I-Came, I-Saw, I-Chundered in I-House

    After an extensive application that involved four essay questions, each including variations on the word “culture,” we submitted our applications. Mia was so worried about the application that she called in sick to work to perfect her answers on her many talents and contributions, like her burning desire to start an I-House International Book Group. This has yet to happen.

    While people still maintain it is highly difficult to get a place, particularly for girls, an Australian friend put our applications to shame. Due to a technical error, she submitted all her essay answers with only the letter “i” in each box (rather than the expected 250–500 words). Perhaps the I-House officials appreciated her egotistical boldness, because the next thing she heard, she had been accepted and even requested specifically by American flat mates who wanted to live with an Australian.

    Our first four days in I-House set the bar high, with the crazy International Mixer starting at 8 p.m. and consecutive nights of parties in flats — even occurring as one particular American student was arriving and moving into her new, and already violated, apartment. On the second night that all the Internationals arrived, after milling about like freshmen on I-Walk for the best part of an hour, our now good friend decided to take the hit and host the very first I-House party of fall quarter 2012 (the same friend facing a court date in Santa Barbara as described in the last column). We had such a good time that when the RSOs arrived, we were in such a state: We thought it would be a good idea to try and hide not only in a cupboard, but also inside a suitcase.

    We’ve since learned the parties at I-House are fun, but short-lived. You can depend on a RSO to turn up just as everyone has started to get really, really sweaty — arguably a blessing in disguise perhaps.

    Since then we’ve learned that I-House’s layout is ideal because it is so communal, with I-Walk running between the houses and the large windows looking into its open-plan flats. One could argue it is potentially too communal; there is no hiding or avoiding walks of shame and peoples’ worst moments are visible to all. We really feel for the poor soul we saw last weekend, being arrested for intoxication and chundering everywhere as he was being handcuffed.

    I-House is an eclectic mix of oddballs, which makes for its charm and surreal feel.We really like the layout, and it is fun, but it doesn’t quite match up to our experience at home where, as Internationals, we are legally allowed to drink and go out to clubs. Nevertheless the threat of RSOs does add a certain thrill and humor. Once when a RSO arrived, Mia was on the toilet and was interrupted when eight people crashed through the door in a desperate rush to hide. We just can’t wait to meet the new winter quarter arrivals.

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