Saturday, September 12, 2009
Studio Flat discovered
Have finally found a wonderful little place in Willesden Green. It is a small studio, with a dug up private back yard under huge, huge trees filtering speckled shafts of light.
It has a double bed, sofa, tiny kitchen space, little bathroom and a cute table and chairs set at the end of the double bed looking onto the backyard. I couldn’t wait to move in. After being dropped off at the station after the viewing I doubled back and walked down the main street to where the flat was, only to discover that the place I had rented was very close to an Islamic College!
Hawza? – and the style of hijab gave an indication that this was a Shia institution – confirmed in its subject offerings. The College also offers Arabic short term courses in the evenings – certainly going 'next door' would present little concerns regarding travel!
I also discovered the following safety features of my new residence – a doctor’s surgery two door away, a police station directly opposite, and a small supermarket (amongst numerous little 24 hour fruit/supermarkets) further down called Noor al Houda! A Muslim never ceases to be amazed at the ‘coincidences’ that Allah s.w.t. throws up in their lives, and certainly I’m thankful – Alhamdu lillah!
My taxi driver the next day who helped me get my bundle of large bags to the new house was a Bangladeshi who chatted at length about the state of the Muslim world. He also espoused speakers he admired – particularly a prominent Hindu convert – who run their own Sky (?)TV program avidly watched by British Muslims. Apparently many of the Hindus who watch this program convert to Islam.
As I waited for the agent to arrive and organise the lease, a line marking truck pulled up in front of me. The two lane street was already crowded with buses, overtaking cars and bicycling people, until this truck appeared taking up another half of a lane for the traffic to weave around. I waited with bated breath for an accident.
Finally, another interesting new system. I was handed a small USB type key and told that this would need to be regularly ‘loaded’ in order to keep the power running. I was shown how to push it into the power meter, read the amount that was still available, and the local shop that ‘uploads’ money onto the key. Certainly an interesting way of monitoring expenditure on power, which apparently can be as much as 4 pounds a day – even for a little flat!