The house I live in is a so-called gaijin house: Everybody has a private room, and we share facilities like kitchen, computer room, bathroom… We are also responsible for some house maintenance, meaning that we have to buy necessities like dishwashing liquid, replace broken light bulbs, take out the garbage, and keep the house tidy. Larger repairs are organized and paid for by the landlady and there is a cleaner coming once a week. In a way, it’s like a student’s dorm for adults, and mostly it works rather well.

a roll of toilet paperMostly. Right now, six of the eight rooms are occupied, that’s the largest amount of people living here since I came here. The house is still very quiet, and I am very grateful for this. Other things have changed though, for example we need a lot more garbage bags and have to take them out almost every collection day, and we seem to run out of toilet paper twice a week.

I had an interesting encounter concerning the latter issue with one of my housemates, a 50-something year old German. Essentially he said: “Oh, we’re out of toilet paper again, I know, but I don’t think I’ll go and get some because I bought the one before and I really think the new person (who moved in last week) should buy some, and besides, I’m leaving on Sunday anyway, so…” I managed to only remark that this is not the way things used to work around here, but I left it (and him) right there. No use making a stink in his last four days.

Inside I was fuming though. I mean, how old is that guy, 12? “But mommy, I did the dishes yesterday already…” I remember him coming in with four (in numbers: 4!) rolls of toilet paper and making a fuss about it as if he had just sponsored a complete bathroom renovation… Tit for tat, quid pro quo, and besides, I think I am perfectly entitled to…

There was something I found terribly obnoxious about Germans. Sheesh, if I could just remember what it was…

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