had no idea of how to answer the questions. For example, the guy asked me for three words that describe me, and I gave him three physical characteristics… Needless to say, I did not get that job…

Instead, I went around the local pubs and ended up with a bartending job in the Queen’s Head in Mosley Village. This was a very local bar, where very local people went to drink.

The Queen’s Head is probably an entire post in itself, or maybe even a couple of posts.

But for now, let’s stick with the situation in Orlando’s house…

I was broke, Orlando was broke and depressed. It might have been that he had continued to go clubbing and roll pills on a regular basis since I had been on the road, or it might have been for other reasons, it’s not for me to say.

But things didn’t go very well in the house upon my return.

A few factors to consider, some I’m not proud of…

I was so broke that I started to take food from the pantry, from the other housemates. And when I got a little bit of money, I didn’t replace it. That’s how broke I was. For the first time in my life, I was worried about going hungry. Probably I could have just told my hosts that I was flat broke and they would have fed me. But I was also a little bit proud too I guess.

Something else happened with Orlando. While I had been away in Scotland, Carol had come back to stay with him and had told him we’d had sex, which wasn’t true. I wasn’t interested in her and didn’t think she was interested in me either. And even though it wasn’t any of his business, Orlando had an opinion that I shouldn’t have slept with her and didn’t believe me when I said that I hadn’t. It was another strange situation, similar to the boss not believing me about the tips.

What was going on with my lack of believability?

It wasn’t nice being judged by this guy I hardly knew, and it was a little bit worse not being believed by him either.

The last thing I want to confess here is that I was subtly messing with him, I guess to get even.

He had a number of little trinket things at the bottom of the stairs from his loft room, and for some reason, (I still can’t quite explain why) in what was probably the most passive-aggressive things I’ve ever done, every day I would move them just a little bit. Just to fuck with him I guess…

A few weeks later they asked me to leave because the landlord was renting out the spare room. I guessed that I’d also worn out my welcome.

So I found the cheapest place I could afford and made a deal with the landlord to pay the deposit over the next month or so.



The next part of my misadventures in Birmingham is coming soon!

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