First house.

Oredalsveien 49 - Fredrikstad

Oredalsveien 49 – Fredrikstad

I got hold of this house through a friend of mine named Joy , a girl from Cape Town working in the local bank. Joy was always a loving and caring friend, one of the firs people I met when I came to Fredrikstad. She has always been like a sister to me, helping when things piled up. I never quite understood how things work when it comes to bills, economy and responsibility.

The house was built in 1948 and was old and run down. The people who were living there before never did anything, not even cut the grass. Got it really cheap, and my workplace helped me with the deposit for the loan.

I moved all my stuff to the house on a bicycle, and that was done in one load. And while I was looking around the place someone came in and stole my bicycle. Life was off to a good start here.

Later I got hold of a sledghammer and made a big hole in the wall down in the basement. This was my house and nobody was going to tell me what to do, my free state. On the national days in Norway like the 17th May I would put my South African flag in the garden.

My house was a real free state, people would always come in with dope. Nearly never needed to go out and score. In the basement of the house was a bar, here I had my stereo with the big speakers which I’d bought in Holland at one time. I’d play reggae music so the house shook, was a problem for the neighbors many a time. In Norway at that time most drug users had dogs, Rottweilers. So neighbors were scaired of the dogs and clientele always at my place.

We would sit on the front porch smoking it up, and nobody could stop us. The police would often pass by or spend time over the street watching the place, they seemed to always know when something was going down.

On the weekends and holidays I’d have Nadia, so she grew up knowing only freaks and users. I couldn’t stand straight (normal) people, thaught they were programmed and boring.

But even amongst the other users I was at times a bit left out. I was one of the very few who kept a job, most of them lived off social welfare. And none of them ever owned anything that was their own, where I had my own house.

After a while depression, anguish and fear started taking more control. Would cover the windows so that no one could see I was at home.  Would get my food at the service station late at night, chips and cola. That was all I lived on during the week, and grilled chicken every weekend when Nadia came over. Things were getting worse, felt more and more like a stranger in this world. Felt like people saw that I was from a strange planet, was loosing myself and very fast. Had no identity, and was hanging on by a thread.

Was taken to a psychiatrist at one time by an english woman who saw my problem. The psychiatrist rejected me saying that there was no chance for them to help, I was messed up and from a foreign culture. Too much work for them, he said that I’d most probably end up in the gutter. I got so angry with him, how could things get any worse while Im trying so hard to make it because of my daughter. I really needed help.