My stay in Brussels is far from being quite and peaceful: I live with a schizophrenic called Shoukry but when I speak English with my housemates we just nickname him “the crazy boy”. It is impossible for me to make an exhaustive list of everything he does; I would have to write a book entitled: “the mad man in the kitchen” (as he lives in the student room near the kitchen). But I will give you a glimpse of what our everyday life looks like with him:
02.00 AM He shouts and throws objects against the walls, claps the door, … everybody is awakens but nobody dares to move. The last time he did it, it was because the toilets weren’t clean enough
03.00 to 08.00 AM He cannot sleep and smokes a pack of cigarettes or some other illegal stuff. When I have breakfast (even if it’s winter) I have to open the window, as the kitchen is smoke-filled.
09.00 AM He wakes up and decides to use the vacuum cleaner… because he is ashamed of the dirt in the kitchen and does not dare to show it to the cleaning lady who will come in one hour. 10.00 AM He uses his pan to make water boil to prepare some coffee. After putting the water in his cup he does NEVER clean or dry his pan. Now it is white because of the calcite.
11.00 AM He has a shower (not using soap nor towel) and after the floor is very wet. As he takes 3 showers a day the bathroom on the first floor is always submerged
12.00 I go to the kitchen to have lunch. There he comes to talk to me about anything: creationism (Darwin is nonsense to him), he wants me to feed the little bird in my garden, he wants to buy a 2CV (even if he has no driving license), …
1.00 PM He complains about my Spanish housemate. He accuses her of everything that goes wrong in this house
2.00 PM He complains about hygiene in the house. Good to know that he always wears the same clothes, never washes them and that his originally yellow bed sheets are now black.
3.00 PM He goes to the supermarket to buy special milk for coffee. He doesn’t want to go to Colruyt because he feels insecure in there so he goes to GB. When there is no more milk he shouts at the poor guys working there.
4.00 PM My American housemate comes back from school. She understands 2 or 3 expressions in French. Anyway, he speaks to her as if she understood everything. She feels very stressed about it. Imagine someone always asking you questions in Chinese…
5.00 PM When I am there I translate what he says. It goes from repeating that Georges Bush is a moron many times to translating “you know there are moles in the garden and moles are my friends” without laughing.
6.00 PM Here comes dinnertime. Our friend is fond of fish sticks, “very healthy” as he likes to say. To cook them he puts much oil in a pan and puts the fish sticks in it. And the day after he reuses the same pan and the same oil without washing anything, and the next day…
7.00 PM When we eat together with the other housemates we speak English. If he hears some words like “stupid”, which is the same as in French, he begins to get very nervous because he believes that we were referring to him, which is not (always) the case.
8.00 PM As the night was very short (remember him shouting at 2.OO AM), we go and talk to the concierge to complain about it. If Shoukry hears us gathering there he comes and gets very nervous. And asks if any of us wants to fight against him in the steet. He also tells us to go back in our country (which is very funny as he is himself an Arabian)
9.00 PM He has another shower using Elseve Nutri-Gloss for long hair (now 1,5cm long exactly). He wants to have long hair because he wants to become famous (logic al no?) by writing a book or becoming president of the United States. He is still hesitating.
If you come across the same situation here are some links that might be helpful: help for the families, some techniques to relax, …
P.S. I know that this guy is ill and that he suffers. The objective of this article is not to offend anybody or to laugh at an illness. But the situation here is not easy every day and we have to use our sense of humor to avoid depression.
P.P.S. All the facts mentioned here really happened but not in one single day of course...