fun with flats – the beginning

Yesterday, I started to write a blog post. It started with the words: “Every now and then I look around in our flat and while I am trying to blend out the chaos I am filled with happiness and gratitude regarding this cosy place of ours.” Then Karsten got sick and moved into our (tidy) guest room. When I entered the room this morning, it looked like this:

How can a sick person make a room look like this within one single night?

If I wouldn’t love this guy, I would get crazy and I would probably look for a new flatmate. But the fact is: Karsten is the best flatmate I have ever had and I don’t ever want anyone else again! Because if I think about it, I have lived in pretty weird places with pretty weird people and it is such a relief to finally live with Karsten.

And while I was thinking about my former flats and flatmates, I decided to start a series of blog posts – Fun with flags Flats – in order to record those experiences. If you have any fun or weird flats to share, feel free to comment or link your own blogpost!

I moved into my first own space when I was starting my studies in Frankfurt. Frankfurt/Oder that is, not the big Frankfurt. Frankfurt/Oder is located right at the border to Poland and used to have a rather melancholic charm. A grey and empty city centre with only a few historic buildings. A good university, but due to the close proximity to Berlin and an annual train ticket for the whole region included in the semester fee most of the students were actually living in Berlin. During the weekends, the city was empty. unemployment was high, the police was busy trying to catch car smugglers and people traffickers (Poland entered the EU one year later). Movies were shot in Frankfurt/Oder. Grill Point, for example. Or  Distant Lights. When I watched this movie with my mother, she started to stroke my hand, looked at me with a pitiful expression and bought me a chain security lock for my bike.

I decided to rent a room in a student residence hoping that it would be easier to settle in and to socialize. My father helped me move (he helped me with almost all my moves. I think he’ll breathe a sigh of relief when we have finally settled down!). After we had unpacked my stuff, we sat down in a cafe in the city centre and had a coffee before he went home. He got a bit nostalgic, thought about his own studies and said: “I think my studies have been the loneliest time of my life…”. Then he left. Always good for encouragement, my dad….

My new home was a flat with four other girls. I can’t remember even one of them. What I remember were the various half-naked guys coming out of our shared bathroom in the morning (not all at once. In one or two weeks intervals). It was boring, impersonal and no one actually cared about socializing. Therefore, at  the end of the first semester I decided to look for a shared flat outside the student residency. The first flat I visited seemed great. The building was old and not yet renovated. Therefore the rent was incredibly cheap. The other students (two guys and a girl) seemed nice – they invited me for dinner, we had plum wine and the evening turned into one of the cheeriest I had during the first semester. At the end of the evening when I staggered home I felt happy to have found a new place to live. The next semester would definitely be more fun, I thought.

Boy, was I wrong….

(to be continued)

About erdhummel

Familial entropy - that's an insight into our current life which has been fundamentally changed last summer when our daughter was born. Having studied in Cottbus, Germany, and worked/studied in Edinburgh, Scotland, we momentarily live in a small town in Switzerland where Karsten is trying to save the environment and Freddie is trying to save our sanity. Since there is not much time for elaborate, long emails while doing that, we thought a blog might be a good option to smuggle ourselves into the lifes of our friends.
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3 Responses to fun with flats – the beginning

  1. eingehirner says:

    I love that part about the chain lock for the bike 🙂 Would have come handy in Konstanz as well but when you watch movies containing images from Konstanz nobody thinks about that. Well, perhaps until “Tatort” came there… now it has a renown as limitless source for criminals with psychologically challenging natures.

    If I recall correctly I had no special flats during my studies. I lived in a students’ home though where the administration decided to put two Afghan guys and six US Americans into an 8-bed flat. With the result that the police showed up almost every day, they had knifings almost constantly and finally they decided it was not such a bright idea. And on the 3rd floor a murder occurred once but that was before my time there…

    Ah yes, and the 500-year-old house with fifteen-ish tenants, of course, where the landlord decided to let it fall apart because it was too expensive to renovate it in accordance with the rules for old building conservation… where I came to know the horrors of a life in the medieval ages, with a whole zoo of bed bugs (known to suck blood and being so bad at it that they need three tries to find a vein), sphaerious bugs (known to appear in masses), pigeon ticks (known to be so bad at biting that they tear open the skin and transfer infections)… where the water pipes were inside the half-timbered walls causing massive damage to the straw-and-chalk structure when they broke, with the main valve being located in the cellar behind a locked door to which only the landlord had the key and he lived in Berlin… and with the fire alarm sensors being deactivated by the landlord due to frequent false alarms, still setting off when you wanted to use the electric kettle and with the deactivation switch being located in the same locked cellar… oh how I don’t miss those times 😀

    • erdhummel says:

      Your 500.year old house certainly sounds like a special place to live!! Ahh, these experiecens you make when you are young and starting a life on your own 😉

  2. Pingback: fun with flats (II): bathroom gatherings, anarchy and warning hooters | familial entropy

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