Parasites; that’s what we called the students who were always receiving and never giving. To be a successful parasite, you had to be likeable. This was the only way to succeed at phase one; inserting yourself into someone’s daily routine without making them loathe you. You would even go as far as giving your host company on Saturday morning, telling her stories as she washed, thereby giving her the illusion that you were helping out.
Once you established the routine, you could move on to phase two; showing up unannounced, but ensuring that your visits were carefully planned to coincide with mealtime. In this phase, it was important to employ creativity. In the morning, you would simply turn on your charm and half-jokingly ask for a doughnut. Later that day, you would ask them to accompany you to the canteen and once you were there you could say, “Ah. I forgot my money in the dormitory, could you give me two hundred shillings, sweet friend?” Note the importance of using “give” instead of “lend” and also, “sweet friend”.
It was important to sense when your host was getting tired of you. When that happened, as it did from time to time, you had to carry out phase three; giving your host a break. You had to be meticulous, planning your visits only after meal time. This way, you could reassure her that you loved her company whether or not she provided for you. There was no rule against visiting your host at mealtime but if they offered you something to eat, you had to say no. It was a difficult phase, filled with yawning and swallowing saliva.
Being a successful parasite also required preparing an exit strategy that was both timely and foolproof. This was the final phase. Once your host started running low on supply, you had to get rid of them by pretending to be busy. Alternatively, you could start fighting with something as random as storming into their dormitory and shouting, “I heard what you said about me. Never speak to me again.” All her efforts to find out what she did would be met with coldness and silence. You would find a new host and...lather rinse repeat.