Gute Reisen

Wohnungsgemeinschaft - Apartment Community

I am exhausted. Yesterday was 1 activity too many. Riding, rafting and bouldering, I’ve got no energy left today. I suspect I shall have some ice cream soon. However, right now I am sitting in Westpark at the Wirsthaus Rosengarten to be exact, and I will recount as much of my memories of my WG as seem interesting.

It was the only ad that asked for an English speaker, so I got to step away from my poorly written German form letter and let a few paragraphs rip. It was pretty late into my WG search that week, and so I didn’t think that hard about the english only situation, but my desperation was getting pretty high. So I made the appointment to see it. I saw two places that day, the second was a small WG with 3 Germans in an old building in a cool neighborhood. The room was small with a lofted bed, and I made a pretty good impression on the guy who was moving out. He told me this when he e-mailed to let me know I didn’t get the room. The first place I saw that day was my new WG. It started off poorly. Nick, one of the roommates sent me the wrong address, and so I started out off-balance because I had to call him, discover I was in the wrong place, and hustle back to the U-Bahn to get to Candidplatz. You see in München there’s Konrad Straße and KonradIN Straße. One for the male comrades and one for the females. I got there as soon as I could and Nick immediately apologized; he had been e-mailing from work. He said the downside of the confusion was that I’d have to co-interview with Zach, an American who was just moving from Paris to Munich for his job. He didn’t seem to have much personality, and almost seemed resigned to not getting the flat. Zach immediately confessed to not knowing a word of German, and as best I could tell I was doing to him what the handsome guy at the 10 person WG interview had done to all of us.

I was kind of big timing him. Now, I didn’t mean to, but the roommates had prepared a few questions, and I had good answers. They asked what music we were into, Zach said “I’m just a rock and roll guy” and I said “let me bring to you the gospel of Todd Terje and Richard Wagner.” When I said I had directed a TV show, Nick, from England asked, “what’s it called, cause I watch a lot of American TV.” Not enough for this one, Nick, but I told them anyway, blank stares all around.

It didn’t help the whole situation that one of the roommtates was skype-ing in from an airport on his way back from performing Shakespeare. He’s the American, and I hope to get a better sense of what his deal is when I move in. So I quickly toured the kitchen, the room, and the bathroom, nothing special, all perfectly fine, if a little dirty, and then let Zach have some time to make his case. I left the WG feeling like I had a decent chance.

Zach’s case must not have been very good. The next day Nick called me offering me the room. I was so fucking relieved. We set a time for the following to day to meet and go through the paper work.

Anna is the daughter of the Doctor who owns the flat. She runs the rental company, essentially. She’s not much older than me, if at all, speaks great English because her mother is American. She took me through every page of the rental agreement and it all seemed far more clear and reasonable than any of the shit I’ve signed in America. Definitely less text. She runs a pretty relaxed operation, and it’s clear that in a few months if I want to move somewhere else all I need to do is give them notice and assist with the search for a new roommate.

One uppish down-side is that the room doesn’t come with a bed. There’s a couch bed I can use until I get my real bed sorted out. I’ve heard that Aldi (my current cell phone provider, and one of the larger grocery store chains) sells pretty good, cheap mattresses. There’s an Aldi near Konradin Straße and if I mention them one more time, I think it’s time to talk sponsorship of this journal.

Now the upside of this is that I’m not inheriting some wet sponge of a mattress, and I can feel a little more at home because I have to buy this thing and it will be mine. The rest of the furniture (warddrobe, desk, etc.) comes with the WG and I can ditch any of it I’m not using into a storage room downstairs.

With the paperwork signed there’s nothing left to do but wait. On Tuesday I’ll move in. There’s Nick, a ad man with Sixt Car Rental company, he handles the UK advertising, and he and I talked for a while about how weird the Sixt ads in the US are. There’s Dan, who as best I can tell doesn’t leave his room much, listening to pumping techno and is in Ibiza for the weekend. I got the impression he didn’t care for me. And Ahmed, the guy who was on Skype from the airport. Originally he’s from Seattle, he works in software, as I recall, and acting is his passion.

I’ve gotten a ton of questions about if I’ve found a place, and why haven’t I shared the address. It kind of doesn’t feel real yet. Tuesday I think I’ll feel a lot more confident about talk up my little apartment on the ground floor on the corner in a little neighborhood. Now I am just enjoying this city.

Right now I’m sitting in the biergarten, there’s only a few other people here, a group of 4 older folks brought in a picnic and each bought a liter of beer. I was told recently that any place in Germany that identifies as “Biergarten” it is legal to bring in your own food. Some people do this, but I think the majority don’t . The food at a Biergarten is good, cheap, and so they can actually kind of compete with picnics. I really want a beer, but I’m going to a Biergarten this evening, I think, and considering how tired I am, an afternoon Helles might just put me out all together.