WGy it is such a pain for Germans to live with me

Posted by Maria Kuzminova On May - 2 - 2011

First of all, I must say straight ahead that I don’t want to generalize, form (or prove) stereotypes, generate  prejudice, or turn the tide of foreign students coming to Germany over the next year. God forbid. I just feel the need to analyze my own miserable WG[1]-experience living with Germans and get at the roots of things.

I am Russian. I came from Moscow to Fulda to study Intercultural Communication.  Not being  a native speaker and being a guest in Germany makes me kind of less arrogant in terms of “my own ways of doing things” and having to do it.. so “When in Rome do as Romans do”.  I am doing quite well in the first task but totally failed in the second one.

I have lived in Germany for 6 months now: 4 months with a German guy, aged 24, 2 months till now with a German girl, aged 27. I didn’t even change the street, but in search of a better WG-partner ended up with the same problems: washing dishes, garbage separation, different perception of cleanness, economizing and as a result, life in general. Believe me or not, I am not a WG-pig: I wash dishes straight after using them, I wipe the table after eating, I leave the place as it was before me. I empty the dust-bin if it is full and if I have time, I even learnt to separate the garbage. It’s  just  I don’t make a cult of it – I think that a pot for boiling water doesn’t get dirty after that, I guess that a tea bag can go to an eco-garbage with a little paper tag unseparated.  I guess if it is still clean, you don’t need to clean just according to the Plan. My wasteful Russian nature tells me that cooking on a bigger ring doesn’t save so much electricity. And one more whim of mine is a warm radiator in the kitchen in winter. I know I am intolerable to live with. That’s why I recommend you’d better not.

[1] WG=Wohngemeinschaft – shared apartment