…resettling – The adventure – part I

There I was.
00:30 AM. The police officer took a step back, looked at my car and asked for the documents while carefully observing my every move through the open window. I was feeling pretty tired after a full day of carrying furniture and setting up the basics in the new apartment. There were a couple of tools in the front passenger seat – including an electrical tester. I didn’t make any of it but as I learned afterwards, similar tools are used to steal cars…

Note to self: always keep your tools in the trunk.

So I provided my documents and the 2 officers walked back to their patrol car to check the paperwork. They stayed for what seemed an eternity and I just couldn’t wait to go home and get some rest. After about 5 minutes they came back and asked me in English:

– What are the tools for?

I replied:
– Tools?

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The Officer pointed to the passenger seat and said:

– Those tools…

I was so tired it took me an extra second to compute:
– Ohh, those! Well, I just bought an apartment and had to install a few lights.

He looked back at me puzzled,
– You bought an apartment…?
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In fairness most people in Germany rent property instead of buying so I guess a bearded south European looking as rough as I did that late at night, with tools resting in the front seat stating he bought an apartment… Let’s just say that must’ve seemed odd enough for any local to take in (you have to understand my new area isn’t necessarily a cultural melting pot).

So I stated once again:
– Yes, I bought an apartment and we’re having Renovierungsarbeiten (the nice German word for “renovating”) so I needed the tools to install some lights and now I’m going back to my other apartment.

 

The officer glimpsed back at his colleague and finally said:
– Thank you, have a nice evening.

I guess no real outlaw would ever come up with such an elaborate excuse if it weren’t real. The car being in my name probably helped too. Also if there’s something I learned in these 7 years living in Germany is that police officers here are always really polite and the few times I was stopped it was always respectful. This time was no different (only that my circumstances were peculiar).

So I took off looking forward to arriving home but of course my adventures for the night were far from over. Living in the city center is a nightmare when it comes to parking. There are areas reserved for us locals but try and park after 22:00 and you’re on to a great adventure. Searching for a spot at 01:00 AM is even worse, everyone is sleeping so forget about waiting for someone to leave. That night I ended up parking the car 1,5 km away – meaning a 15+ minute walk in the raining cold adding to the list of accomplishments. At 02:00 AM I was finally home ready for a quick power nap before starting more prep work (now) in the old apartment as everything had to be finished by 09:00 AM for the moving company…

(to be continued…)

The Waiting

I’ve finally been able to settle down. Take time out, look around. Read some of my favorite blogs, enjoy my favorite music.

In the last months, the construction work and chaos was a bit distressful given my need for structure. Now that it all came to an end, I slowly start feeling that everything is getting under control. Just in time for Spring!

Looking forward to start writing my blog once again!

My iron lung…

Oh my… This bring back memories. The first album I bought in GBP during a trip to London 17 years a go.
Such an amazing band.

No, it’s crap. We’re gonna do it again

January – The 13th month

First official post of 2015 and somehow January feels like the 13th month. My perception may be linked to the fact I closed 2014 with an important spillover event: the purchase of an apartment in my lovely hosting country. Yeay! No more renting!

But as with all my life ad(ventures), it’s not the decision that is interesting but the “how” and the “when”. Call it “The Journey”, if you like. With so many months of the year to take such step, which phase did I choose (or it chose me)? December. Yes, bloody lovely month of December. Before, during and “after” the Christmas season, which as everybody knows is a stellar time for buying an apartment in one of the most bureaucratic countries in the World. A place where words like “Rindfleischetikettierungsüberwachungsaufgabenübertragungsgesetz” are considered perfectly normal and good literature requires sentences that are as long as the A7 Autobahn in order to ensure a proper breathing capacity test as in “likes to read out loud with a passion while getting as close as possible to asphyxiation / red in the face syndrome”.

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This, Ladies & Gentlemen is the recipe of how to secure all the right conditions for a proper, good ol’ stressful Christmas time and entry into the 13th month. All you need to do is wait until mid of November, choose an apartment in Germany and then buy it in a way that most required process steps will take place in December. But if you don’t think that is enough and would like to add injury to the insult, import your family from abroad to spend Christmas.

Yeap… I did that too. Me. Here.

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No wonder I barely blogged in December and Instagram temporarily became my best friend. Obviously all would’ve been so much easier if at least I had all the Christmas paraphernalia ready. Things like Christmas tree, shiny lights and the such. But no… Oh no! All had to be procured from scratch for the traditional Portuguese Christmas in Deutschland. The shopping of the right foods, sorting out all the right gifts, getting the perfect Christmas tree, finding the right LED Christmas lights that slowly fade in & Out (no lights that blink abruptly as those are not nice – or so I was told once).

Talk about juggling (the) balls…

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At the time, as events were coming straight on, it all felt (and it was) perfectly manageable and achievable (although hectic). In hindsight though, it was nothing short of madness. Some things got obviously pushed to the new year because despite being the 4th biggest economy in the world with one of the highest productivity rates, I found it’s a waste of time to try and get a moving company in Germany (or any services for that matter) between the 18th of December and 5th of January.

You see, here the 24th of December, 25th, 26th, 31st and the 1st of January are public and/or corporate holidays and most people bridge the hell out of the in betweens plus weekends for maximum idle time (me included, which makes this short bitching moment sound rather hypocritical, but hey, this is MY blog). Frightening was my discovery of who keeps my home country running while we all enjoy the shopping frenzy (yes, because most cars are still getting pushed through as if there’s no tomorrow and these steel made fellas don’t stop to eat the turkey)…

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All jokes and sarcasm aside though. The fact is I had one of the greatest gifts in 2014: to receive my loved ones during the beautiful season of Christmas and at the same time share with them another important milestone in my life.

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I hope you guys had a great week!

The new year

Lately I’ve been pretty overwhelmed with all the developments at the end of my 2014. Most have been amazing and to an extent, life changing. From recent home ownership in Germany to receiving my family from Portugal to celebrate Christmas, it’s been a hectic but thrilling time and a great way to close the year.

Looking back at 2014 I cannot help but feeling grateful for what life has thrown at me during this amazing year. From the good to the less positive – I learnt from it all.

To all my lovely blog followers, the recent ones and those that have kept with me for long (even despite my occasional moments of silence) I’d like to thank you for your encouragement, your comments, your feedback, your likes and all your support. I hope I can keep deserving your blog reading time in the new year. For now, I’d like to take the opportunity to wish you a great entry in the new year and a successful and happy 2015 with lots of happiness, love, health and all the very best that life has to offer!

Happy 2015