I am a bad blogger…

The Lebanese flag
The Lebanese flag

As I mentioned on Friday, we went to look at a flat in Basel on Saturday. The appointment was late afternoon, so we decided to stay the night in Lörrach (on the German side of the border, where hotels are cheaper) and take some time on Sunday to drive around all the areas of Basel where we have inquired about flats. On Saturday night, we went out to eat at a Lebanese restaurant in Lörrach where I failed to take a single photo. Bad blogger! I can assure you that Lebanese food is very tasty, though. For me, it seemed like a mixture of Greek and Turkish cuisine, which is interesting seeing as it’s nowhere near either of those! The menu contained lots of aubergine, chickpeas and lamb dishes. Making a decision was difficult, so we chose a four-course set meal to get a bit of everything. There was a mixed starter plate followed by salad then a main course of meat, meat and more meat served with a spicy tomato cous cous. Dessert was some kind of coconut/cream cake plus a plate of different fruits. It was all delicious and I can highly recommend Cedar’s Lebanese Restaurant if you ever find yourself in Lörrach. You might want to reserve though – it was busy! We were initially sent away for an hour and then asked whether we minded sharing a table with another couple.

In other news, the flat we looked at was nice but much smaller than our current one! It’s in a nice area and has a big balcony out the back, though. We’re currently in the process of filling out forms for the (potential) landlady and gathering evidence that, should we move in, we can actually pay the rent! It seems there are many hoops to jump through before you can actually rent a flat in Switzerland… Meanwhile, we have 2 more appointments arranged for next weekend and are still frantically checking rental websites for new ads every day. Fingers crossed something works out soon!

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Friday letters

Hello! I’m off work today (using up some holiday from last year that needs to be taken before the end of March) and we’re hopefully going to look at a flat or two in Basel this weekend. We’ve definitely got one to view tomorrow anyway. Exciting! I hope you’re all having a nice Friday and not working too hard 😉 Now for today’s letters.

Friday letters

Dear Deutsche Bahn. In the last two weeks, you’ve managed to pull straight into the station in the morning exactly twice. On every other day, we’ve been on time throughout the entire journey only to stop immediately before our detination because the section of track at our platform was still occupied by another train. This kind of thing should not be happening 3 days in a row! Sort it out! I’m tired of missing my tram to work and having to walk (and arrive later).

Dear guy eating a chocolate muffin on the train. I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks cake is a suitable breakfast!

Dear flat advertisers. I wish you would just get back to me already! Also, automated replies saying “phone the current tenant” are annoying. Does nobody out there do e-mail? How am I supposed to find the time to make phone calls?!

Dear fellow bloggers. Sorry if I haven’t visited your blog recently. I’ve been trying to get round to everybody but life (or, more accurately, work) keeps getting in the way!

Dear readers. Thanks for all the congratulations yesterday.

Now here are some links.

Cecilia in the Rain recommended this blog and it’s amazing! basically, this person takes her favourite books and creates food based on them. If you like cooking, books, or both you must check this blog out!

Are any of my readers Doctor Who fans? How about Lego fans? Then this will interest you: Doctor Who is getting its own Lego set later this year.

I recently came across this news article and I’m fascinated by it! This woman – going by the name of Lori Erica Ruff – committed suicide in 2010. When her husband and his family were going through her stuff, they found out that she had stolen the identity of a dead baby then legally changed her name from the baby’s name to another. Nobody seems to know who she really is. It sounds like the start of a mystery/thriller, except it’s real life. What?!

 Have a great weekend everyone! I’m off to try and track down some more flats to enquire about…

The story so far…

This post probably won’t be interesting to anyone but me – and possibly a few members of my family who I know have recently started reading (hi mam!), but writing this stuff down is a way for me to figure out what we have actually done for the move so far… a kind of checking off of the to-do list, if you will. Feel free to skip this one if it bores you 😉

  1. I have cancelled my Bahn Card 100. I received confirmation last week that, as of 1st May, I will no longer be a Bahn Card 100 holder. So no more spontaneous travelling in Germany without a ticket for me! This was the first occurrence that made the whole “moving to Switzerland” thing feel real. Scary and exhilarating!
  2. We have given notice for our flat. Well, sort of. We wrote an e-mail on Saturday evening to make sure we were within the notice period, but the landlady wants it in writing because she isn’t sure whether it’s valid without a signature. I gave notice on my last flat by e-mail, but whatever she wants. She agrees that by e-mailing we adhered to the notice period, so it’s all good.
  3. Jan has been in touch with a tax advisor and the Basel Ausländerbehörde (foreigner’s office). Apparently I can get a residence permit for Switzerland… I just need to fill in a particular form and provide a work contract and bank statement, presumably so they can check whether I have enough money to be allowed to live in the land of banks!
  4. We have started the process of looking for flats, and man is it tedious! We’ve already had one response saying “you can contact the current tenant to arrange a viewing, but please note that we’re looking for a quiet, single person”. And why couldn’t you have said that in the advert and saved me the bother of e-mailing you? Plus isn’t that discrimination?! Naughty Swiss!

Aaaand I think that’s all so far. Still to do: actually find a flat, sort out my German bank account, sign a new contract with work, cancel the Internet at our current place, sort out and get rid of things we don’t want to take, arrange for a removals company to come and take most of our stuff away, clean the entire flat like it’s never been cleaned before and, finally, pack! phew. Am I missing anything?

First Friday letters of 2015

I’m finally getting round to writing my first Friday letters of the year and I realise I actually have very little to say! It hasn’t been the most eventful of weeks. Oh well, I’m sure I’ll think of something…

letter box

Dear cheese. Why are you so tasty? It makes resisting you very difficult!

Dear tax advisers. I hope you can answer all our questions so we can get on with things soon!

Dear flats. I’ve already found a few of you online, so as soon as we figure out which side of the border we’ll be living on I’ll make some appointments to come and see you.

Dear time. Please could you stop going so fast? January is half over already and I feel like I’ve made no progress on the moving to (probably) Switzerland thing.

That’s all for today. Have a great weekend, everyone!

I should be celebrating…

We have the contract! It’s here, sitting on top of Detolf, waiting for us to read through it, which will happen later this evening once Jan returns from playing football with his friends. We met at the flat to pick up the contracts, so I got to see it again. It’s still as nice as I remembered 🙂 Jan even admitted to me that he’s excited (I asked if I could have it in writing!) and of course I’m overjoyed. A flat with my boyfriend! An actual home together. I thought this day would never come. So it should have been a day of celebration. Instead I’m sitting here attempting to work on my dissertation while nursing a spectacularly awful cold. It started yesterday with a sore throat and a runny nose and today has progressed to constant sneezing, aches and pains, a head that feels like it’s full of wet cotton wool and a nose that’s sometimes blocked, sometimes running. Not that it matters which version it chooses – either way I can’t breathe properly! Oh, and I’m also freezing despite the fact that it’s quite warm today. But apart from that I feel fine.
I need to get better by Monday. My colleague is off next week, which leaves me as the sole English translator, and there’s lots of work to be done. Anyone know any quick fixes for a cold? And please don’t say sleep… dissertation, remember?

Nearly there…

We went to view a very nice flat yesterday. Three rooms, close to the train station (only 2 tram stops away), gorgeous wooden floors, and a brand new kitchen just about to be installed.
Today, the man called Jan and offered to us. We had to make a decision by 8 p.m. After much umming and erring and working out of finances, followed by a phone call to Jan’s mum for advice, we decided to take it. We have a meeting at the house tomorrow morning, where we shall be given the contract. Then we have the rest of the weekend to look over it and make sure everything’s satisfactory. If all is to our liking we’ll sign it then, on Monday, return it. And then the flat shall be ours. Finally the search is over! I think a bottle of sparkling wine shall have to be opened tonight…

Yessssssssssss!

Furniture and things

First things first… some photographs for those who requested them (or actually just answered my question with a yes, but you know what I mean…).
We’ll start in the bedroom, just because those are the photos that appear first in the folder…
Photo one is the chest of drawers (well, duh! Talk about stating the obvious!). Currently looking very neat and tidy, but I’m sure it won’t be long before the same chaos that reigns on every other sufrace in the flat has made it on to there to. *sigh*. That cardboard box you see to the left of the drawers contains the bedside table. It was only put up yesterday and I was working on my dissertation all day so no photo yet I’m afraid.

Moving on, and the chest of drawers has been joined by a wardrobe. Just a small one for now – we only really needed somehwere to hang stuff up since the drawers will do just fine fo things that can be folded. Eventually we’ll get a bigger (and probably slightly more expensive) wardrobe for our room in the new flat, but that wasn’t the purpose of this weekend’s mission.

And now let’s take a trip to the livign room…
Here you see Detolf, the cabinet. I am so overjoyed to finally have some storage space! Those plates you see at the bottom had been living on on the floor gathering dust up to now. Finally, after a little more than a year, I’ve managed to find them a home…

And that brings us to my final photo.
It’s a lamp! Eventually it’s place will be next to the sofa – which Jan will be bring with him from his flat. I actually can’t wait to have a sofa to snuggle up on! For now, though, the lamp has to be content with standing to one side of my living room, looking slightly lonely and out of place.
And that, my friends, is that. Not bad for an afternoon’s shopping.

And in other news, we had an appointment to look at another flat today. It was at 9:15 this morning, so I arranged to work from home today instaed of taking a half day and not starting til around 12 pm (and before you ask yes I did actually do work!). The flat was nice but would need a fair amount doing to it – like a proper kitchen putting in for one! – which of course would be expensive. Once again it all comes down to the money factor! We’l discuss it tonight though and I’m hoping a decision will have been made by Thursday at the latest. Stay tuned!