…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?

slide_268457_1854654_free
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…?
giphy

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”.

Circus2

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.

circus

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)…

robots

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.

giphy

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

…the Very Inspiring Blog Award

A big thank you to…

Amanda at http://insidethelifeofmoi.wordpress.com

…for kindly nominating me for The Very Inspiring Blog Award. Your blog is one of my most frequent reads. It’s also a perfect blend of serious subjects mixed with witty outbursts that always make me laugh, smile and think.

award-6My 12 nominee’s are

(no particular order)

Margaret at http://verybangled.com – Margaret’s blog is in one word – GREAT. Her posts are always beautifully introduced by a stunning combination of bracelets from her vast collection. Margaret’s has a stunning good taste. Her posts and writing always make me smile. A great blog to follow!

Sarah at http://andthisiswhyiwilldiealonesurroundedbycats.com – Sarah is another one of my frequent reads. Her blog is a perfect mix of art with funny, witty writing – Sarah has an amazing sense humor. A great blog and a pleasure to follow!

West at http://west517.wordpress.com – One of my favorite photography blogs. I really like West’s pictures and her artistic approach to night pictures. Her compositions and tonalities are always great. I drop by her blog frequently and always find myself appreciating her visual take on life.

Katarina at http://katarinawohlfart.com – Katarina is a great blogger from Sweden. I’m a frequent in her photography blog and always enjoy her photographs of Swedish landscapes and her travel reports. Katarina’s blog is in English but it also has some sections and comments in Swedish which I find fascinating. A really inspiring blog!

Jane at http://cupidorcats.wordpress.com – Jane’s blog introduction states that she will get all up inside your head and won’t leave until you ask nicely. That’s pretty much how I’d resume it as well, so no further introductions required… Trust me – Click follow…

Grace at http://mgrace58.wordpress.com – Quick tips on workouts? Check! Interesting quotes? Check! What’s the latest, coolest thing going on the other side of the pond? Check! Grace’s blog is a really enjoyable site and one that I recommend.

Eric at http://tonningsen.wordpress.com – Eric’s blog is truly inspirational. From his quotes to his life experience, Eric shares a lot of wise knowledge through his blog. I know Eric does not do award posts but I had to mention him on this list as his blog is truly inspirational.

Nad at http://hugsxheart.wordpress.com – Another favorite blog of mine (I’m a frequent). Nad is a great read and always reminds me of some of my closest, old friends (those that you can trust for life). A recent follow which feels like it’s been with me for years. Definitely recommended.

Anna at http://olivevienna.com Anna was born in Brazil and lives in Canada. Her blog is a recent find but it’s already part of my daily reads. I really like her blog and fully recommend it.

Junkchuck at http://oldroadapples.wordpress.com/about/ I love opinionated people – associated to a good dose of humor, that sort of combination has the potential for some serious blogging Nirvana and this is exactly the case. Another great blog.

Paulo at http://cottidianus.wordpress.com Paulo’s blog is a wonderful photography blog and truly inspiring. I absolutely love his black & white photography. Fully recommended.

Gin at http://beautifuliceland.wordpress.com  I love Gin’s travel blog. Her travel photography is really great and I’ve been following her blog for quite some time. Another clear recommendation.

So, what are the rules?

  1. Nominate 12 blogs which inspire you and will, without a doubt, inspire others.
  2. Display the award logo on your blog.
  3. Answer the eleven questions provided by the nominator.
  4. Notify your nominee.
  5. Thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog in your post.

My questions & Answers

1) How would you describe yourself?
Persistent, either day dreaming or obsessively focused (nothing in between), short attention span.

2) If your life were a movie, who would play you?
Jake Gyllenhaal.

3) Can you remember your last dream?
I dreamt I woke up and had a stitched scar in the middle of my chest that looked like I received a new heart or something. I rarely dream but when I do, most of my dreams tend to be on the weird side. It inspired one of my recent songs.

4) If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
North Pole. I love the cold.

5) Describe your ideal day
During holidays, next to the sea, a nice lunch with fresh fish, a good wine and the best of companies.

6) What was your first pet?
A hamster. I used to get up on Saturday mornings to clean his little cage and give him a bath (he always loved it).

7) If you could eat one thing for a month, what would it be?
Risotto. I could live from eating it for a full year. Unfortunately too high on carbs.

8) If you could have one super power, what would it be?
I’d love to be able to fly. Unassisted flying like birds do.

9) What are your favorite pizza toppings?
Just a simple cover of Mozzarella cheese.

10) Are you a morning or night person?
I’m a night person. In fact extreme summer daylight gives me a headache.

11) How do you want people to remember you when you’re gone?
I don’t spend much time considering what others think about me and I’m still around. Therefore the concept of hypothetically thinking how I want people to remember me when I’m gone is an alien concept to me.

Questions for my nominee’s

1) What’s your favorite piece of modern tech?
2) What is your dream job?
3) If someone granted one wish, what would you wish for?
4) If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?
5) If you’d have to visit only one internet site for an entire year, which one would you choose?
6) Are you a home type person or a party type?
7) What’s your favorite music instrument and can you play it?
8) What’s your preference: lots of mates or a few best friends?
9) What’s your best childhood memory?
10) Did you ever own a pet?
11) What’s your preference: black & white photos or color?