Alexander Fufaev
My name is Alexander FufaeV and here I write about:

Nico, My New Friend

The next morning, around ten o'clock, after breakfast with coffee and two slices of toast with vegan chocolate spread, I headed to the hardware store to get a hook for my lampshade. Hanna had messaged me on WhatsApp yesterday asking me to bring scouring milk and vinegar cleaner. Without knowing exactly what these cleaning products were for, I agreed. So, I also stopped by Rossmann at the train station and went straight to the cleaning section. There, I was faced with a wide selection of cleaning products, from toilet cleaner to scouring milk to glass and floor cleaners. As a cleaning novice, I was overwhelmed by the variety of products. There seemed to be a specific cleaning product for every specific type of dirt. I grabbed the scouring milk and vinegar cleaner from the shelf and read the usage areas on the packaging. The scouring milk was intended for stubborn grease and lime deposits in the bathroom and kitchen on ceramic and metal surfaces. The vinegar cleaner was supposed to effortlessly remove lime and soap deposits.

"Wouldn't it be easier to just use regular dish soap from the kitchen? Well, Hanna must have had something in mind," I mused as I headed to the checkout with the two cleaning products.

After I arrived back home, I put the cleaning products in the bathroom cabinet. However, there was hardly any space left in there, as many of the cleaning products I had seen scattered on a long shelf in the store were already crammed into a small compartment here. I sat down and began studying the backs of the cleaning products. Then, as I reached for the wood floor cleaner, I realized that I had already forgotten what I had read about the previous cleaning products.

"Oh well, I'll learn in practice," I thought and went to my room to mount my lampshade with the base, as I wouldn't have any light in the room otherwise.

The ceilings were quite high, so the kitchen chair wasn't enough to reach the three cables hanging from the ceiling. So, I dismantled my PC setup and pushed the desk under the lamp, allowing me to just reach the cables on tiptoes. However, I couldn't reach the hook I wanted to screw into the ceiling with my hand. So, I brought the kitchen chair again, switched off the circuit breaker in the meantime, placed the chair on the table, and climbed onto it carefully. I held onto the back of the chair and screwed the hook in with the other hand. I could also just reach the phase line, protective conductor, and ground without using the chair and connected the lampshade. Then, I attached my smart bulb, which I could control in color and brightness via an app.

Next, it was time to tackle the kitchen. I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of tasks. First, I cleared out everything from the cabinets and used dish soap with lukewarm water in a bucket to clean the dusty and dirty insides of the cabinets. The water quickly turned pitch black, so I had to change it several times.

Then, I turned my attention to the dirty window. I asked Jule via WhatsApp how to properly clean windows. She responded promptly with a voice message. I retrieved the glass cleaner from the bathroom cabinet and followed Jule's instructions in the kitchen and in my room. The three large windows looked so clean afterward, as if they weren't even there, and I felt like a professional window cleaner. Then, I once again changed the ultra-dirty water in the bucket and moved on to the kitchen drawers.

As I pulled out the utensils, my stomach growled. It was already five o'clock, and in this kitchen chaos, it was impossible to cook. I decided to order an Inca Veggie Burger and a cola via Lieferando. While waiting for it, I continued cleaning, emptying the drawers and thoroughly cleaning them. In the meantime, I filled the sink with water and added some dish soap to clean the dirty kitchen utensils.

Thirty minutes later, the doorbell rang, and my food was finally here. I dried my hands and took a short food break. The burger tasted divine. Probably because I was so hungry. As I ate the burger, I looked around the now much cleaner kitchen. After a sip of cola, I looked at the back of the bottle: Nine grams of sugar per hundred milliliters. "Not that much sugar," I thought. "But it also contains caffeine, and I shouldn't drink too much caffeine in the afternoon," I reminded myself.

After the burger, I made two more slices of toast with chocolate spread and two with baked beans to completely satisfy my hunger. As I spread the bread, I spontaneously decided not to drink soft drinks anymore. That would be my 1% improvement for my health today. My first conscious life upgrade.

After eating, I continued washing the drawers while Mo sat at the dripping faucet, trying to catch the drops with his paw and mouth.

Someone unlocked the apartment door. I looked into the hallway. It was Hanna, with a paper bag in hand. Obviously, she was once again rescuing leftover bread rolls. She used an app called "Too Good To Go," where she could buy a surprise bag of bread and sandwiches at a discounted price to save them from being thrown away.

"Hello, Hanna."

"Hi, Sascha. You're quite diligent, I see."

"Yes, I've been cleaning all day," I replied as I dried the now clean cutlery drawer with a towel.

"Sorry, I can only help you tomorrow. I just want to relax on the couch and watch my series."

"No problem, I'm actually very motivated to clean right now."

I cleaned the kitchen until late at night. The most exhausting part was scrubbing the stove with a steel sponge. This is where the scouring cream came in handy. With the scouring cream, I also brought back the shine to the sink, took out the trash, and finally finished at eleven o'clock.

Completely sweaty and exhausted, I stood proudly in front of the sparkling clean kitchen and was full of motivation to tackle the bathroom tomorrow.


This way, at the age of thirty, I learned how to clean the household, including how to handle various cleaning agents. Now I could also clean a toilet or sort laundry by color, along with the proper use of detergents.

During my time with my mother, my household chores were limited to vacuuming, unloading the dishwasher, taking out the trash, peeling potatoes, and occasionally shopping. My mother considered all other tasks too complex to entrust to a theorist. During my visits to Jule, I helped with hanging and taking down laundry and took on smaller tasks in the kitchen like chopping vegetables or cooking pasta. It was only when I moved into the shared apartment that I experienced the full range of household responsibilities.

Compared to Hanna, Mara, and Joachim, who had moved out at eighteen or slightly later and had smirked at me for still living with my mom, I had a significant financial advantage: I was not dependent on exchanging my time for money to finance my mom-free apartment. Through my monetized English and German YouTube channels, advertisements, and donations on my website, I could make a living. My hobby, which I now pursued commercially alongside my studies, generated sufficient passive income that allowed me to live without regular work. While I couldn't afford to travel, which wasn't really my thing anyway, I had a lot of free time that I could spend as I pleased. I determined my own sleep and wake schedule, and apart from my master's thesis and household obligations, I could do whatever I wanted all day.

It would have been possible for me to achieve financial freedom much earlier if I had started developing digital products that solve other people's problems instead of - as I did - playing games for days. In any case, that way I could have avoided the annoying comments about being a mama's boy.

About two weeks after my move, I had fully settled into the new shared apartment and felt the desire to go to the Baggi again. The club was only five hundred meters from my apartment. I decided to stop by on a Saturday night and then spontaneously walk home around three in the morning. It's a great feeling not having to wait for the train until six in the morning.

While I was there, I was lifted into the air by a crowd for the first time, similar to crowd surfing. The joy of dancing hadn't been lost on me. During a dance break, I sat cross-legged on a sofa and was approached by numerous people.

A brunette girl, probably in her early twenties, sat down next to me. I put my arm around her shoulders, and she leaned her head against me while typing something on her phone.

"I want to sleep with you tonight," she said to me, looking at me with her dark eyes.

"What's your name?" I asked her.

"Sydney, and what's the superstar's name?"

"Alexander," I replied, laughing.

"Sydney, I can't take you home with me tonight. I have a girlfriend," I continued, slightly disappointed, and kissed her on the head.

She looked at her phone again and typed something.

"Okay. Then I'll go find my girlfriend," she said and walked away.

A short time later, she returned, leaned back against me, and typed something on her phone again. I sat there like one of the Buddha statues, watching the dancing crowd. Although I had the impulse to kiss her, the thought of Jule held me back. A few minutes later, she left again.

Shortly after, three guys came by and gave me a high five. A young, blond-haired man with square glasses and thick lenses, who didn't fit the typical club-goer stereotype, sat down next to me.

We smiled at each other, our eyes met.

"So, do you come here often?" he asked, leaning over to me because the music was pretty loud.

"I used to come here often. I just wanted to dance again. Just dance. But unfortunately, I'm in a relationship," I shouted into his ear.

"Unfortunately?" he asked with a mischievous smile.

"Well, that was probably a slip of the tongue," I replied, laughing.

"I haven't been here since the beginning of the pandemic," he continued.

"Do you also come here just to dance?"

"Dancing and hopefully meeting someone," he replied.

"Do you mean for one night or are you looking for something serious?"

"I'm looking for a serious relationship. One-night stands aren't my thing."

He actually didn't seem like someone who was out for short adventures. More like a nice guy.

"What type of woman do you prefer?" I asked curiously.

"She shouldn't be too old or too young. Ideally, a year younger than me and brunette."

"And what if a blonde approaches you on the dance floor?"

"Well, I wouldn't mind. She can always dye her hair," he said with a laugh.

We chuckled.

"What's your name, by the way?" he asked.

"Sascha, and you?"

"Nico," he replied, and we shook hands.

So, I met someone who would occasionally go with me to clubs and bars and with whom I got along well.

After another brief conversation, we hit the dance floor. It was crowded, but we still found a small corner where Nico and I danced like everyone else. With winks and subtle gestures, I pointed out brunette girls that Nico could approach. Sometimes he dared, sometimes he didn't. And when he did try, he only got rejected.

Eventually, the clock struck three, and we left the club without company, but with the beginnings of a promising friendship.


The next morning, a Sunday, I met Hanna in the kitchen. She excitedly told me that she had met an interesting guy and would go to the Enchilada with him and some friends next Thursday. That was a bar where you could roll dice for cocktail prices. I found the idea interesting and agreed to join.

She was also excited about another upcoming event: the laser eye surgery. Finally, she wanted to get rid of her glasses and fulfill this long-standing wish. I was very happy for her, and during our conversation, I also toyed with the idea of ​​correcting my nearsightedness someday. But at the moment, after just having to pay a hefty deposit, it seemed too expensive and also a bit scary, considering that a laser would be cutting into my own eye.

After a cozy coffee chat with Hanna, I returned to my room to work on my master's thesis. My desk was next to the double door leading to Claudia's room. During my time in Borsum, many people often didn't notice when I was in the room because I was extremely quiet. I could even unintentionally sneak up on someone from behind without them noticing. However, Claudia had this ninja-like ability even better than me. I couldn't hear through the heavily soundproof double door, nor did I notice when she left the room to go to the bathroom. This was quite practical for me as it allowed me to concentrate better on my master's thesis when working from home.

In the afternoon, I treated myself to homemade vegan scrambled eggs with spring onions and then went to Jule's place. We had an extensive conversation about our relationship, which lasted until one in the morning. She told me about her plans to participate in a summer school in France with a colleague at the end of September and then to travel to Italy for a few days, where she would vacation with Shinshu. The tickets and the hotel were already booked. This news hit me like a shock. I wasn't directly sad, but quite upset that she had planned her vacation with a supposed holiday affair without regard to my feelings. Although I had openly told her that this action angered me, she only comforted me with a few strokes on the head, as if to say "it'll be fine." Instead of breaking up with Jule, I entertained the thought of getting back at her my own way while she was with Shinshu...

Learnings from this phase of life: I learned not to cling desperately to a relationship when it drains a lot of energy and relationship talks don't improve the situation.

My first conscious health upgrade: I no longer drink soft drinks because of their high sugar content, but also because they are pure calories without nutrient-rich content. That means specifically for me: No more cola for New Year's or in cafes and restaurants starting today.