April 6, 2011

We live here.

My recent work project which included coming up with a cool pop-up card for our next mailing introduced some much needed entertainment to my daily routine. It also reminded me last time I made a pop-up card for a friend of mine. Shamefully I must admit that the card was never sent as it became part of a too-big-to-finish project, which I frequently indulge in. It was a card showing the layout of our first apartment in New York which Gladys, Marie and I shared.

The grand tour:

Bottom left
The bathroom. If you need the fax machine explained, please contact Marie directly as it is all her fault and I won’t say no more.

Top left
Marie’s room. The clothes are a bit misleading as we all worked in fashion, but her fashion job rocked the most that’s why her room gets represented by clothes.
It was at Roy’s Hosiery and each Friday was called ‘Sock Friday’ as she would bring left over sample socks for us. I don’t think I have bought a single pair of socks since Marie left college. When she came to visit Cape Town she lived up to the true spirit of Sock Friday and brought me about 30 pairs and it wasn’t even Friday. I love visitors!

Top Middle
Gladys’ room. Yes it did have a pop-up wall for real. That’s how you convert a 2 bedroom to a 3 bedroom in New York and charge 50% more rent. It also had the only TV and Thursday was Friends night. Marie and Gladys would sit on her twin bed, I was crouched in the corner of the window sill and we would watch the new episodes of Friends together. Who needs a La-Z-Boy or even a living room?

Top Right
My room. I had an original red iMac and a liking for Internet dating. Also did I become a professional on how-to-make-the-most-of-a-4m2-room in this room.

Middle Bottom
Kitchen/Living Room/Dining Room/Foyer/Gladys’ walk-in closet. Equally inhabited by Coronas, Enchiladas or other Mexican treats and mice.
The mice became a bit of a problem. In an attempt to be PETA friendly I not only decided to go Vegan for a week (I stopped after trying to eat soy parmesan cheese), but also asked them for a mice friendly way to dispose of mice. The answer is simple: One buys a little cage (preferably with handle), puts bait inside (preferably of the soy kind) and waits for the mouse to run inside (hoping the mouse unlike you will like soy cheese). The cage should be one where the mouse runs in, but can’t run out yet remains unharmed. Then you have a cage with a mouse and you can take the mouse to Central Park and release it. Someone explained that to me while keeping a straight face. To my question why I would do such a thing and surely the mouse would manage to run the 4 blocks back to my street and up the stairs into the apartment and how this would defy the whole purpose, I just got blank stares.
I am not proud to admit that we then decided on the least humane way: glue traps. Bad idea for both parties involved. For the mice for obvious reasons and for us as we underestimated how much a mouse can wiggle when glued to a trap. She can wiggle herself from her discreet trap hiding spot under the stove into the middle of the kitchen with the trap. By doing this it will cause the first person getting up in the morning to shriek loudly and the other two to wake up and know immediately that we caught one.
I will spare you the details of how we got rid of any mouse on trap, but it usually involved our trash shoot and the Yellow Pages.

Far Right
The zebra van which you already know.

Top Far Right
The address we would give the cabbies and then shout in unison: “We live here.”
Go figure, Mr. Cab Driver.


  1. Oh, how I don't miss that apartment! Waking up to a mouse squeeking for it's life. I'll never forget the day we caught an entire family. Can't even remember how many but I know it was more than 5. Didn't someone also pick one up and throw it out the window? Gross, I'll stop now.
    I don't know how we managed as long as we did in such a small place. Can you make a cute layout of our EV apartment too? I love these.

  2. I just read a story about a girl who lives in 90 square metre in New York for $700 and how much she loves it. New York City is her backyard and bla bla - I could not ever!

    Sure, I will make an EV layout. My room might be tricky though, not sure I remember all the weird corners, but I will try...

  3. I feel your pain on the mice. A house around the corner from us burnt down a few years ago. It stayed vacant for a while. When they started construction to rebuild, we all of a sudden had a mouse problem (go figure).

    We also used a non-human way: regular old snappy traps. The classic wood and metal ones are better than any plastic snappy traps. Wanna know what's worse than a mouse wiggling out from under the stove? A mouse trying to wiggle out of being have smushed in a snappy trap. Eew.
    I was horrified to have to finish the job myself, as I could no fall asleep listening to all the wiggling and clacking around on the floor.

    BTW, Love the card!


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