(Διαβάστε στα Ελληνικά)
Beginning of September means one thing; our cities get flooded with desperate newcomers and if you are unlucky enough to search for a new house at that time, well, best of luck! In the five years that I live in Amsterdam, I have moved a total of seven times, but this year ...
... something miraculous happened and I, simply, renewed my contract. No planned interaction with greasy realtors for another sweet year.
To celebrate this unexpected, enjoyable event, I gathered some of the most proverbial and funny roommate incidents that happened to me and some of my closest friends.
I remember that in my first year in Amsterdam, I shared a fancy apartment which was taken out of a design magazine, with three other girls and two, spoiled, cats. For some time, we were keeping their litter boxes in our food storing/laundry room. But blame it on the disgusting thought that your crackers were mingling with cat poop particles, and we soon decided to find another spot for them. It’s amazing how tricky it is to combine spatial aesthetics with smelly litter boxes; soon, we run out of potential spots for them. And yet! Our house had two bathrooms, a regular one and a mini one, only with a toilet and sink for the guests. And here we were, training our cats to use the toilet! The catch was that we put the litter boxes in the little bathroom, and every time the cats would approach them, we would lift them and place them on the toilet. We placed a plastic cover on the toilet, on which we cut a hole, and some time and treats later, the cats learned to aim through that hole. At last, all we had to do, was to flush the toilet after their bathroom visits, purfection! Needless to say that the cats’ 2.0 potty training months, were my favorite ones at this house. I no longer live there, but I wonder if the cats learned how to flush the toilet on their own, who knows?
My girlfriend Maria * lives in Barcelona, and a few months ago the most -unnecessary- funny thing happened to her. “My roommates were out of town for the weekend and guess what,” she told me, “that Saturday afternoon I was topless in the living room, listening to Diana Ross and dyeing my hair. Suddenly the door opened, and my roommate’s boyfriend, who apparently had keys, stepped in the apartment. From his frozen look, I think that both of us will have a hard time to forget that incident!”
But it seems that even sharing a house with your partner doesn’t come sans the ridiculous incidents. The other day my friend Jose * shared a too good to be true story of what happened the night before when he and his girlfriend left super drunk from a party. “We arrived home and immediately went to sleep. At some point in the crack of the night, I woke up to the sound of dripping water, and I jumped out of bed, thinking that the window was open midst a storm. But no! Anna, his girlfriend,* was pants down in the middle of our bedroom, peeing like there was no tomorrow. I started shouting that she had to go to the bathroom. Her glassy eyes focused for a bit, and in a sheer panic mode, she run to the bathroom. Needless to say that for the next half an hour we were cleaning the wooden, porous floor, a task that our drunken brains didn’t facilitate at all. By the time we were done, we were crying from laughter, and I peed myself in bed. Cleaning lvl. 2, here we come!”
Blame it on the gentrification and the skyrocketing rentals prices, so if you want to live somehow close to the city center of Amsterdam, you must pour some water in your wine. For two years, I had the pleasure and horror to share a house with a friends couple, something I wouldn’t agree on so easily under different circumstances. One day I returned unexpectedly earlier from work, only to hear a sequence of screamings and running from inside the house, when I put the key in the lock. I froze and very cautiously opened the door and peered in. Apparently, my roommates had decided to have a romantic (naked) lunch, and I was the last person that they expected to walk in the house. When they got out of the bathroom wrapped in towels, I scolded them for breaking the “no bare asses on common furniture” rule, we had a laugh, and I sat with them to share the -ruined by then- most romantic lunch.
“I once came home very late with a boy I had just started dating,” my girlfriend Marianna * told me when I asked her if she had any funny house sharing stories “and my roommate happened to be sleeping on the couch. As we took off our shoes as quietly as possible, I heard her laughing conspiratorially, and I knew that the next day at the cafe she would ask me the juicy details of our late arrival and our prior hot date, exactly like my mom.” And after all, the whole point of sharing houses is not only practical and financial. Finding good roommates is like choosing a second family. You know that you found it when you feel comfortable enough being your wittiest and weirdest self. So liberating!
I love this sweet comfort that you develop with your roommates, do you have any good roommate story to share?
* All names were changed to protect my friends’ dignity :)
(Photo from Bairro Alto in Lisbon, from my Instagram)