Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Getting the keys to the new flat....

31 October 2012

Got the keys to the flat - everything left clean, but I decide that I hate it; think about selling it, renting it, all sorts of things cross my mind. Strangely, it looks even smaller without the tenants stuff in it. Felt slightly sick at the thought that I might have to live there one day!! The layout has always been problematic, but after racking my brains day in and day out (as well as asking all my friends what they thought, then annoyingly rejecting all their ideas!!), I realised that I'd have to live with the layout it as it was. The living room is in the wrong place (facing the quiet courtyard - where actually the bedroom should be), the kitchen is in the wrong place (next to aforementioned small living room), the bedroom is in the wrong place (facing the street, the biggest sunniest room.... restaurant two floors below, so could be noisy (though I'm assured it isn't), and cobbled street (pretty, but very noisy when cars drive over them) and the Schwarze Hexe bar next door (the Black Witch!! - could be interesting, in fact, but it's not.... thought I might meet some interesting types in there, but no)...this should be the living room at the front with the balcony, and facing the street. I knew all of this, but somehow refused to register the fact properly until the day I got the keys! What's that saying about doing things too quickly and regretting them later?

Living room to bedroom - Day 1
The building in which the flat located looked a bit shabby and dirty, and seemed like only the absolute minimum was done, and the new caretaker was not as nice and friendly and helpful as where I live now (Christian, we love keep the place looking clean and tidy, you are always helpful, fix anything that goes wrong in record time, or get the person that can.... you were never taken for granted by me, but now even less so!!). In fact, the new caretaker was quite macho and initially only spoke to my friend Johann, and not to me, until I put him right and told him that it was MY flat, and I might have a slight accent, but I can speak German and I understand everything he said. Not a good start!!! 

Living room facing kitchen and courtyard - Day 1
Now, I know I totally sound like a spoilt brat here, and I know I am really lucky to have a place to live, and for one person it's fine....I'm just can't really stand laminated floors and the ubiquitous woodchip paper found in almost every flat in Berlin. And the place where I live now is really nice....also not huge, but cosy, with nice wooden floors, a bit of stucco on the ceiling, old doors - and this place looks exactly like what it was.... a cheap rented flat. There are other personal reasons why I wasn't so excited about it, too, but won't go into those here. There's nothing really nice about it at all in terms of character, but it has big windows, a little balcony... and I know I can make it nice...given time, help, money and ideas. And a more positive attitude!! And, I always had plans to make lots of changes, but the size of the living room was just a shock!

Bedroom to living room - Day 1
Here's one thing I like though.... the door! An original feature....woo hoo!!
Living room to bedroom - Day 1
And another thing I like is the balcony and the size of this room. And it's pretty bright as it's on a corner. The street right outside my door is named after an American civil rights activist and singer, so that's really nice too. I like that I can see the name on the street sign if I look out of the balcony. This room's gotta have a lot of stuff in it, but it's bright and nice. Radiator is in a stupid place though and will have to be moved - and a bigger one installed. It's simply not big enough to heat this room. Hadn't ever seen that corner before, as it was always full of boxes belonging to the previous tenant. It is now four weeks since I got the keys, so I have had time to get used to it, and things are moving apace (ish!).

Kitchen - new tea and coffee making stuff for me and the workmen! Very important!

The next instalment will include stuff about my new 'best friend', Götz, (besides the wonderful Johann, who has helped me soooooo much),  who is a jack of all trades, a friendly and funny guy, and a coffee-drinker extraordinaire.... and he's doing a great job for me.... I found him (thank you D&F) after I discovered that the person I thought I was gonna use, had, how do I say this, erm, a rather murky criminal background (and it is all in the past), which made me not want to work with him, as well, I've been told, as a very loud and sexist manner. I decided against him, though I am assured by many people he's a great worker. So, anyway, I'm going a bit too stream of consciousness here now.... gonna sign off, but wanted to get back to the blog, as sooo many things are happening all the time, that if I don't write them down somewhere, all memory and therefore all the things I've learnt will be lost.

Bathroom... a corner at least.... rickety shower, and very old (broken) heating system!

Back very soon.... with photos of how it looks a few weeks later....things have to get worse before they get better, right? Well, that's the way I see's looking much worse, but as I see change happening, I think it looks kinda better.