This weekend I’ve mainly been in Basel, unpacking and sorting out the new flat. Then, today – as those of you who follow my blog on Facebook may have already seen – I came back to Karlsruhe and, instead of sitting outside in the gorgeous sunshine, spent the afternoon cleaning windows. I hadn’t actually done them since we moved in here (5 years ago for the
nosey curious – I’m such a terrible housewife!), so I’m sure you can imagine the state they were in…
Anyway, while I was in Switzerland, I managed to grab a few shots of the unpacking process, so I thought I’d share them here. I’m sure you’re all thrilled 😉 All photos were taken using a tablet with a terrible camera, so apologies for quality…
It seems the Swiss like to take their lights with them too, so Jan’s set up a few temporary lighting solutions:
A lonely lantern on the balcony – we don’t have any other furniture to go out there yet.
Almost all the books are unpacked, and we’re probably going to need another book case (three are pictured here and there’s a fourth just around the corner).
The desk is in position, just waiting for the computer to be set up.
Empty boxes (YAY!)
Full boxes (BOO!)
That’s all I took. Maybe I’ll share some proper pictures of the new flat once I’m moved in. Right now it’s time for food and a well-deserved glass of wine!
WE HAVE A FLAT!!
We went to Basel yesterday afternoon and sign the contract… I didn’t want to mention anything beforehand in case I jinxed something. But we made it there, handed over 6,000 francs(!!!) in cash for the deposit and picked up the keys. It seems Friday the 13th is lucky for some. Afterwards, we had enough time before our train to briefly head over there and see if it was as nice as we remembered. It was. We have 2 bathrooms – one with a shower, one with a bath, both with a toilet. Two toilets! How convenient? There’s also a balcony and the kitchen comes fully equipped with a dishwasher. No wooden shutters, but you can’t have everything. Here’s a crappy photo of the doors leading to the balcony:
Now we just have to sort out all the bureaucratic stuff… closing bank accounts, opening new ones, de-registering from German, getting residence permits for Switzerland…
And, of course, we have to pack. Not looking forward to that one! But we have a flat. Woo hoo!!
Thanks to the miracles of German efficiency we have actually had Internet in the new flat since Tuesday. Unfortunately we weren’t quite as quick with the furniture building, meaning the desk which the computer will stand on is still in bits and the computer is not yet connected. So I can only get online when Jan has his work laptop here and is around to log me on to it. Which is why I haven’t been able to blog despite having the Internet. Things are progressing though. Admittedly very slowly, but even slow progress is progress. The painting is all finished now, and yesterday we picked up the sofa from Jan’s old place. It’s looking a bit lost in the only corner of the living room that isn’t piled high with boxes, but it’s here and can be sat on. Result! We also got the spare bed put together last night (or rather MY bed, which has now been banished to the spare bedroom where it will be used roughly once a year), so my guest will actually have somewhere to sleep when she arrives on 31st May. Now all we have to do is make the rest of the flat suitable for viewing through the eyes of a guest… I’d better stop blogging and get on with it then! Thank goodness for public holidays – no work today = extra time for getting furniture put together! Now where did we put the screws for Jan’s desk?…
Actually, that’s a blatant lie. I have not got the key. Jan’s got the key…. the key to the new place that is. He went to pick it up on Thursday, so we could get in to measure walls and things. Only one key for now, one which unlocks the main door to the building and the door to our flat. We get the rest on the day of the official handover… which is 30th April… Friday. Cue squeals of excitement. We very, very nearly have our very own flat. No more living at opposite ends of town. No more feeling out of place in each other’s homes. No more wondering why he doesn’t want to live with me.
Now all I have to do is pack. And clean. And contact the electricity company, my Internet provider… Okay, so there’s still a lot to do. But still… squeals of excitement 🙂
Hmm, another new week. I seem to have entirely missed most of last one. All I remember is that it involved working like a mad woman all day then returning home to work like a mad woman some more, but this time on something that I’m not getting paid for. And all this while trying to recover from my monster cold. I’m all better now though, I’m sure you’ll be pleased to know. And the dissertation is moving forward. I even managed to have some fun at the weekend, which is something that hasn’t happened in a while. On Friday night Jan and I went out for a meal then some cocktails with a friend. It was 2:30 by the time we got in and I was up again by 9:30, but the reminder of what it’s like to have a real life made up for the tiredness.
I also started putting some things in boxes on Thursday evening. It wasn’t much, and my place is still as chaotic and crowded as ever, but it’s a start. Somehow actually starting to pack things away makes the move seem so much more real. I’m hoping we’ll be able to get the keys soon, then we can go in and do some measuring so we can figure out where to put what. We already have a list of things we need to do – and buy. I think another trip to IKEA will be on the cards fairly soon. Not until after payday though. My university are now demanding money from me again. *sigh*. Thankfully this is the last installment, so hopefully they’ll leave me alone after that. Unless of course I have to pay for the privilige of having my certificate sent out to me. That is a bridge that shall have to be crossed when I come to it though… I have to pass the dissertation first!
I’m at the French centre again. Can you believe it’s been almost a month since I’ve had internet access at home? I’m going mad here people. Mad I tell you!
The flat is starting to look good though. I bought a table and chairs yesterday. Now I can actually have people round and not have to force them to sit on the floor! Admittedly I still have a stack of boxes in one corner of the living room, but at least they’re stacked neatly so I don’t have to be ashamed of the mess. Also bought a cheap shelving unit thing from IKEA for the kitchen, so my food no longer has to live in the bedroom and my cups and glasses have their very own place to live. No more storing them in a cardboard box. Woo hoo! Once I actually have my own internet again I’ll see about putting a few pictures on here.
And in other news, in 2 weeks time I’m going to Paris! My Grandma turned 80 last month so my mum and aunt are bringing her to Paris as part of her birthday treat. What my Grandma doesn’t know is that a whole bunch of other family members are meeting them there, including another of my aunts who is flying all the way from New Zealand! When my mum mentioned it to me I decided I would like to come too, seeing as there’s now a train that gets you from Karlsruhe to Paris in 3 hours. So Jan booked train tickets last week and today we’re going to look at hotels. I can’t wait! Paris is excellent and it will be nice to see my Grandma again. I missed her surprise birthday party so I at least have to be there to surprise her in Paris.
I’m sure there is much more that I need to say, having been away for so long. But I didn’t come on here to try and beat the record for world’s longest blog post so I’ll leave it here. Hopefully I’ll be back with you properly soon. Not this month though – I can’t afford furniture, Paris and the internet on my wages. I paid my rent the other day and almost cried when I saw what my bank balance was reduced to…
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 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.