May was a really busy month. I had no idea where the time went and now it’s suddenly June. I had my visa appointment on May 6th. I nervously sat with my native German friend at the office, waiting for my number to be called. When it finally was time we made our way down to our assigned room. It’s always a rush at these places. You’re given a number and then you wait. It is only once your number is called that you know what room to go to. If you’re more than 2 or 3 minutes late they’ll call the next person, so often you have to frantically try and find where in the building your room is. Luckily my friend and I managed to find it before they called a new person. We sat down and started the process of applying for a visa. The gentleman I had was very nice and patient, but there was a problem. I didn’t have every document he wanted. He asked for documents that were not listed on the government website, documents that I had no way of knowing we required. I could get the documents I needed, but it would take some time. He issued me a temporary visa good until June 16th. I had until then to get my papers in order and return for my appointment.
Outside of of the visa appointment, May was fairly quiet. Each day I would get up in time to go to my 9-12 class, come back to wherever I was staying, try to study/write for a bit, and then later meet up with some friends for dinner. The weekends were much the same, minus class and with me wandering home in the morning sunlight instead. One weekend I spent the entire night with some German friends of mine just drinking, chatting (auf Deutsch natürlich), and going through their large vinyl music collection. The whole experience felt very European and bohemian to me. I moved around a few more times, including staying the weekend with a friend who I meet at a housewarming party. She had two really cute rabbits that she let run around and explore while we were home.
I have some new places to explore on my list, but I didn’t get a chance to check them out that month because I was too busy moving into my new apartment.
That’s right, I’m finally no longer technically homeless. Two friends of mine and I won the bid to this apartment right on Potsdamer Platz in Berlin.
The location for the apartment could not be any more amazing. It’s in the center of town, right in a very affluent area, with a major U and S-Bahn station just 2 minutes walk away. There’s also a huge shopping center, park, and grocery store near by. My language school is also only 7 minutes away by train.
The place has 3 bedrooms, a very large living room, a kitchen, bath, and a balcony with a view looking out onto a small park and the Sony Center in Potsdamer Platz. The apartment was unfurnished, which we didn’t realize would be such a massive hidden cost. The apartment was bare, even down to missing light fixtures. We had to procure a refrigerator, washing machine, kitchen and bathroom supplies, and furniture. My housemates and I should have discussed all of this in detail before we got the apartment, but we didn’t. Our communication failures led to some less than pleasant/frank discussions about who owed what and was supposed to do what and I almost moved out of my new apartment within a week of getting it. (Which is partly why I haven’t posted about it sooner. I didn’t know if I was actually going to stay.) We managed to find an get some furniture, including a washing machine and refrigerator off of ebay. We also made several trips to Ikea, which fortunately is only 15 minutes away by train.
I’ve been trying to do my room in a minimalistic fashion (a nice way of saying I’m poor) with a red/white/black/grey/wood color scheme. It’s slowly coming along, and I’ve re-arranged everything several times. I still need to hang some artwork and get a projector for movies, but that will take some time.
It was quite a nice feeling to be able to lie back in bed the first night, with the warm summer air wafting through my window, along with the sounds of the city (it’s remarkably quiet for being so close to a busy part of town) and to enjoy my book and a cold beer from the late night shop around the corner. I’m really looking forward to starting to work on some hobbies again like crafting and perhaps making my own clothes. It’s hard to get involved in things when you’re constantly moving and don’t have anywhere to put your stuff.