German student ditches apartment, buys an unlimited train pass


[Read the post]


It’s a neat idea.
But it says she lives on the train- and then, later, we read that she sleeps most nights by crashing at her mom’s, grandmother’s, or boyfriends. So… she’s a couch surfer, then? Somewhat less cool, that way.


I really hope she doesnt “live” in the train. Or that she has arrangements for a shower somewhere else.

And it may be a “cute” joke but cant see the value of this for … well, anything. Is not a solution to the problem, unless the German goverment plans to incorporate thousands more trains to house the young population, and “The Rent is Way Too High” is not precisely a discovery.


We all know what happened the last time the German government got involved with “housing” large populations on trains…


Seems like it’s not much different from Japan’s issue with people renting out time/space at cyber cafe’s because it’s cheaper than renting an apartment. Probably sucks, and it’s a strange living arrangement, but it definitely says something on the issue of the value of renting/owning property. I live in Austin and god damn my rent is expensive for such a shitty small apartment, if i was desperate i could probably get more out of my paycheck buying a van and living out of it but it’s just not something i’m willing to put myself through but someone else might consider it.


In general, yes, but $450 a month seems fairly modest.


$450 a month? About £285?

That’s not a huge amount more than I was paying for one room in a three-bedroom flat (which actually only had two bedrooms, but we used the living room as a third) twenty years ago.


maybe her thesis is about how The Trains are Too Damn Cheap…?


Too soon, man, too soon!


yeah… she claims to live on a train, except she doesn’t sleep in it, which probably means she also enjoys nice hot meals and hot baths at her boyfriend’s or relatives’ place. She’s just an attention seeker.


Well, it depends. On Germany, probably not much, but I’m not sure about the job market there

In Spain, it is between good place in small towns (I pay 505 €) and a closet in Barcelona, but given that minimum salary is 750 € or so and many young people get less (either temps or “interns”), it is clearly into “I need roommates” territory for them


Wow, this story really has you angry, hey? Chill right out man. Nobody is trying to take anything from you.

Also the “She’s not really doing (X thing that she clearly isn’t claiming to do, else she wouldn’t have admitted in an interview to doing something different, and openly describe doing something different in a blog). She’s just an attention seeker!” accusation doesn’t look good on you. It never looks good on anyone.

EDIT: Oh look, you are not the first person to express this opinion, and she has a blog post discussing it, and whether “living on the train” is an accurate description of what she’s doing.


Any better translation of that post than Chrome’s built in translate?

This translated paragraph is poetic, but hard to decipher. :slight_smile: It sounds like she basically is saying “I feel like the train is home now, so I can say that it’s where I live”.

An interesting experiment, but yeah, without sleeping or eating there, it’s more like the train is where she spends time when she’s not crashing at other people’s places.


If home is where the heart is, I’ve always been living on a train.


Germany’s trains are just cheap enough. Don’t rock that boat!

It’s cheaper where I live to rent a car for the day and fuel it than to take a train - which is totally ass-backwards (privatisation, yay!).

That’s beautiful.


Hey, nobody wants to do it full-time unless they’re a first class passenger. (I saw Snowpiercer.)


The machine translation isn’t too far off. I’d do something like

The Duden defines „dwell“ as „to have one’s constant abode“ – and that’s exactly what I am: constantly in motion on the train. And the announcements, the dark blue seats with light blue pillows, the light ceiling, the pattern of inconspicuous ICE carpet and the sound of the closing train doors are to me now so familiar and trigger such a feeling of at-home-ness, as in my my former, non mobile flat the sound of the front door, the position of the light switch, the chirping of birds outside in the garden and the kettle with the loose connection did. Purely from experience of it at any rate, I live in the train.

So yeah - that paragraph is about her feelings of hominess around the train.

From poking around on her blog, it seems she does eat on the train when she’s riding it at a mealtime. She doesn’t cook there presumably, but plenty of people almost never cook, some don’t even have a kitchen in their apartments, and we don’t accuse them of not living there. We just accept that they eat out or bring takeout food home. Also I got the impression she does sleep on the train some nights - if I understood right, a couple of nights a week she’s got to be at the university the next morning, and so sleeps on the train.

The photo attached to the post is of her, having just washed her hair on the train. Which makes sense - if you’re spending four hours on the train between school and bed, that’s basically your “home time” right there, and you’re only getting off the train around “bed time.” If you put off eating, bathing, and everything else until bed time, you’ll be up all night. Functionally then, on an evening like that, the train is all the parts of her home except the bedroom.


[ETA] I’ve never had to live in Europe, but $450 seems fairly reasonable (compared to rents in many major cities in the US)… I think a friend who lives in Geneva says (if I’m remembering correctly, I may not be) they pay around $2000 for their place in their nice, hip neighborhood… Can any Europeans or Germans give us an idea of how normal that rent is (for the train lady, not my Geneva friend)?


In various cities i’ve lived in i’ve come across more then a few people that live on public buses. true story.


I frequently saw poor people in Milwaukee who would use part of their monthly checks for a bus pass, and sleep in shelters.

They’d be warm during the day and get anywhere they needed to go. And they had friends on the bus who did the same thing.