How is it like living with 30 other people in the same house?
Posted by Travel And Serve
After living at a home-stay family for a month, I moved into a shared residence. Wow, what an experience!
To be honest, it was a bit scary at first. The thought of living with 20 to 30 other people all together, sharing the same bathrooms, kitchen, living room, and everything else in between was alarming… after all, I have never even lived with a roommate, let alone with so many others that I have never met. I was thinking: how would I go to the bathroom, and shower every morning? Is there going to be a big line-up, and a fight to get in? Are there going to be crazy people there that just want to party 24/7, and I won’t get any sleep? Who is my roommate going to be, and will we get along? Is it safe there, and should I be super careful with my personal belongings..so on and so forth…
It has been nearly three weeks that I am living here now, and let me tell you that I don’t regret my decision a bit. Surprisingly, the situation with bathrooms and the shower always somehow works out! There are three stories in the residence, and a couple of bathrooms per floor. I believe there are about 10 to 15 people per floor with two to three people living in each bedroom. Somehow, everybody uses the shower at different times, and I don’t think if I ever had to wait! LOL Of course, I think it helps that my bedroom is across from one of the bathrooms, and I have VIP access. Also, I am grateful for having to go to my volunteering job later in the day so I skip the morning rush when everybody is getting ready to go to the school at the same time.
My roommate, named Lutz turned out to be a really cool guy from Germany. I work with Germans quite a bit in Van, so I felt just at home when I met him. LOL He has been living in B.A (Buenos Aires) for 4 to 5 months now, so he knows the city quite well. It’s great to have a friend like that. At time he even helps me with my Spanish.
What I love about the residence is the people whom I get to meet every week though. Almost everyone here is studying Spanish at the school which is located a couple of blocks away. There are some that have been staying here for a while like my roommate Lutz. And then there are others who just come here for a short vacation of one to two weeks. They see the city, party, learn Spanish, and then they return home.
I would say close to 80% of the students are Brazilians with majority from Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Recife. After that, there are a lot of Dutch people (don’t know why?), followed by Russians (two people), German (two people), French (two), Japanese (one), and Canadian (only me right now). I have met a couple of people from Canada so far, one from Vancouver and one from Toronto. There isn’t any one from US here!
Another interesting thing is that there is a much higher ratio of women to men of 3 to 1 (three women to every man). Most of the girls, complain about this issue quite a bit. LOL I don’t know if it’s true, but someone told me that traveling and learning languages is more of a feminine thing to do?
The age group is early twenties. A lot of people have either just finished college, or are in their last few years of graduating.. It’s interesting for me how they can afford it though..I wish I had the money to travel when I was in college! LOL
Not everything is of course all glorious here, and I would be lying if I told you it was all rosy. Some of my pet peeves is that the SHARED internet is SUPER SLOW! For those of you that are tech savvy, the speed is about 3 Mbits/s.. now normally, that would be decent! But imagine sharing that between 10 to 20 people at a time, and the good old dial-up internet seems like a dream! I try to get most things done either early in the morning when everybody leaves for school, or late at night when everybody is clubbing (people sleep at like 3 to 4AM). LOL
Also, a lot of people don’t really clean up after themselves when they cook or eat. The kitchen which has room for only one person is always a mess especially in the afternoons. You also have to be really creative on how to make the best use the 10 inch counter-top space that is available for preparing food.The nice thing is that cleaners come in everyday, and clean the bathrooms and the kitchen thoroughly. Thank you cleaners.
Other than that, it’s all good. One thing that I learned here quickly is that if I want to keep my sanity, I have to drop my standards. It’s really easy to go crazy when comparing the quality of life with the standards back home. My attitude is now to expect things not to work properly, buses to be late, and everywhere to be super crowed, and if it is any different then voila – what a nice bonus!
About Travel And ServeI am traveling for six months in Buenos Aires, Argetina and Kamapla, Uganda to serve with children who are victims of AIDS or orphans. This blog is used to share my experiences.
Posted on January 22, 2012, in Buenos Aires and tagged Argentina, Buenos Aires, cool guy, crazy people, morning rush, personal belongings, Shared Residence, Studying Spanish. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a Comment.