…And I’m off

Very quick blog post today.
Jan has gone to fetch the car and I’m supposed to be finishing the packing/cleaning. I thought I’d take a break for a few minutes though and say bye bye to my bloggy friends.
I shall miss you all! Try not to have too much fun in my absence ok, I’m going to be having withdrawel symptoms as it is 😉

It’s a little weird to be leaving the student residence. I’ve had some good times here. The first time I left (in July 2004) I actually cried. It was the end of my year abroad and I was going back to England. At the time I had no idea whether I’d ever come back here. Jan and I had agreed to try the long-distance thing, but as he was going all the way to America I wasn’t all that hopeful. We survived the year though, and the folowing year when I was in Austria and he was back in Germany. And now here I am, leaving the residence again. But this time I’m only going round the corner – to my very own. I’ve never had my very own flat before! So I’m excited and nervous and happy but also just a little sad. Talk about emotional rollercoaster!

Anyway, must go. It’s time to get back to dealing with the dust… and dragging heavy boxes outside…

As Tigger would say:

TTFN!

The last night

It’s my last night in the student residence.
By this time tomorrow I’ll be moved in to my new flat. I’ll even have a little bit of furniture.
Wow. I can’t believe I’m actually moving out. 2 and a half years I’ve been here. It’s been a while since I’ve spent that long living in one place. Even at uni I lived in various different places (halls in first year, house with friends in second year, then year abroad in Germany and in final year a different house with different friends).

I still have soo much to do. I need to finish packing. I need to clean. I need to take out the rubbish, sort out which food is coming with me and what can be given away or binned. And I only have until 11:30 tomorrow to get it all done. So of course today had to be the Friday that I wasn’t able to leave work on time. Some of you may remember me mentioning that we get to leave work at 4pm on Fridays, provided we work til 5:15 every other day of the week…
Well,  today I was lucky to catch the 22 minutes past tram (I ran and reached the platform about 30 seconds before it did). Yesterday it was nearly 5:30 when I left. And on Tuesday I stayed for an extra 15 minutes so that I could leave early on Wednesday for Spanish. The one week that I would have liked to get home and get things done I’ve ended up spending more time at work than ever. The Law of Sod as my dad would say…

The flat!

I promised my mum (who I usually call mam) that I would take some photos of the new flat for her. So while I was over there this afternoon I did so.
Here are a few of them for those who were wondering what it looks like…

living_roomWe begin our tour in the living room, which will eventually also have to serve as a dining room and study, it being only a two room flat. I couldn’t figure out how to get two images next to each other on this thing so I’ve pasted both photos into one document and just uploaded that. As you can see, the ceiling slopes down at one side. That’s because I’m on the top floor, right under the roof. This means I get lots of light in and, from the back windows especially, a brilliant view. The only downside is that I have to carry everything all the way up to the top of the building – no lift you see. Oh well, it’ll keep me fit I suppose…
Let’s move on shall we.
bedroom1

Here’s the bedroom. Again with the slopy ceiling at one side. This photo was taken from the doorway, as you can probably tell by the fact that said door appears on the right of the picture. I’m thinking of placing the bed underneath the window, to the right of the radiator, then getting some kind of bedside table to go next to the wall. There’s a plug socket down there so I’ll be able to put a lamp on the bedside table, meaning no getting up to turn out the light when I want to go to sleep.

bedroom 2

And here’s the rest of the bedroom, the bit that’s round the corner from the previous picture. I don’t have a proper bathroom, just this sink at one side of the bedroom plus a shower (we’ll come to that in a bit). There’s a rail in the ceiling just in front of the sink where I shall be hanging a curtain at some point, so the “bathroom” bit will at least be kept separate from the part I’m actually sleeping in. Anyway, I don’t mind the sink being in my room – I’ve managed to live with it for the past 2 and a half years in the student residence.

shower And here’s the shower I was talking about. It’s just to the left of the sink. Now I won’t even have to leave the bedroom when I go for a shower in the morning!

kitchen Our final stop is in the kitchen area. This photo was taken from the bedroom, which is to the left. The door you can just about see on the right leads into the living room. I’m really pleased that the kitchen cupboards are red – it’s my favourite colour!

If you were to stand in my little kitchen area then turn around to face the other way you would see three doors on your right. Number one leads into the bedroom (yes, it’s on the left here. So if you turned around it would end up on your right. See what I mean). Door number two leads to the toilet. I did take a photo of it for my mummy dearest but shan’t post it on here. It’s a toilet – what more do you need to know? The third door is the entrance to the flat, or I suppose in this case it would be the exit since it would be pretty difficult to do any entering if you were already standing in my kitchen.

And that is it. My very own flat. It’s small, but not if you compare it to my room here, and – most importantly – it’s all mine! At 25 and a half years of age I’ve finally got a place of my own. About bloody time too, don’t ya think?

Moving day part one

I’m moving the first lot of stuff over to my flat today. Jan has got a car from 1pm so this afternoon all the smaller things that I can manage to live without for the next week will be off on its travels. Then next Saturday at 11:30 I’ll be doing the official handover of the keys. I’ve just been to see the caretaker about it and been told I can’t leave, I’m already a permanent fixture. Someone likes me then it seems. 😉
It’s all very exciting! Looks like I’ve got a busy morning ahead of me though – it’s 10:30 already and so far I’ve managed to pack one bag and two small boxes. Better get a move on then!

I have the power!

I went to pick up the key to my new flat today, which meant I got to see it freshly painted and without other people’s furniture in it. It was most exciting. Of course, I took a few things over there with me. Nothing big or important – just a couple of books and two white candles with golden stars on them. Things that would fit in my handbag. With that pathetic amount I can’t really claim that I’ve moved some of my stuff in, but even just having those tiny little things there makes me feel good. It’s as if the place is now really and truly mine.

The first thing the lady from the housing association told me when I arrived was that I would have to call the Stadtwerke (dictionary translates it as public utility services) and arrange an appointment to have the elctricity back on. Then as we were leaving she mentioned that they were just around the corner if I wanted to pop in instead of calling. So I made my way to Stadtwerke. Once there I was absolutely amazed to be greeted by someone who not only pronounced my name perfectly first time (not sure that’s ever happened here before!) but was also incredibly helpful, phoning his way through 4 or 5 different departments to find out what was going on before asking me if I had time to go to my flat right away as they could send someone round within the hour. Wow! Talk about service! About 40 minutes later a man turned up, but unfortuantely the cupboard thingy where the electricity meter and switches live was locked, and I had no key for it. We then between us went to every door in the building but nobody seemed to know anything. Then he called his work to see if they have a key (apparantly the housing associations do that sometimes) but nope, no joy. He even called the housing association for me as I had no credit but the woman didn’t answer either her mobile or the landline. *Sigh*. At that point we decided to give up and I was about to leave when he decided to try his boss one last time. He’d had an idea… You see, usually he is responsible for another part of town. The only reason he’d turned up at my door was because the person he is usually responsible for the area was ill. So he got his boss to ring this poor colleague at home and find out what he usually does. Turns out someone who lives in another part of the same building (a part with a separate entrance strangely) has a key. So we rang her bell and she came down to open the cupboard. Phew. I then headed upstairs to check whether my lights were now coming on and the Stadtwerke man rang my bell on the way out so I could tell him through the intercom whether it had worked. It had – my electricity was there. Yay! I’m not sure why the woman couldn’t have just told me where to get a key while she was there and saved me the hassle, but all’s well that ends well as they say. And how nice was the Stadtwerke man for hanging around for that long to help me out? Most public services people would have been gone as soon as I said I had no idea where to find a key. My life in the new place is getting off to a good start I feel.

Money matters

I spent an hour at the bank this morning. I am now officially skint. I had to open a very specific bank account, a Mietkautionskonto, into which I paid the deposit for my flat. The point in this account is that it belongs to me but I am not allowed to take any money out of it. The owner of the flat is allowed to take money out of it, to repair any damage I cause to the flat, for example. I could just have given the money to the housing association directly, but the advantages of doing it this way are a) I am informed if she requests to take money from the account, so she can’t spend any without me knowing why and b) I get to keep any interest that is earned on the money. Good stuff – if anyone out there ever plans to live in Germany you might want to make a note of it. But of course I couldn’t just open the account. In order to get the keys for my flat I have to prove that the deposit is actually in the account. So I handed over all the money that I had taken from my English bank account plus an extra 50 that Jan lent me. Then, having borrowed another hundred euros from Jan to pay into my normal account, I headed to the other bit of the bank, where the machines are, and transferred the rent for March to the housing association’s bank account. So I now have a total of 70 euros left in my German account. I just hope my wages go in before the student residence takes the rent for March out…

And now, having taken today off to sort out flat stuff, I’m going to have to arrange to leave work early one day next week so I can go back to the bank. You see, before the account with my deposit in can be opened properly I have to get some forms signed by my landlady then bring said forms back so that the bank can countersign them. And of course the bank closes before I get home from work every single day (and isn’t open on Saturdays – what’s that all about?). And since the only appointments you can make to see someone at the bank are for a whole hour (even if you only need 10 minutes!) I’m going to have to leave work about an hour early. Provided I manage to get an appointment on Monday or Thursday, when the bank is open til 6pm. The rest of the week they close at 4pm. I’m sure work are going to be really impressed with me…

I have made a decision…

I was going to move out on Saturday, but since I’m going to have to pay rent for March in both places no matter what I’ve now decided to do it a week on Saturday instead. This has a lot to do with the fact that I have so far managed to pack exactly one small box, but also means I can go to IKEA next Saturday, after handing over the key to this place,  and buy me a bed. I will have been paid by then so it will be possible (I shall just have to ignore the fact that my English bank account is now almost over its overdraft limit and really should be paid back before I even dream about spending any money). The alternative would have been sleeping on a borrowed airbed for a week … while still getting up at 6:30 for work every morning. Perhaps not the best solution. This way I also get an extra week of internet access, which means I can (hopefully) get my assessment done for uni – and keep up with everyone’s blogs of course 😉
It is kind of frustrating though – now that I have the flat I want nothing more than to move into it!
Oh well, I’m sure the extra week will go by fast enough considering all the things I have to squish into it.

So I have a flat…

That’s the good news. I signed the contract on Saturday. No going back now.
The bad news is I have to pay the deposit on Thursday, when I go to pick up the key. This is bad because the deposit is 3 months rent, or in other words almost all of my wages. I could manage it though, just about, if I actually had my wages. Unfortunately they don’t go in until the beginning of next week. So I’m resorting to plan B, which involves taking the cash from my English bank account. Yes, that would be the bank account that is already in the minuses and which no longer comes with an interest free overdraft because it’s been too long since I graduated. Not exactly the ideal solution, but the only one I have. Unless some rich relative decides to die in the next 2 days and leave me lots of money. Preferably lots of money that I can have immediately. Hmm, maybe that idea is slightly unrealistic…

Back to reality

Just a quick blog post today cos I have to go out in a minute. I’m meeting Jan and some friends to go the cinema.

So, I disappeared for a few days there. Here’s why:
On Thursday I went to the bar here in my student residence for the first time in.. oh, I don’t even know how many months. I got incredibly drunk on way less alcohol than it used to take me to get incredibly drunk. Clearly I am becoming a light weight in my old age. *Sigh*. I finally made it to bed at 5:30am, waking up poor Jan in the process. Actually it’s entirely his own fault – nobody made him stay here that night! I then slept until about 1:30 yesterday afternoon, ate a huge bowl of potato croquettes and spent the rest of the afternoon lying around with a book. In the evening I headed over to Jan’s where we ate spaghetti bolognese and watched a film with his flatmate. I have no idea what the film was called. This random group of people who wanted to be profilers have been sent to an island to complete a test. Something to do with simulations of murders and they’re supposed to try and make a profile of the killer. Except there turns out to be a real murderer on the island, and members of the group gradually start dying. It was… interesting. Weird and confusing but definitely interesting.
And today I went to look at a flat. One room for sleeping/living, a separate but very small kitchen and a tiny bathroom (no bath, just a shower. Does it still count as a bathroom then I wonder). The landlady is supposed to make a decision tonight because the girl who’s moving out wants to hand over the key tomorrow, so we’ll see. If all goes well I may have a flat by this time tomorrow. Fingers crossed please…
And now my time off is pretty much over. Tomorrow is Sunday and the day after that I’m back at work. The four days have gone by so fast.
But it’s February tomorrow so no more January blues. Hurray for that!

Finally over

Well after racking my brains for so long yesterday trying to come up with interesting things to be honest about yesterday inspiration seems to have deserted me today. I have absolutely nothing to write about. All I know is I’m soo glad it’s Friday! I think this may just have been the longest week ever. I actually thought I was going to fall alseep today… and that was before lunch time. I was sitting there reading my way through a contract and my eyes kept trying to fall closed. Not good. Then I spent the afternoon reading through the computer instruction type texts that I’ve been translating all week. I found hundreds of mistakes. Literally. Aaarggh! Other than that it has been an incredibly slow day. The phone rang exactly once, and even then it was someone to speak to the boss. You’d think having nothing much to do once in a while would be nice, but instead it’s just boring and makes the day seem never ending. I was actually relieved when the boss came in at 3:30 and said we might as well go home. It has also been chucking down with rain all day today, which led to the discovery that my boots, that I just had reheeled over Christmas, are apparantly no longer waterproof. My socks got wet on the way to catch the tram this morning and remained wet all day. Most uncomfortable. Pity my poor feet please.

There is one good thing about today though (apart from the fact that it’s Friday) – I’m off to look at a flat in an hour. Finally I feel like things are moving forward! Stay tuned for a detailed description of it (I bet you’re all really looking forward to that incredibly exciting post…)