Looking for a new apartment, I have come into contact with landlords who have asked if I am Muslim. What does that have to do with the apartment?
Is this the new “Do you smoke?” or “Do you have pets?”
Is that so that landlords think that we Muslims are going to make tunnels under the house as soon as we have signed the lease? It’s hard to be wise here.
It has happened that the first question from a home owner is not “Do you have a permanent job?»but “Are you Muslim?”
Yes, I am Muslim and the only thing I blow is the budget at Norsk Tipping. Think most of us know what Islam says about gambling – not exactly paradise-inducing.
Could it be that the landlord asks if I am Muslim because he is afraid that my alarm clock screams “Allahu Akbar!” every morning? I’m just trying to be smart here.
If you ask if I’m a Muslim hoping to find out if I’m an “extreme” type, I’ll just say right away that the most extreme thing I can think of is wearing socks in my sandals or trying to find a parking space in the city center.
For all I know, there might be a chance the landlords ask us if we’re Muslim because they think we’re going to pay in falafel. If this is the case, then I have nothing against us as a civilization being hit by an asteroid.
During this apartment hunt, I have sometimes felt like a kind of cactus at an orchid exhibition.
Now I won’t speak on behalf of all Muslims in Norway, but my experience, with the name and appearance I have, is that it is easier to find a calm cat in a room full of laser pointers than to find housing to rent.
Maybe it is no wonder there is a Facebook group for Muslims struggling to get into the rental market. There are over 11,300 members here! At first I thought this was completely unnecessary, but after several experiences in the rental market, I now understand why such a group has gained so many members.
At the latest a week ago, during a viewing on the best west end, I met a homeowner who showed me around the house. The atmosphere was great, but when I finished and was on my way out, the landlord put his hand on my shoulder and said:I have nothing against about you hair green, black, white or red skin».
I nodded smiling at the same time as I thought on why he felt the need to inform me of this, especially as we had a pleasant conversation.
Did he think this is something I absolutely wanted to hear during a screening? I’m really trying to be wise here.
I have sold and rented out many different things over the years, but never thought that the next buyer who comes to buy my bike will have to hear that I’m not against people who eat bacon sausages, but I guess people are different.
A friend jokingly said I would have to wear white face paint and a blonde wig the next time I went to a screening.
As with many things in life, I have bad experience using these two things, thanks to a comedy show I performed with whiteface a while back. White face paint was anything but popular. That show there the audience and I did just fine without, to say the least.
In Norway we say that there is always light at the end of the tunnel, and guess if I saw that light.
A couple of days ago I managed to get an apartment after a few intense weeks of apartment hunting.
Here, the landlord has been incredibly accommodating and asked me decent questions such as where I work, how long I plan to live there.
And if I needed more face wipes.