The myth and reality of flat-sharing
Bills split, roommate fun, the kindness of friends and the potential for romance. The two-season drama iPartment (《爱情公寓》), set in Shanghai, has shown us how great it can be to live with others, especially members of the opposite sex. The drama, which tells the story of young men and women sharing two neighboring apartments, has become extremely popular, and is widely regarded as the Chinese version of Friends.http://www.24en.com爱思英语网
But sadly, residents of real “love apartments” have seen a very different side to the story.
iPartment: The four-bedroom apartments located in central Shanghai are fully furnished and well decorated, with *spacious living rooms. What’s more, life seems easy: It appears that the apartments cost each resident less than 2,000 yuan per month. And among the residents are the jobless Ziqiao and Meijia.http://www.24en.com爱思英语网
Huangfu Qijia, 24, technical engineer at Siemens China in Shanghai
I am sharing a two-bedroom, 60-square-meter apartment with a couple in Pudong District. The monthly rent for each bedroom is 2,250 yuan, which is one third of my salary. I have to work really hard and eat fast food for each meal. And I dare not even ask for any vacation time, as this would reduce my performance-related pay.
iPartment: They have so many fun roommates in iPartment. There’s Sekiya, a Japanese animator whose awkward Chinese causes amusement; there’s Youyou, an *extra who is always *upbeat about her unsuccessful acting career; and there’s Ziqiao, a lady’s man who is only good at *flirting.http://www.24en.com爱思英语网
Wei Qiuming, 25, a tour guide in Beijing
My roommates are all regular people, including a clothes shop owner, a computer programmer, and a supermarket manager. The shop owner is female and the other two are male. Most of the time, we just complain to each other about tough bosses, unfriendly co-workers, and sometimes, bad clients. We don’t have much fun time together.
iPartment: The roommates are always there for each other. For example, when Sekiya had money problems, but was too proud to accept help, Meijia deliberately lost money to him in a poker game. Later, the roommates tried everything to help Yumo get over a painful breakup.
Li Fei, 23, an editor in Shenzhen Media Group
Currently, I have two roommates, a man and a woman. We seldom talk. Sometimes I need to work from 4 am to 12 am. When I return home, they are at work. And we keep toilet paper and washing powders in seperate bedrooms so that no one else can touch them. Also, wars often break out over dirty dishes in the kitchen, left-up toilet seats and loud music.
iPartment: Love happens in iPartment: Wanyu accepted Zhanbo’s proposal, and Sekiya and Youyou are now also happy together. Furthermore, the chemistry between Yifei and Xiaoxian is evident. The couples can enjoy half-price rent, free water and electricity as well as the many blessings of friendship. http://www.24en.com爱思英语网
Hu Xin, 25, an employee at China Merchants Bank in Guangzhou
I am living with two female colleagues. And I started dating one of the roommates last year. But we’ve kept it a secret from our other roommate, as we fear the relationship could create problems for the whole household. For instance, she might feel embarrassed around us. It is so inconvenient for us as a couple.