Controversial Communal Laundry Rooms 

When I used to visit Osnabrück in the 80s, I was absolutely super amazed by some of the houses that the German exchange students lived in. My pen friend’s house for example had a giant bathroom with a bidet and a massive cellar which had been converted into some sort of nightclub. It had a glitter ball and a bar. I grew up in a council house and thought that everything in Germany was totally huge and posh in comparison.

I remember that one of my school friends stayed in a house which had a swimming pool and a solarium. This was so super impressive especially as I loved sunlamps for their zit killing skills. I was so spotty back then. Lovely.

Anyway, I guess that property prices are now as they are in the U.K., and that it’s really difficult to buy a big house now. I live as many other other families over here do, in a flat within a big house. I stayed in such a flat during the German exchange programme once (my pen friend was on holiday) well I stayed with the man that I’m now married to. I live in the same street now actually, and his mother lives next door in the 80s flat, which hasn’t changed at all. It’s a bit like a museum of teenage memories for me. The place where this arrogant teenage boy told me that he would not take me to the disco. I still haven’t forgiven him for that and he knows it.

There are nine flats within the house that I live in now. A few people are related to each other, that seems to be quite common here. We all share a great big garden. Here it is…


There is a swing and a trampoline and in the summer holidays there will be a big paddling pool for the children of the house. That little wooden house has an open fire inside and a bar and eating area. You can book it for parties, or take a BBQ into the garden and invite friends over. We had our wedding party in the garden/little house. Well I did not attend as my husband did not impress me that day, but I think it went quite well.

I don’t go in the garden as I am completely anti social and do not wish to communicate. It’s great for my daughter though and there are often children out there for her to play with.

The big house also has a communal bike storage room, and a communal laundry. Each flat has a washing machine in the cellar, with its own power point, and there is a shared tumble dryer. You just plug it into your own power point and dry your clothes. I don’t go down there as I’m completely anti social and do not wish to communicate. My husband does all the washing.

Each flat has a huge storage room in the cellar too, ours has a toilet inside it. No, I do not go down there.

There is a cleaning rota in place. I don’t think anyone really sticks to it apart from us and a couple of others. There are regular notices put up in the hallway from neighbors complaining about other neighbors and there’s one man who thinks it’s funny to shut my husband in the basement when he knows he’s down there. He doesn’t like him because he uses a steam cleaner instead of a mop to clean the hallway so he shuts him in at every opportunity. I think that’s absolutely hilarious actually.  He deserves it for not taking me to the disco in 1987.

So yes it’s a different way of life here. I quite like it. It feels safe to always have other people in the building. The garden is great and also someone else mows the grass. No grass to mow is heaven. But yes I wish there was a disco and not washing machines in the basement haha. I would be dancing the to The Smiths and The Cure every day.

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