Just blogging

When I was homeless

Almost one year ago, I got this incredible opportunity to work as an intern at Condé Nast. I applied in a moment where I had nothing figured out and I didn’t even expect anything from it. I just wanted to see what my chances were, but thought that my application would probably be rejected. I’m not  sure if I’d have applied otherwise – it was past mid-May and they needed someone who could start in June and the Condé Nast office was in Munich, around 600 km away from where I lived at that time.

To my surprise, I got a callback only two days later. And since I’d never say no to an institution like Condé Nast, I started planning my move to Munich. Everything went well, I found someone to sublet my room to as well as an apartment. Everything went really fast and it was almost miraculous how perfectly things fell into place.

I arrived in Munich late on a Sunday evening and made my way to the apartment where I was supposed to meet the landlady’s daughter, my future roommate, who would be there with the keys. But when I arrived, no one was there. Besides, I couldn’t find her name on any of the door plates. So I frantically tried to call her, which also didn’t work, because apparently, she gave me the wrong country code (she and her family were Irish). I finally got a hold of her by messaging her on Facebook. She explained that there was some sort of family emergency and that she couldn’t meet me that day. But she’d try to get there the day after. She suggested that I should stay at a hotel until then.

I was pretty broke at that time, mostly because I had just paid a month’s rent and the deposit to that reckless bitch that didn’t show up. It also was my first time in Munich, so I had no idea where to go. Besides, considering that I was carrying four huge bags that night, I was also very reluctant to start wandering around, looking for a place to stay. And if that wasn’t enough, I also couldn’t really use my phone because I had limited data transfer. Lucky for me, there was a hotel right next to the apartment and with the money I still had, I even could afford a night. And they had wifi!

I had an inkling that I wouldn’t hear from that girl anytime soon and so I spent the rest of the night and the next morning looking for a host on Couchsurfing. Again, I was super lucky, because in only one hour I found someone who was willing to host me for a week. Yet, I still didn’t know how lucky I was at that point. But that couchsurfing contact also put me in contact with a girl who sublet her room at a student’s residency where I could move in a few weeks later. In the meanwhile, I squatted at one of my new colleague’s place (she even was so ind to stay at her boyfriend’s for that time). After that, I lived at a hostel. Again, it was my CS host who gave me the address. Eventually, I also got my payments for rent and the deposit back.

So yes, in the end, everything worked in my favor. The room at the student’s residency was only half of the rent I would have paid at the other place. But most importantly, I got to meet some incredible people and I’m incredibly grateful for all the help, support and unexpected kindness I received from total strangers. Without them, my situation would have been pretty dire to say the least, especially because I didn’t feel like I really had a support system back home.

This entire experience has definitely strengthened my wishful thinking that some things happen for a reason. I mean after the troubles during the first few days/weeks, I was much better off than I’d been with the original plan. And who knows how things would have turned out with a roommate who clearly doesn’t give a shit. (Btw, I still don’t understand what her deal was. If the family issue was real, then why couldn’t she manage to send someone on her behalf to pass the keys? For a moment, I thought it was a scam, even though I had a contract and even though extensive stalking didn’t show anything suspicious. But then I got all my money back. I really don’t understand.)

Also, the time I spend at the hostel probably was the best time I ever had. But I feel like I’ll talk about that in another blogpost.

Until then, enjoy your Sunday night!