I have never lived in a house or flat sharing community before (a WG, as we say in Germany) and even though I did look forward to moving here, I was a bit nervous how it would work out. So far, it has been great. I feel very much welcome and at home here. My housemates are the coolest and most interesting bunch of people, very relaxed and easy going and nice and fun to be with, all at the same time.
Last Thursday we had a kitchen meeting (I share one of the two kitchens with three of the guys), to decide what to do about our electrical applicances (some of which had almost caught fire recently and are in desperate need of repairs) and whatelse to do with the kitchen which had become quite messy (me putting all my stuff in there on top of everything that had piled up over the years did not help much, either). We decided to clear some of it out to a new storing room we set up. After that a few friends showed up (actually a couple, one of whom had lived in the „factory“ as this house is affectionately called by its inhabitants for a few years himself) and the kitchen meeting turned into a spontanous get together with a little too much Ouzo and red wine, anecdotes from the past, plans for saving this world and making a movie about the house, debates on grassroot revolutions and the long march through institutions. Very sixties, very flower power, absolutely heart warming comfortable (even though we did not have a lot of hope left and kind of resignated on the saving the world thing).
Today we worked in the kitchen. Originally we only wanted to clear some of the superfluous stuff out to the storage room, but then one of us started to wipe the wooden wallboards with a sponge and the color looked so totally different once they were clean, that we just kept going. We sponged all the walls and doors, cleaned the windows, vacuum cleaned everything you can vacuum clean (and some things you normally can’t or won’t), broomed, dusted, wiped and brushed away for hours. It was a total cleaning frenzy. And it was lots of fun, too. Finally, Peter even decided to polish the wooden floor with a real old fashioned polishing machine. The last time I saw one of those was in my dancing school and that was like 20 years ago. I did not know we had one. I think I will polish the floorboards in my rooms as well. It just looks so nice when the wood begins to shine from the wax polish. It gets very slippery, though. The kitchen looks completely different now, all shiny and clean and bright. And we were so proud. We kept asking everyone who came in today (the other housemates, partners, friends … a lot of people coming and going in a house like this) if they noticed a difference. Most of them did, of course. Except Jannick, Peter’s son, who just saw, that the table was standing in a slightly different position. I guess, when you are twelve, a clean kitchen is just not so high on your list of priorities.
I am so happy to have moved here. It was a great idea to give up my luxury concrete cave hermitage and move in with some fellow human beings. The house is a bit worn down, but it has a lot of soul and many stories to tell. I love it. Don’t go to the basement, though. That’s scary.