In order to save money, I shared a bed with strangers in Beijing.
In order to save money, I shared a bed with strangers in Beijing.

what is your rental budget? Will rent drag you down your life?

some time ago, I swiped on my online co-rental card that someone was looking for a "room mate".

A lot of rental posts have this tag# in the same room # # in the same room with different beds #.

it's not unusual for Beijing drifters's young people to find unfamiliar roommates through social media, but in order to reduce rent, some people have begun to share beds with strangers.

posts about finding roommates in the same bed

according to the 2023 graduates' Rental Survey report released by and Anjuke, in the ideal situation of more than 80% of young people, rents should be controlled at less than 30% of their wages. For a young man who has just graduated, based on a monthly salary of about 10,000 yuan, the monthly rent should be limited to at least 3000 yuan.

but for Beijing drifters, who has just graduated, 3000 yuan is very difficult to exchange for a comfortable environment that covers all aspects.

if you want to get a larger housing area and a comfortable living experience, you can only go to the fourth and Fifth Ring Road to seek a place with a monthly rent of 2000 yuan. In Tongzhou, the monthly rent for a flat with two bedrooms and one living room is about 4500 yuan. That would require a long commute of one hour a day. If you want to rent a place close to the company in Xier Banner, Zhichun Road, Wangjing and other places where workers gather, you have to put up with the narrow and humble living environment.

the strange environment of renting is incomprehensible if you don't take a look at it. I once wanted to rent a two-bedroom room in Shaoyaoju for 3000 yuan. On the rental APP, the photos of each room were taken with a wide-angle lens and bright lighting.

looks gorgeous. I didn't know what "cheating" is until I actually went to see the house.

among them, there is a humble semi-basement-- only half of the windows of the house are exposed above the ground, sticking its head out, and you can see the hot steam of the cooking boiler downstairs; there is also a loft, which claims to be a three-bedroom, which is actually transformed into a room in the attic, and the floating window is also counted as the living area. There are also many old-fashioned apartments, where the bathroom can only hold one person standing, and raising your hand to hold the shower head is easy to hit the wall.

this is not difficult to understand,

can't stand this kind of solitary living environment, but want to meet the high performance-to-price ratio of low-budget locations and comfortable accommodation, finding roommates, or even bed-sharing roommates, is on the agenda.

I carefully asked a few "room mates" posts, and that's how I found Xiao Sha. In the second half of 2022, she just came to Beijing from Shanghai and joined an Internet company in Xisanqi as a planner. Her hometown is in Hubei, where she has traveled to three cities and has been shut down twice during the epidemic. After three years of work, she has become more and more aware of the necessity of saving money. among the major categories of clothing, food, housing and transportation, rent is the most important saving priority.

on the social platform, she found her current roommate Meng Han, who they didn't know at all before and shared the bed together just to save money. Later, the two found a three-bedroom room in Xisanqi,

A total of six girls live in this house, all of whom are strangers who share beds together and wonderfully establish a "Beijing drifters limited" friendship.

next, let them talk about this joyous adventure.


"can you accept bed sharing?"

what's it like to share a bed with strangers?

on the first night, Xiao Sha felt that there was nothing particularly unacceptable. The bedroom is 15 square meters, with a double bed of 1.8x2 meters, and it is spacious for two people to sleep.

it was October last year and the weather was getting cooler. Xiao Sha got up at 6 a.m. the day before to catch a plane and came to Beijing from Shanghai. After three months of unemployment, she finally got the Offer of a company in Beijing. She has two sets of pillows and sheets in her luggage, but the quilt hasn't arrived yet. Roommate Meng Han has a quilt mailed by her family, but no pillow. When the two men met the day before, they cobbled together a set of bedding and made do for a night. Tired after a long day, Xiao Sha fell asleep.

although before that, Xiao Sha had no idea what the dream looked like, or even her real name.

she and Menghan found the house together. A 20-flat second bedroom in 138ping three-bedroom costs 3000 yuan a month, and each of them pays 1500 yuan. Near Xisanqi, it is a kilometer walk from Xiao Sha's new company. Menghan is her online "money", has been online contact, this is the first time to see.

the experience of two girls sharing a bed is not bad, but unexpectedly comfortable. Menghan usually goes to bed after 11:00, while Xiao Sha lasts until around one o'clock in the morning. Although the two fell asleep at different times, they did not quarrel because of this, but Menghan often touched the pillow and could not hear Xiao Sha at all. As soon as they opened their eyes, it was more than 8 o'clock and it was time to go to work again.

Xiao Sha remembers that one day, when she was half asleep and half awake, she kicked the quilt aside because she was hot. When it was cold at night, she had to pull the quilt into a dream. When she heard Menghan scream, she was frightened and put the quilt back. But neither of them was very sober during the whole process--

she and Menghan both belong to the type that sleeps dishonestly but sleeps to death.

people like them, who are neurotic and insensitive, and are willing to give up some private space in exchange for low rent, are very suitable for sharing beds.

the embarrassment of sharing a bed is obviously nothing compared to the satisfaction of saving money.

after two outbreaks, companies in Shanghai laid off staff in July last year, and Xiao Sha was on the list. Three months of unemployment, life is too difficult, the company defaulted on wages, has not been given due compensation. She works hard with the company.The court case, while looking for a variety of part-time jobs in Shanghai, trying to fill the rent hole of 2250 yuan a month, while looking for the next job.

"it was only in such an emergency that I realized that the house could not be eaten. What if you starved to death in that house?" Even if you can save 100 yuan when you have no income, you are very happy.

some people will spend more money to live better, but I think we still have to have money, and cash is the most important thing.


when she received the Offer from the Internet company in Beijing in September last year, she planned to keep her rental budget within 2000 yuan per month.

Xiao Sha's tenet is that if you can save, you can save: "I can afford a rental budget of 3000 yuan." But why would I give that money to the landlord? Why do you want to help the landlord pay off the loan? Although I am very stingy, I am also the kind of person who may eat 400-500 yuan a meal, that is because the meal is at least on me. "

when she was browsing the rental information intensively, under the introduction of a house, Menghan was also asking about the house in the same area, which happened to be brushed by Xiao Sha. Plucking up her courage, she wrote a private letter to the stranger: "Hello, sister. Are you looking for a house here, too?"

like her, the opposite is a girl who has not been working for a long time, working in finance. Menghan, who had never rented a house in his hometown in Hebei before, recently found a job in Beijing and wanted to find a place near his new company. His budget was 1500 yuan per month, which was a little lower than Xiao Sha's bottom line.

Menghan's social home page is blank, there is nothing to share in real life, like a dummy. But somehow, Xiao Sha had a strong trust in this netizen who had never met before.

they are in a similar situation, they are all poor young people, and she instinctively thinks that the other party will not be a liar.

"I asked her, can you accept bed sharing?" You know, 1500 yuan can't afford to rent a single room in Xierqi in Beijing. The situation would be much better if they shared the burden as a team. But another real problem is that there is basically only one double bed in a single room. Menghan readily agreed to the proposal of sharing the bed.

Private messages of Sasha and Menghan on Little Red Book

"she says yes, then I have no problem. In this way, we completely handed over the safety of sleeping in the middle of the night to a stranger. " Xiao Sha and Menghan verbally reached a "gentleman's agreement":

do not snore, do not sleepwalk, do not bring boys back, constitute a "bed-sharing".

they also realized their simplest wish--

Don't be dragged down by the rent and lose your normal life.

Xiao Sha moved over and placed 10 large boxes in the living room


"bed mattress" of running water

the newly rented house is located near Xisanqi, only 1 km walking distance from Xiao Sha's company, can be controlled within 20 minutes, and even has time to come back for lunch break. She is very satisfied with this geographical location.

when I first heard of sharing beds, I immediately thought of the narrow, dark group rental housing, but this is not the case.

this house has a total area of 138 square meters, one master bedroom facing south, two bedrooms facing north, plus two bathrooms and two balconies.

the living room area is more than 40 square meters, and the public space is very large.

roommates put a lot of sundries in the living room, and even so, there is room for two roommates to spread out yoga mats at the same time.

the standard of per capita living space of rental housing in Beijing should not be less than 5 square meters.

add up,

Xiao Sha and Menghan share a 20-square-meter second bedroom, which is obviously more comfortable than sharing a room and curling up in an 8-square-meter single room.

the monthly rent of the whole house is 10000 yuan,

4000 yuan for the master bedroom,


3000 yuan for each bedroom.

two girls live in Qianyihe Huahua in the master bedroom, and in theory, two people live in each of the other two bedrooms. But

the two tenants of the second bedroom have just moved out and are temporarily vacant.

Qianyi is the whole tenant of the whole house. She usually signs a lease contract with the landlord for a period of 1-2 years in her own name, and then issues a rental notice on various online platforms to rent out the other bedrooms. She can be regarded as the second landlord.

when adding Qianyi Wechat, Xiao Sha found out that her nickname was "XX intermediary + phone number" and knew that her job was a real estate agent.

Qianyi, a 29-year-old girl from Northeast China, has been working as an intermediary in Beijing since she graduated in 2018.

when she first graduated, she also shared a bed, but she knew each other with her college roommate.

"at first, Beijing drifters, our income was limited and the rent was expensive. My college roommate accompanied me through the most difficult stage at the beginning of Beijing drifters, and I got used to sharing beds." Qianyi said that in college, they would run to each other's beds to play with each other before going to bed, and it was not surprising to build a quilt after sharing.

more than a year later, when her college roommate left Beijing to go out of town for development, Qianyi inevitably went to find a new stranger to share the bed and had to force herself to adapt.

at that time, after a prospective tenant came to see the house, he was very satisfied with the conditions of the house and naturally became Qianyi's new roommate. The first night she slept with a stranger, she changed a quilt into two, each of them.Close to the bedside, very formal.


I told her in advance that I was not honest in sleeping, so you can forgive me a little, or if I have a problem, you can wake me up when I fall asleep.

I will tell her in advance that when we get along, you have to understand others before they can understand you, right? "

as a matter of fact, Qianyi has long adapted to the habit of sharing beds. Her sleep has not been affected. She is more worried about her bed than herself. She gets up early every day and asks her how she sleeps. Qianyi's enthusiasm moved her roommate. She came and went, and the relationship between them got closer.

however, this is only temporary. As this roommate leaves Beijing, she will start looking for new people again. Over the years,

Qianyi changed a total of three houses, all three-bedroom and four-bedroom, with two people in each single room-she found this to be the most economical way to rent.

because of her professional identity, everyone thinks that she knows the inside story of house rental best, and she is also responsible for finding a house and renewing her contract. Over time, Qianyi has also become the core role in maintaining the whole rent.

after changing a lot of roommates, Huahua and Qianyi got together. Huahua is a relatively stable roommate at present. She and Qianyi have lived together for a year and a half. Originally, they were not roommates, but only roommates. Huahua shared a bed with another roommate and lived next door. In 2021, their "bed mates" happened to move away, and both of them were left alone and leaned together on the same bed.

for this bed-sharing model, the biggest risk is to bear the cost of vacant rooms after the previous tenant has left.

but so far, Qianyi has never been left vacant for too long. Basically, after someone withdraws the rent, there will always be new tenants in 3-5 days-in the hot spots in Beijing, she doesn't need to worry about renting the house free.

Last October was a special case. When Xiao Sha and Menghan checked in, the other second bedroom had been vacant for more than a month. When the house is vacant, the rent can only be shared equally between Qianyi and Huahua.

worried that the house had been vacant for too long and four people could not afford the rent, Huahua converted the double bed in the second bedroom into two single beds out of his own pocket, installed two small night lights at the head of the bed, bought a 1.8-meter iron cable, and drew the curtains in the middle. In this way, people who are less receptive to sharing beds are also more likely to move in.

fortunately, within a week, two girls who came to Beijing for an internship won the room with different beds in the same room

, but they only rent for 3-6 months and leave at the end of their internship.

since the beginning of this year, Xiao Sha has also launched a rental message for Qianyi because she is so good at social media. Helplessly, after the post was sent, she received five or six inquiry calls in the morning, all of which were interns who had been renting for 3 months. Qianyi very much hopes that Xiao Sha can help her find two more long-term roommates to solve the problem of changing roommates frequently, but in the current situation, there are fewer and fewer long-term tenants.

according to the report of Zhuge data Research Center, the rental market in large and medium-sized cities across the country fell by 5.27% month-on-month in June 2023.

"I feel like I can't attract a permanent resident at all, and all the companies in our neighborhood are laying off staff, and only interns will rent a house."

after the graduation season, the second bedroom will be vacant again, and Qianyi and they have to face a new round of vacant house crisis.


time-limited intimacy

six strangers from all over the country live under the same roof. This is a wonderful fate.

"at first I thought that if six selfish people were huddled in this house, it would probably be very difficult every day. But the six of us are not like this, and we are doing well. " Xiao Sha said.

Xiao Sha experienced a different warmth here. She often feels that she is closer to other girls in this family than her parents. From childhood to childhood, she had a relationship with her parents as an "East Asian family". Under the same roof, they could have food, a place to live, and live comfortably, but they would not have a lot of in-depth inner communication.

in this rented house, she still maintains the collective life of college students' dormitory, which gives her a little respite after work.

Huahua feels the same way. She is from Chongqing. Before she came to Beijing, she worked alone in Shenzhen. She lived in a single room in a village in the city with a monthly rent of 700 yuan. She only ate one meal a day, ate irregularly and stayed up late, and had great health problems. She has a sister who often lives in Beijing, and seeing that she is not doing well, she is sent to Beijing to recuperate. After living for three or four months, my sister's children needed a separate house when they grew up. Huahua went out to find a job as a chain coffee shop manager and moved out to rent a house.

before meeting Qianyi,

her understanding of the house has always been: a place to sleep.

gradually, her mind changed.

at home, Qianyi is a big housekeeper, responsible for reconciling everyone's relationship and dealing with family affairs, large and small. Whenever a new roommate moved in, she would suggest having a hot pot together to bring everyone closer. Qianyi is good at cooking. Stewed beans with spareribs, stewed chicken legs with potatoes and fern root powder with cold sauce are all good dishes for new renters.

everybody cook hot pot together

in Qianyi's view, the harmony of roommates is the key to maintaining a stable rent-sharing relationship.

"if you have no family or relatives in Beijing, you may need to rely on friends, right? Beijing has no shortage of friends you need to make. "

it's not like she hasn't met a bad roommate over the years. Once upon a time, there was a roommate who used to lock himself up in the house.Some people don't get along with each other, and sometimes they somehow offend her and talk to themselves in the room, banging on the door and throwing things into a temper. Her past experience made her cherish her current roommate, hoping to maintain this harmonious family.

Xiao Sha was a little embarrassed when she saw a large table of dishes cooked by Qianyi for the first time. She didn't contribute much, so she offered to wash the dishes. She dug up gloves and detergent from her luggage, and after the meal, these personal effects were left in the kitchen as public goods.

when it comes to public goods, they don't pay special attention to their respective expenses. For example, there is not enough oil at home, the paper is gone, and anyone who sees it will buy it.

like a student dormitory, you can't get by if you haggle too much.

usually Qianyi works overtime and after dinner, call Huahua at home, and Huahua will get up and cook for her. In the morning, there are always a few boiled eggs on the table in the living room, which are usually boiled by early risers.

once, Menghan left a small bowl of eggplant and told Xiao Sha that she could eat it when she came back from work. Xiao Sha worked until more than 10:00 that evening. When she got home, she was so tired that she didn't want to move. She never ate eggplant in her life. When she saw the bowl of vegetables contained in her dream, she took the initiative to eat a dry bowl for the first time.

"I think we are familiar with each other or gradually become very close, all in a very small moment of life. But the connection between capable people and people is so close, it does not mean that some earth-shaking event. "

Xiao Sha said.

in the days of "looking down and not looking up", the living room has become a space for everyone to stay for a long time. After 8 p.m., this is the most relaxing time of the day for everyone. When people come back one after another, they sit on the sofa in the living room, brush their phones, watch dramas, complain about the company, colleagues, and bosses, and go back to their rooms to sleep when they talk about how sleepy they are until 10:00.

Jiaqi, a college student who has just come to Beijing for an internship, said that shortly after staying in her second bedroom, she said,

I feel that living in this house is like "Ode to Joy", but there is no rich second generation and no company boss.

stills of Ode to Joy

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but they all know in their hearts that this kind of warm human feelings is only "limited by Beijing drifters." Such a small family will be disbanded one day.

it is getting harder and harder to find new tenants, and people's jobs are not so stable. And Qianyi, who is the soul to keep this small family running. After eight years, Beijing drifters is also nearly 30 years old, and her family is under pressure. Now, the first step is to give priority to planning her own personal problems.

now she has a boyfriend who is getting along, and the two will also talk about the future. They know that Beijing will definitely not stay.

"I put all my youth here. Beijing is the place I know most, but it is not a place for me." I can't bear to leave now, blinding my youth in vain. "

it is already one or two o'clock when Xiao Sha turns out the lights and goes to bed every night, and sometimes Menghan will have a little chat with her before she falls asleep. Menghan usually has few words, and in the stillness of every night, he will occasionally be emotional and complain about life, work and object.

sharing the bed does make their relationship closer. When neither of us is asleep, we must chat, and it is this kind of moment that makes Xiao Sha feel, "maybe we are not two people lying in the same bed to save money." We are just friends who have known each other for a long time. "

this kind of intimacy is rare, but it is also time-limited.

it's like the relationship between college roommates who have nothing to do with life after graduating from college-like each other's circle of friends and get married with a share of the money, Xiao Sha said, "that's all." If one day we no longer share a rent, I think that may be our relationship. "

Houlang Research Institute


second instance: Li Jin

third instance: Zhao Haixu

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