Woman at the entrance to her home on Sherbrooke Street. From the personal
arcive of Niki Kontapini.
The first house
A woman refers to the first house she lived at in Montreal.
Μ.P.: To be honest, nothing made an impression on me.
Μ.P.: When I entered my brother-in-law’s house and I
say “How do these people live?”. The connected houses at Urban and Girard.
Μ.P.: Half of it he had as a living room, the other
half he had as their own bedroom, a small kitchen and upstairs they rented it
out. And where would I sleep now? “Alright”, I say to him, “Where did you
bring me? Where are we going to sleep? There’s no room”. We had to open the
couch at night, afterwards that the kids would go to bed.
Μ.P.: All of them slept there in that half of the
house, in that half of the living room, four children and themselves together.
Μ.P.: And upstairs, I’m telling you, they were renting
it out and I say “My God, in my village I had a small palace”. I had made the
house so beautiful. Double. Two-storey. You know. Two floors. Anyways. I
cried, my girl. I did.
Μ.P.: I was crying day and night. I was writing ten
letters per day to my late mother. If you ask me now what I was writing, I
don’t know. The tears… He used to get angry at night and my late sister-in-law
would come and tell him “What are we going to do with this woman, Vangelis?
She’s crying a lot”.
Μ.P.: I say “If I had money, I would leave”. But I had
nothing. He paid for the tickets.
Μ.P.: Yes. Then there was Marangos on the radio. My
sister-in-law was putting the radio on and I was listening where a room is
being rented out. And I wrote a phone number there. I say “Please, call and
Μ.P.: He wanted an apartment. It’s the first time I
live in an apartment. I hadn’t lived in an apartment. Only houses. I say
“House. If there’s a house”. And we rented at a family from Tripoli.
Μ.P.: At Pape and Danforth. In Eaton Avenue.
Μ.P.: Where’s Eaton the tavern? Downstairs. 120 Eaton.
I still remember it.
Res.: Yeah. And you left…
Μ.P.: And we left there. We came by. We had to buy a
bed. We had to get from the beginning. You know. You start a household. But I
won’t forget, because it was cold as well. My smart sister-in-law. So much
they knew. Consider it. I tell them from the village. I’m from a village as
well, but another village. And they took me then to Eaton’s which was at
Victoria and Danforth. What was the plaza called? Shoppers […]? Yeah. There
was Eaton’s at the time.
Μ.P.: We had gone to buy a coat for! Since I froze
with the manteau!