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”.


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.


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…

juggling 2

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)…


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.


I hope you guys had a great week!

26 thoughts on “January – The 13th month

    • Thank you Margaret! Survived but still recovering though (and there’s still tons of work to do). Indeed, it’s the name of a delegation law regulating cattle marking and beef labeling. The joy of compounding nouns 😀

  1. But it was all worth it, in the end! And having family there to share it with… that’s icing on the cake. 🙂 Congratulations, Andre. You survived to tell about it.

    On a tangential matter, I know how proud you are of Portugal. Perhaps sometime you could post about why you have opted for Germany over your homeland. Or if you previously wrote about that background, simply link that post(s) here. Enjoy it all!!

    • Happy new year Eric! I hope you had a great entry into the new year. You are absolutely right! It was the icing but also the cherry on top of the cake. The post on the why I left is in the works. I wrote a post in 2007 but it’s in Portuguese and not the full picture. This latest big decision took quite a bit of introspection regarding my beautiful country of birth and the reasons behind me leaving and I will be writing about it.

      • The new year entered like a lamb, quietly and peacefully – much the way I like that time of year. Thanks for your brief explanation re: leaving Portugal for Germany. I’ll look forward to reading it when crafted or… I’ll just have to learn Portuguese and read your 2007 post. 🙂

      • I personally prefer a quiet entry the new year as well but every year need to adjust. This year was quieter than usual though.
        I will make sure the waiting is justified 😉

    • Thank you so much Amanda! It was pretty stressful and still going busy with work starting and the move still to happen. I wish you guys the very, very best for 2015!

      • Moving isn’t easy! I don’t envy you that, but I guess the end result will be well worth all the hard work and stress!

        I hope things calm down soon and you’ll be able to enjoy your new home 🙂

    • Hi Nad!!! Thank you so much! You’re right, and it feels like ages too. I’ve really missed reading my favourite blogs. It’s been so hectic in the last couple of months but hopefully things will improve a bit in the next month or so. Hope everything is going well with you 😀

  2. That is great news!! I laughed so much at that german word! Can you actually say that?! Lol
    Well, I’ve been trying my best to learn the language, but I’m still a beginner and words like that scare me a little bit!
    I’m really happy for you 🙂

    • I can say it! Took me a bit of practice but I nailed it. Unfortunately that was a law that was superseded by another law via European ruling. Officially the longest word is now Kraftfahrzeughaftpflichtversicherung (car insurance), although this one is relatively easy and quite common in Germany 😀

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