The title of this article is quite clear. I will tell you how it was living with 3 Chinese guys during 6 months while I was abroad. Can you imagine where I was abroad? Beijing? Hong Kong? Taiwan? Nope. Oulu. A small city IN FINLAND. Yes, where all the people are blonde with blue eyes I lived with three Chinese guys with brown hair and eyes. Unbelievable.
Let me start from the beginning…
How did this happen?
In Oulu, the students flats are organized by something called PSOAS. You ask for a room and they give you one, but you cannot choose who your roommates will be or in which building you will be in. You can only tell them 120 characters if you have any suggestion. I said “please no Spanish, I want to improve my English” (I am Spanish). Looking at it from this perspective, this was a BIG MISTAKE.
In the beginning I have to admit it, I thought it would be funny. Totally different cultures, different country, all students… sounds like we are going to have awesome adventures and parties. I was TOTALLY WRONG. Let me introduce you to my three new Chinese friends:
- They were friends since a long time ago.
- They studied in the same class and course: Computer Engineering.
- First time without living with their parents.
- Low English level.
- They loved computer games.
- They were not very social with “non Chinese people”.
With this awesome panorama, my year abroad started…
Not everything was bad, we had some dinners together, you know, to build our future friendship that will live forever. Not at all. After almost 2 months I realized our friendship would finish between the dirty dishes and the amount of trash in the living room.
I heard that Chinese people were not very clean but, you know, you always think it is a stereotype. I can tell you, these three guys were EXACTLY like the stereotype. I will give you some examples:
- Cook smelly stuff. Every day. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were a festival for my nose.
- Wash the dishes? What is that. They left EVERYTHING in the sink and, until they needed them again, they didn’t clean it. It was incredible.
- Diogenes? I don’t know him. They were 24 years old but they they accumulated garbage like old freaking people.
- Hairdresser? Sure, why not. One time I arrived in the afternoon at my flat and I saw in the corridor of my floor around 15 Chinese guys waiting for entry into my flat… I went inside and what my eyes saw I will never forget. They moved everything in the living room, put a chair in the middle and they converted our living room into a Chinese hairdresser. Free haircut. THAT’S WHY THE PEOPLE WERE WAITING OUTSIDE THE FLAT.
- Party was not in their dictionary. In six months living together ZERO parties.
- The expiration date on the products is just a recommendation. They used this sentence in its maximum meaning. Weeks and weeks were the products in the fridge creating mold, creating a new micro world in the soup during 6 weeks…
- Random schedule. I could arrive home at 5 AM after, let’s say some beers, and one of my roommates could be awake cooking smelly stuff.
- Cleaning? What?. One day I arrived at my flat and one Chinese girl, friend of my roommates, was cleaning all of our flat while my three roommates were in their rooms playing LOL. She also cooked, prepared the table, cleaned the bathroom… I couldn’t believe it.
I simply moved. I would have done it before but my contract was very strict so I survived during six long winter months in Finland with three Chinese guys and, without any reason, now I am telling it to you.
I learned a lot. Too much. The experience is gone but the trauma is still in my mind.
P.S. Of course, not all the Chinese people are like this BUT after talking with some Chinese friends about it, I can say this behavior is quite normal.