Finding an apartment can be a full-time job, especially in Munich, possibly the worst place in this country to find a place to live.
I went down, lodged myself in a friend's apartment, opened my laptop and found a site with flatshare-postings. Tried contacting people. Got about ten times less responses than I sent
out requests - welcome to Munich. But hey, there was someone trying to
rent out one room in their apartment, willing to meet me tomorrow!
The two-person. The first two-bedroom I visited had a lovely bedroom for rent, but the horrible body odour of the other occupant filling kitchen, hallway and bathroom.
At the next one I met not only the current inhabitant, but also her mother and the mother's giant German shepherd dog. Mommy was quick to tell me all about how the poor daughter had been so disadvantaged that she now has to spend 3 years finishing high school at age 24.
So it went on, and all of them told me I could move in with them. When I politely
declined, their ads went back up on the website. I started looking for bigger living groups.
The university students. They usually live in shared flats, and I was able to get some of them on the phone - no way out, no email you can ignore, I'm coming by tomorrow morning!
When I arrived at my next potential home, one of my two potential housemates was still not there; "he'll be back from this party somewhere out in the suburbs some time soon". "Yeah, we've got a microwave. No, no oven, we're thinking about buying one". "So, what do you do when you're not at uni?" -- "Well, mostly we just hang with friends in our kitchen, we prefer wine over beer usually."
When the tardy partier finally arrived, about an hour late, he repeatedly stated "I'm here now, but only physically so far... Give me some coffee!"
On the blackboard on the wall: a list of all the applicants who were to visit throughout the day. I might've moved into this marvellous living stereotype, but I suppose one of the 15 other hopefuls fit the bill better.
The "Verbindung". That's the German version of a fraternity... I located the only one in Munich that houses women, and called for a visit. Leather couches, a pool table, a garden in the back. Oh, and a fencing range in the basement, as it turned out that all the male members have to participate in an old-fashioned style of sabre fighting four times a week. And women can't be full members anyways, their main raison d'etre is that "guys behave a lot better when there's girls around". Uhm, no thanks.
The perfect. Then, I couldn't believe my eyes, I found a flat just five minutes from a Capoeira academy. It wasn't too expensive, either. I went to visit, and chatted for an hour with the people living there. They're cyclists and climbers and have a little herb garden on the flats balcony which overlooks a shady peaceful back yard. The girl leaving her room mentioned that she'd like to leave her piano in the room for a few years, *if I didn't mind* - I had truly found paradise.
Well, after two days I got a call from them saying "you were up there on our list, but eventually we gave the room to someone else. Sorry!"
The temporary solution. Soul crushed and eyes tired from nearly 2 weeks staring at online ads and waiting for replies, I found rescue in the form of the same friend's apartment I had been staying at: a room is opening up! It's a spacious 10 square meters, only about an hour by train from where I'll be working. And it's being vacated a mere 10 days after I'm supposed to start there - what's 10 nights spent on a couch, after all?
Okay, my new flatmates are engineers, so likely there'll be lots of physics jokes and I'll possibly lose any semblance of social skills.
But I won't be sleeping under the bridges by the Isar, and that's a start.