Hello, my name is Chris, an independent planner and a jazz singer. Lately, Beijing’s crackdown on its “low-end population” has been discussed a lot, making me feel like sharing my own “Bei Piao” renting experiences. Though my story has little in common with those group renters who lives outside of 5th Ring Rd, it could be a vivid story to tell.
As a 7-year-“Bei Piao”, I’ve lived almost every corner of Beijing from 5th to 2nd Ring Rd. In Beijing, good luck is key to rent a fine house, and as for how long you can keep the house depends on how long your luck lasts. For a cheap rental, I have fought with dishonest agencies, whom refused to return my deposit and imposed sanitary and management fees on me; dealt with weird landlord and housemates. Finally, I couldn’t bear living my life in such chaos, I moved into a small one bedroom apartment!
However, life is still a struggle. My rent doubled, living space shrank, and I had to endure indelible loneliness every day. To find companionship, I kept cats and dogs at home, but still couldn’t fill my emptiness. When moving becomes normality, I don’t feel I belong anywhere; where you live is just a house, never feel at home.
Early last year, I finally found my dream house, a two-bedroom loft in Hutong - centrally located inside the 2nd Ring Rd, quiet but in a convenient neighborhood.
Do I need a housemate?
To be honest, I do not want to risk getting a housemate whom has no common interests with me, but splitting rents is really necessary. So I decided to look for housemate whom I can get on with.I posted my housemate-hunting message on Wechat moments and WeChat groups, including the condition of my house, my habits and hobbies and requirements to ideal housemates. A friend saw my post and recommended a rental platform called WellCee to me and said WellCee would help me quickly find a suitable housemate.
Only one day after my post was released, a few girls visited my house. Among all the messages, one really caught my eye, that was from my current housemate - John. I clearly marked female only, but John insisted writing to me, introduced himself and convinced me that gender wouldn’t be a barrier to become housemates. I admired him for his courage and would like to give him a chance.
Our first meeting was very pleasant. I got to know him a bit, John comes from northern Europe, with tidy and clean appearance and talks gently and politely. He’s learning Chinese and working as CTO of a makerspace, had been living as a hippie in India for a while and was a drummer too.
Later, I invited John and a group of my musician friends to home, we chatted about music, religion and various interesting topics. John got on well with my friends, so I decided to ask John to be my housemate!
It proves that I’ve made a right move. My life got more variety after John moves in. After work, we hang out at the nearby live house. He always shares his travel experiences and insights about the world and dietary recipes with me. I help him improve his Chinese.
Soon after we lived together, we moved again to a better loft with terrace. We decorated the new home and raised a little black cat – Luna together, witnessed each other's romance stories and got 2 new housemates Sid and Patrick. 4 of us love to chill in the terrace, watching the sun set and laughing that: "We are one big happy family!" I really enjoy such “cohabitation” life which we all are respected and inspired by each other.
There’s no ending feast, it’s time for me and John to say goodbyes. John is traveling to India, while I’m about to start my new life in Qingdao.
During my seven years in Beijing, I’ve been asked one question a few times: Which city is your favorite? And why do you love it? My answers have always been: "I love Beijing coz I love the people who live in Beijing." Thinking about Beijing's greatest charm, I believe it’s a group of interesting, sincere, inclusive people, respect and understand others. I am lucky to meet all those friends, and create wonderful memories in Beijing. I do not feel sad to leave because John and I have a deal that once we return to Beijing, we’ll be housemates again.
This is my “Bei Piao” story, I hope in the cold winter night, your heart will be warmed by this and filled with expectations for the future. Here, I’d like to advertise that John and I still got six months left in our renting contract. If you are interested in our home, you could join Sid and Patric and continue writing your own new "big happy family" story!
This winter brought a little shadow to our life because of an accident. WellCee send our best wishes to friends who will need to find a new home. Users from over 100 countries and regions have registered on WellCee. Following Beijing, shanghai has just welcomed its 10,000th registered users! More than half of our users come from outside of China, making WellCee a melting pot for different cultures and languages. Exciting stories are happening with WellCee every single day! WellCee has gathered a group of people who enjoy life and good companies, and are always excited to try new things that could bring new possibilities to life!
To bring users a better house and housemate hunting experience on mobile devices, WellCee App is coming soon, so stay tuned ...
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