Good Friends, Bad Roomies

"Though we are friends, it is really difficult to live together!", my friend Y complained. The story started with 2 classmates going to German Working Holiday together, one of them had a big fight with his house owner, and moved to Y's place.

I cannot remember exactly what he said, like one being 'early bird' who rises early everyday and irritates the other? When going to foreign countries, it is good to have a friend around, but conflicts caused by different living habits are not rare. During working holiday, as both of you have to living under the same roof for a longer period of time, situation just easily gets worse, ends up turning friends into enemies. Therefore, I strongly recommend people not to live with your friend when you are doing working holiday.

The solo room which my friend stays @Leopoldplatz, BerlinThe solo room which my friend stays Leopoldplatz, Berlin

"Why don't you get a German roommate and experience foreign culture? It sounds great!". My answer is yes and no. First few weeks are always the honeymoon; you enjoy all the chatting and drinking with house-owners. However, it is not at all a good idea to live with your house owners. You will always find more 'Don'ts' than 'Do'. I have stories to share: once I received a handwritten note from my Indian house owner, urging me to wipe off the slipper marks in bathroom – oh my god where were the marks? I swear I didn’t see them! I had also been requested by my Polish house-owner to 'sit' on the toilet properly. You may think these are just exceptional cases, the truth is many people I know share similar stories! Some of them even experienced being kicked out of the flat at midnight, or they simply had to call the police. Fairly speaking, we all have our own lifestyles and no one like to be disturbed by others.

Actually you can talk to me directlyActually you can talk to me directly...

My small piece of advice: try to rent a solo room or student hostel, avoid having to live with the house-owner, but it depends on luck. If you really need to live with a friend, ask those not-so-close ones, then you won't lose a friend who is so dear to you.

Of course, in life choices are not always available. So, just put up with it.

My Polish house owner, who are very nice actuallyMy Polish house owner, who are very nice actually

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Priscilla Ng
Fung Garcia

A post-80s Chinese language teacher who failed his A-Level English, went working holiday to Germany before his turned 30 –worked little, holiday a lot. Speaking poor English and zero German, he managed to survive and visited 29 countries in Europe. Lazily updating his travel blog 'Garcia in Germany'.