I’ve been living in shared flats for almost 5 years now (miss you, mum) and I have had all kind of flatmates, from the absolute best (please, move back in with me) to the very very very indeed very bad ones. I refuse to call anyone the worst flatmate because I have heard worse stories than the ones to follow, but, man oh man, I still don’t understand where these people find the energy to be actively a pain in the ass.
Let me start with the least recent ones, the wound from the ones who -spoiler alert- just moved out is still to fresh. When I moved into university halls in Edinburgh I was excited. It was my first time living on my own, but you know calling-mum-every-eve-to-ask-for-cooking-advice kind of alone. I was sharing a flat with 5 other girls on their first year of uni. Three of them were Scottish, which made it difficult to communicate the first two days- blimey, does Glaswegian sound out of this world (love you Ems!). Another girl was originally from Peru but was at all language and cultural (except for having actual cooking skills) Scottish as well. Now, the fifth one was Chinese, and she was incredibly… well I would not know, would I? I met her the first day, never ever saw the inside of her room and sometimes only knew she was home because I heard the shower and then find her drain hair – first yikes of the post.
She wasn’t particularly bad, just like a ghost: you could feel her and sometimes she appeared to be haunting the kitchen but mostly she was harmless. If only she wouldn’t plug the shower EVERY TIME. I now think the poor creature was just very very lost in translation, but, at the time, so was I. Two of the other girls were besties from secondary school and hardcore party gals. They were fun to hand around with until they got tired and decided we weren’t cool enough to hang out with them. Sometimes I would find random people sleeping on our couch. Overall I give this flat a 7. We had some good parties together, and having seen other student flats, I think we had it good.
Second year of uni came in and I LOVE THIS YEAR. This is the year I got to live with the two most awesome women you all can possibly imagine. And thus my love for Czech Republic begins. These two are like family and the flat quickly turned into a home. So let’s skip this cause there is nothing to rant about. (Other than, girl, you took forever on the shower and you know who you are!) I give the flat a 12/10. Move in with me again anytime. When we both have kids and pets and partners we will just get a huge huge house.
Then I moved to Stuttgart, Germany, and… well… it was a freaking awesome year. Even flatmates weren’t that bad. This year I also lived at university halls. Allow me to stop here to rant about something else: man, were these houses badly planned or what. In between two metro tracks: train in, train out ALL DAY. I was on a first floor, my views? A CAR PARK. Their views? Yes, you guessed it, my room. Let’s move on. So this year I had again 5 flatmates.
The year started with a French girl (nothing to mention, she was not interested in me. I wasn’t French. Snob), a German boy (I have never been more jealous of someone in my entire life. This guy was perfect. He always looked and smelled good, always smiling with his super white teeth and one of the nicest people I have met. I hate him but also want to be the female version of him. Damn you, for being so perfect), a German girl (She was either too shy or not interested and I only saw her around 5 times in a year. She was the kind of person who sneaks out of their room after they’ve heard you leave the kitchen and knows that the coast is clear. She also couldn’t explain to me the difference between akkusativ and dativ. Useless to my experience there), and two Chinese guys who could not be more different. One of them was one of the nicest people I have met. He taught me how convenient the word convenient is and now I can’t stop using it (and I’ve probably ruined you as well, yw). He was friendly, interesting and interested and, my god, the best cook I’ve met. I miss him dearly. His girlfriend came from China to visit and she also had amazing hair and prepared for me a list of useful phrases in Chinese that I was never able to pronounce. Now, the other one was a cigarette stuck to a man, who never ever cleaned after himself. His girlfriend kept leaving hairs everywhere, man I really thought she was going bold. He didn’t do a dish, took the rubbish out or ever showed that he understood anything that was told to him – even in Chinese. He left a month after I moved in, thankfully.
After him came another German guy, who was into going to the gym. A LOT. Into weighting his food and never eating anything tasty. He was a good lad, he likes movies and talking. Definitely an improvement from the previous guy. This flat was never clean. No matter how hard I tried (very hard at first, not so much after. It was an exchange period and I had too many parties to attend to have time to care). Overall it wasn’t too bad- some of my friends had worse flatmates so I will restrain from complaining further. My best friend had to live with a Chinese guy who bought a washing machine that needed to be charged with water for every use. His room was on the opposite side of the flat from any water source. She lived in a constant pool. He also wasn’t able to turn off his alarm instead of snooze it and then leave the flat with his bedroom door locked. What an asshole.
I then moved back to Edinburgh and managed to live with two wonderful friends… and other 2 useless people. I lived in this huge (ehem ilegal) flat, that was exactly what I needed: big, bills included and close to uni. But it unfortunately came with two Spaniards who could not give less fucks about who else lived there. There was a boy and a girl. She was a waitress and finishing her master, and so uninterested in young students and with very weird timetables. She was sorta okay but not clean and not too nice. Rude, okay, she was rude. Man, like it hurt her to smile or to not be whining about something. Hope she’s doing better now. He was the real asshole. I have never in my life met anyone so dirty, so careless, and so useless for society. I don’t think he was a bad person, but his parents definitely did not educate him in the joys of civic cohabitation. Man! Unbelievable: dishes dirty for months, never taking the rubbish out, shaving and leaving ALL THE FREAKING DISGUSTING HAIRS on the sink, clogging it… I know he won’t be reading this but, if you are: you need to move to your own place, no one should have to put up with your BS. Nope. Please do us all a favour.
And so this brings me to now. London. Hammersmith. Yes. Now. I live here and I am loving it, and, you know why? Because my asshole flatmates moved out! YASSSS! Party! Let me give you context. I moved in here last June and there were a French couple and an Irish girl living in the house. After a month the Irish girl left… and only then she told me that the reason she and the former flatmates had moved out is because she cannot stand the French. I mean the French don’t have a good reputation regarding their friendliness, but I thought that she just felt left out since she had been living with the former flatmates for 2 years and thought I would give them a clean slate. Oh man, did they take my clean slate and make it filthy! You know, I laugh now but only because they are gone.
They were my age and didn’t seem bad at all when I first met them, but little did I know. They are the kind of people who you cannot say anything to, because they take it personally and then fight back. Example: I would buy toilet paper and ask them to please buy kitchen towels. Their reply would be something like ‘fine, but for the record I bought toilet paper last time’. Like they didn’t shit! They talked to you like you owed them money or gratitude (who knows what for), and liked to stay on top. And, if you know me you’ll know I won’t sit tight and shut my mouth. I am a pretty chill person, but there was no chill in this flat for over 6 months. Specially if I can hear them speak in French (which is all they spoke unless they wanted to complain about something they had probably done but conveniently forgot it had been them) from my room about me thinking I cannot understand. Bi***, je suis espagnole. Je comprends un peu le français. I didn’t say anything because why cause more drama.
They even had the courage to tell me how awful of a flatmate I am (this was in English, they wanted to rest assured I would understand) because I ‘impose things’ like cleaning the terrace (in case you are wondering, I only had suggested it and, yes, it is still dirty) or having a cleaning rota (which I gladly take all the credit for creating, when I moved in the flat was filthy and I asked them if it would be okay to have one, they said yes. Obviously their selective memory deleted that part of the conversation) or that’s it because I freaking imposed f* all. Geez.
They also liked to do ‘experiments’ like taking the rubbish out of the bin but not out of the house and then go to sleep with the rubbish in the kitchen floor. They said they were testing the other flatmate (Dutch guy! Forgot to mention that he moved in! There is nothing bad to say other than he showers every night at the time I want to brush my teeth. It’s like he knows…). Continuing my rant, they also did not know how to clean: dishes, cooking appliances, hoovering, toilet… it doesn’t matter. They would ‘clean’ with cleaning product and a paper kitchen towel, barely touching the surface they were cleaning (okay, dishes they did touch, but for the good they did they might as well be using the kitchen towel). Then complain it was dirty, and somehow it was obviously our fault. Laughable right? But you couldn’t say anything cause they would take it as an attack to their family’s honour- and that of their country- and come up with the time 2 months ago when you left one grain of rice on the counter. Guilty of charge.
So in short, I don’t think they were really bad people. I think they were awful flatmates and are joining the list of people who should get a place for themselves and save us all the headache of dealing with them. They were also spiteful and petty and childish and dirty. Also I hope they have diarrhoea for like two weeks; nothing major, just so they have time in the toilet to think about what they have done: namely vandalise the kitchen calendar (incidentally mine of course, and a present from a loved one) with a hate message. I hope they have good luck and live long lives… far away from me and anyone I know.
We now have a new flatmate, he is also French. Let’s pray.
PS The new flatmate is already much better than the previous ones. He READS, cooks well, and seems the kind of chill person we need after the madness. Cross my fingers.