When we surprised everyone with our arrival, the question of where mi novio and I would sleep came up.
The solution was we would sleep in his mother’s bed with his 8 year old son (who usually shares his grandmother’s bed) and his mum would share a bed with his brother since his girlfriend (who normally lives here) was visiting her family in another city. Musical beds! This was just a solution until the following day when we would go to buy a fan so we could share mi novio‘s single bed, as without a fan sleeping is pretty rough. (Although mi novio always used to sleep without a fan!)
The next day mi novio and I bought a fan and some paint to start work on transforming the storage/junk room into our bedroom. I wish I’d taken photos of how the room looked before we moved out all the car and motorbike parts belonging to mi novio‘s brother, Christmas decorations belonging to his mother and all other odds and ends you find in the junk room. I wasn’t quite sure that mi novio‘s teeny tiny room with space only for a single bed and small shelf would fit all the stuff from the storage room, but it did.
Mi novio set to work with the promise that the room would be read for us to sleep in that night.
We’d probably left our start a bit late in the day but with the help of his mother we cleaned the room thoroughly and mi novio fixed up the holes and dents in the walls and set to painting the roof and walls. Painting is not my forte, even less so painting ceilings and the roof here is made of a kind of ceramic corrugated plasterboard which is even trickier to paint. Lucky for me mi novio is quite the painter. Apparently he can also paint fancy, swirly feature walls that only people with money have in their houses because not many people know how to do it and it is quite expensive to commission. I have never seen these types of painted walls in Australia, nor can I imagine them being popular there, so I think it must be a latino thing.
Though we ended up sleeping in his mother’s bed again because I’d been struck with a bout of gastro and had to go to bed, mi novio finished painting the room that night, two walls white and two walls orange.
Mi novio suggested laying tiles on the concrete floor, but as I was keen to give la suegra (my mother-in-law) back her bed, I just wanted to move in and start unpacking the 7 bags we brought with us. So we moved in our luggage and the single bed for starters whilst we looked to buy a bed. Our new room had a closet space that was nothing more than a cement wall and roof but it needed a rail. So my increasingly handy novio installed a rail to hang our clothes. He also fixed up a hole in the floor, replaced the wood covering the door between our room and his brother’s room, filled in and painted the holes between the roof and the wall and added a plastic concertina opening door (to save space and give us privacy since all the bedrooms just have a curtain for a door).
A couple of days later we finally bought a bedroom setting which came with two bedside tables, a chest of drawers, a mirror and little seat that fits perfectly in our room.
Finishing off the fitout of our room are an Aboriginal artwork and an Argentinian tango print that we had framed, a couple of boomerangs, a bag rail and fab jewellery board mi novio made for me.
So now we have our privacy. We have a space to call our own and somewhere to keep our things. And mi novio did all of this with the minimum of tools, a drill, spatula, hammer (that has had the head cut to a stub), electric drill, screwdriver, roller and paintbrush, saw and a plasterer’s scraper. I’m very impressed and so thankful that we have our own space to inhabit until we find our own apartment, it makes the adjustment to Colombian living so much easier.