After around 10 days of extreme tension here in the house, I felt totally peaceful and content yesterday. There was some relief from a situation with a housemate. However, the atmosphere is a little nervous again this morning.
To recap my situation, I am in temporary digs renting a room in a shared household as I make the transition from life back in Korea to a renewed life here in Vancouver, Canada. It took a lot of searching and inquiries to find some suitable short term accommodations; I signed a rental agreement for this place offered by a landlord's representative without meeting all the housemates. There is a basement suite inhabited by a 4-person family, and three bedroom suite upstairs for renters. My upstairs housemates were two working class, 20-something guys--newcomers to this city, as well, until one guy got a live-in girlfriend all of a sudden. Now we are four living upstairs.
On a few occasions, one of the guys expressed discontent at having me present in the house with him because of gender and age. He is a mid-20s labourer, and probably a frustrated young man. I say that because he has often appeared angry, the reason why I do not interact with him much. He has been friendly and polite, mainly, offering to share stuff and such, but he has moments, such as when a subject related to housekeeping is broached. He is a poor housekeeper, particularly in that he leaves dirty dishes and food waste behind. I often face a putrefying mess in the kitchen in the morning and spot a trail of grease and crumbs into the living where this guy usually eats his meals. Last week, the tension mounted and incidents of rage burst forth. ONe morning, when I smelled something buring in the kitchen, I went to investigate. I was stirring his porridge when he exploded into the room telling me not to touch his stuff. I retreated to my room quickly. Then he went around slamming doors and uttering the word, "cu.." several times.
I was able to avoid him for the following week because I was busy setting up my business and had errands, classes and appointments. I felt stressed all week. I stayed in my room as much as possible when I was at home. Then came the day to pay the rent, Saturday the first of April. I was awaiting the receipt and talking to the house caretaker when this unknown girl walked in, passed us and entered that guy's (P's) room. The caretaker (C) thought it must have been my friend, but I soon told him she was a stranger to me. C led the way up to check out the situation. He and I asked her some questions. Later that night, P arrived home and immediately pounded on my door and swore at me with the B-word. My door was locked but the lock is feeble and I was afraid. I called C, who called P rather than confronting him in person as C is a small elderly man who also feared P's behaviour. P approached me in the living room the next morning, at first sounding friendly but insulting me and employing more foul language. He said he worked really hard and was too tired every day to do dishes, etc. I was so upset, I called to speak to the police non-emergency staff, and texted C some more.
The following day, P seemed much cooler. He apologized a couple of times and offered his hand, saying he wanted to start over. He informed me that he had a girlfriend-roommate who had officially moved in. The next day he apologized even more sincerely, explaining that he was in conflict with his employer and therefore late in paying his rent. I tried to sound understanding and supportive, saying that it seemed that the employer was being unfair, and that labour is under-valued despite the important work done for society. P said he had new prospects for employment. Though P has told me that he goes to work every morning now, and I see him leaving with his girlfriend most mornings around 7, he soon returns by around 9:00 a.m. I suspect that he is going down the street to the day-labour office, trying to pick up work every day, which, apparently, he does sometimes as he stays out all day sometimes, and talked about digging at a construction site one time. This morning, he told me his old boss paid everything owing except his tips, and I responded with empathy and suggested he look up the rules and see if he can get his due from that old employer. (It sounds like he may have been released illegally without due notice and just cause.) First, P misinterpreted my response. He said, "What?!" I had to repeat and clarify myself twice. He explained he thought I had said something negative. Is he back in a dark frame of mind, misdirecting anger towards me, construing people around him most negatively? I woke up feeling good but now I am wary and a little on edge again.