I am currently house/cat sitting in Trento, Italy. At the invitation of a fellow history student, I am watching his two cats and – from the balcony – the cathedral where the Council of Trent took place.
Earlier this year, I have been house sitting in Bremen, in Switzerland and in Bad Münstereifel. After Italy, I will have to go to Stockholm for the summer and autumn.
“It’s a tough job, but somebody has to do it,” I usually say.
But I don’t mean it. Yes, life without a fixed abode has its drawbacks, but as long as the alternative is sitting in an office for 48 weeks every year, I prefer the instability and insecurity that come with my way of life.
Yesterday, however, I listened to the story of a house-sitting colleague who is less lucky. The New Yorker Podcast portrayed Augustus Evans, who is living in houses that are in the process of being renovated and sold. On the plus side, he gets paid, although a mere 800 $ per month. On the downside, his main job is not petting cats, but fighting with burglars. Basically, he is a security guard who is not supposed to leave the house. Unlike me, he can’t wander off all day to explore the town and the countryside. He can’t even go on dates.
When Augustus Evans spoke of the several times that he got robbed while house sitting, I realized how lucky I have been. Ain’t nothing like that never happened to me, although in Venta Micena, I had to act Clint-Eastwood-tough to scare rifle-brandishing bandits away.
- More about house sitting, including my FAQ for those interested in the job as well.
- Supporters of my blog who are still waiting for their postcard: It won’t be long. But honestly, I didn’t find Switzerland or Germany exotic enough to write from there. Now, in Italy and Sweden, I’ll send the mail pigeons around the world again.
- And don’t forget to listen to Augustus Evans. He’s quite the eloquent fella.