Blog + Design

Sharing a Flat with 12 People in Berlin

‘So, where are you staying in Berlin?’

‘Oh, in a flat in Lichtenberg.’

‘Oh really, you’re living there alone?’

(… and how can you afford that?!)

‘No, I have 12 flatmates.’

(pause of shock)

‘Like, how? Isn’t that crazy?’

Yeah, it sounds crazy and it did to me as well. When I first saw online that 12+ people are living there, I was hesitant because I couldn’t visit the place before moving in. Turns out, it works really well. But let’s start at the beginning.

flatmates-berlin
Probably as many of my flatmates as I can get in one photo.

Things have changed and so did I. 
When I initially planned to go to Berlin I was disappointed in my hometown, bored in my job and single. A lot has changed since then. When I actually left to come here, I was happy in Graz. But I’m glad I still decided to come to Berlin. Being here feels like an experience I have to make, even if the only thing I do is find out what this city feels like. Last year I’ve said that I feel the need to move to another city to see if the place I live in makes me unhappy or if I’m unhappy. Today, I’m happy either way.

Weird as it may sound, I am kind of feeling bad for not missing home more. I enjoy being in a new city, finding places I haven’t been to yet, exploring a city full of culture, art and creativity. I enjoy being in a place where everything’s possible and you’re encouraged to express yourself in any way fit. I just miss the people from home. I wish it were somehow possible to take everyone with me!

cee-bul-gropius-house
Loved the Lee Bul exhibition in Gropius Bau

I’ve hit my first low about a week ago.
I was strolling through a new part of town but had to go there by myself because I didn’t know anyone I could ask to join me. When I walked outside my flat I almost made a U-turn back inside. Icy wind hit my face and I was cold instantly. I would’ve gone back up to my place to put on more clothes but I was already wearing the thickest ones I’ve brought with me. Berlin in winter really is as challenging as everyone told me.

berlin klunkerkranich
An unexpectedly sunny day at the Klunkerkranich

Berlin can be really lonely without the right people.
And that’s why I enjoy living with some chill people. We all have busy lives, so we’re not in each other’s faces all the time but it’s nice to know that someone will usually be around. I already know it’s gonna be hard to leave this place and the people. Damn – never thought that being social was so important for me. For now, I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing and hopefully get used to the cold and being on my own.

xoxo2

Ben

Title photo: View from my balcony.

Follow me on Instagram for my journey in Berlin.

 

2 thoughts on “Sharing a Flat with 12 People in Berlin

  1. This sounds so … so many words could describe this experience. I always wanted to travel, to live in another city, another country, for a couple months at a time. Alas, I am leftover from the baby boomer generation, and my job and relationships kept me here. Then kids. Then grandkids. But it’s still a dream to rent a cottage somewhere (with others like you if need be)and stay a month or two. This is a great experience for you. Write down every day so you can remember the excitement!

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