Well, hello there! It has been far to long since my last post. And I am sorry for that. We’ve been quite busy putting together our apartment together and have hit a few hiccups and hilarious events along the way.
It takes a few weeks (yes, weeks!) to get internet, so we just got our 50 GB hot spot hooked up to hold us over until we get our real internet modem/router. It has been quite interesting to say the least to semi-revert back to the days without internet. And, boy, am I glad we live in the age of instant knowledge and YouTube funny videos.
Now let’s play catch up, shall we. WARNING: this post is long.
Thursday, March 31st: I had my German lesson at a local library and then went to hang out at the apartment until IKEA delivered our sofa, table and chairs and a reading chair. I was very nervous about them not coming because the phone number on our order was Hubby’s work phone and he was traveling for business that day with no access to his phone. He tried forwarding calls to one of our cell phones but that didn’t work. So, I just waited. I washed some dishes, put together my shoe closet and washed dishes some more.
OH, one thing to mention is that IKEA said they would be delivering the pieces between 1 PM and 9 PM!! Luckily they arrived at 1:45 and I didn’t have to sit around our without Internet apartment for too long. And all was right with the world.
Friday, April 1st: We didn’t really do much for the apartment that day. Hubby started putting together our new TV stand while I did more dishes. If I didn’t hate washing dishes already, I certainly hate them now after washing EVERYTHING! I’m talking wine glasses, serving bowls, cookie sheets, mixing bowls, everything. My hands are still dry. And, yes, I wore rubber gloves.
I met up with a new friend and some of her friends at a place called Stuttgart Exit Games. It’s a place where you go with 6 people and try to solve a puzzle in order to exit the room. It sounds stupid and it felt stupid at first, but then we all got into it! It was so nice to hang out with new people. I did not want to go earlier that afternoon, but I’m glad I did. Even if I don’t end up being best friends with these people, at least they are people I could potentially have a beer/prosecco with.
Saturday, April 2nd: THE BIG DAY!! We checked out of our hotel and left living in one room far behind. The hotel was very nice and gave us a bottle of champagne as a thank you for staying there so long. I guess that’s what you get when you spend 130 Euro a night and stay there for 4 weeks….you do the math. Thank goodness the company paid for that. When we got to our apartment, our landlord gave us our second key, showed us our storage location in the basement and off we went! We were now officially in our apartment!!
And we got right to work.
We ventured to the German equivalent of Home Depot (OBI) to get some kind of extender because the washer and dryer we bought didn’t exactly hook up correctly. Thankfully, the OBI is a two minute walk for our apartment and dogs are welcome.
Hubby made everything match up nicely and I started a load of laundry…our sheets! Let me just tell you that laundry is quite the event here in Germany/Europe. The washer takes almost 2 hours and if you want to dry something….be prepared for 2 hours and 15 minutes. It’s a production. Saturday I washed our sheets, some towels and one load of “normal” laundry.
When we needed a break, off we went to run errands. We had to pick my cell phone at the post office since we weren’t here to sign for the package. And I set it up that same day! Hi, German iPhone…shit just got real. Then we went to a Best Buy equivalent to get some other plug-in necessities: coffee bean grinder, hot water plate thing (in German it is called water cooker), electric tooth brushes, toaster and a straighter and curling iron for me. An expensive day to say the least. And then we swung by our phone and internet provider to see if we could get a wi-fi hotspot to use before our real modem and router come. Because, oh yeah, those things take 3 weeks to get to your house!!!
And then the real fun began. We got back to our place and Hubby started putting together our sofa and table and chairs. We bought a sofa from IKEA with a chaise lounge. Well, when you “customize” the directions don’t match exactly so for a little while we thought IKEA didn’t send us enough legs for the couch. And then, while assembling the table, the table didn’t come with the legs!! IKEA sent us boxes 1 and 2 of 3 and not box 3. So, no legs. We basically had a bunch of half finished projects, which was really great for my anxiety/perfectionism.
Things just got worse. I started unpacking the kitchen more and started noticing that our plates weren’t all together. We had decided to bring half of our everyday dishes (we got 12 place settings for our wedding) and store the rest. So, that would give us 6 dinner plates, 6 salad plates, 6 low soup-type bowls and 6 cereal bowls. Well, I knew I was in trouble when I unpacked 8 salad plates. I just got a bad feeling. After I had unpacked all the boxes labeled kitchen, I was left with 2 dinner plates, 8 salad plates, 0 low bowls and 1 cereal bowl. WTF!!! Reminder: we did not pack ourselves. A company came and packed for us, but I left Post-It Notes on EVERYTHING saying what was to be shipped and wat was to be stored. So, the inside cabinet of the kitchen had 6 store/6 ship on everything. So imagine my surprise when those easy instructions were not followed. Adding insult to injury, our clothes boxes were all labeled “colthing.” No lie. I think we got some ex-convicts packing our stuff. SO….I’m crying because we don’t have any plates in Germany, Hubby’s pissed because he’s putting together IKEA furniture and Copley is pawing at my leg to pay attention to her. Not a great Saturday…a productive Saturday, but a stressful one.
The ending was amazing though because we got to sleep in our own bed and watch 30 Rock on DVD. Copley was especially happy to be in a comfy bed.
Sunday, April 3rd: Our first breakfast in our apartment: scrambled eggs, toast, strawberries and coffee. Navigating the stove was an adventure and there were too many curse words to count, but the eggs turned out great! Ahh to have a functional kitchen again. We then took our coffees to go and went on a 45 minute walk with Copley around the neighborhood to explore. We found a bakery, a meat shop, an Italian restaurant, a nail salon and some amazing walking paths. The weather was just perfect for a walk, too.
Later, an angel friend came over to help us put together even more IKEA furniture, which were the wardrobes we bought from another expat couple who were heading back to the States. These suckers are huge and it definitely took another non-fatigued brain to put them together. Also, shout to Sandra for helping us realize IKEA did in fact send us not enough boxes for our table and where the legs correctly go on our sofa.
After putting together the wardrobes, everything started falling into place. Unpacking clothes helped eliminate a lot of boxes and made the place feel more like our’s. I did more laundry…and more laundry….and washed more cookware/dishes/glasses.
Monday, April 4th: Realized that 100% our plates are not in Germany because I unpacked every single box that was shipped to us. More crying.
Positives from Monday: I went to the gym and did an amazing workout. It felt so great to be back at the gym: I did 30 minutes on the treadmill (while watching YouTube right on the treadmill) and a Tone It Up arm workout. I also figured out the bus, which is surprisingly simple and especially surprisingly expensive. It costs 2 euro and 40 cents each ride!! And it takes 4 minutes to get the gym on the bus. I gotta figure out some kind of pass.
And I made our first dinner, inspired from my list. Chicken and broccoli. I was heavy handed on the olive oil and the heat on the stove will take some getting used to…hey, I’m rusty, it’s been 2 months since I even boiled water, but it was just amazing to cook our own food!!!
I am amazed at how fast days go when not working. I was definitely bored in the hotel because I didn’t have much to do, but now that there’s stuff to do around the apartment, cooking to do and a gym, I feel like I am one productive gal. I’ll do a day in the life post soon once we get settled and I have a routine. I did apply for some jobs, so we’ll see if I will stop being a kept woman soon!
Tuesday, April 5th: I basically spent the majority of the day traveling to get my hair cut, getting my hair cut and colored and back again! But, it was so worth it because my hair looks great, if I do say so myself.
And then Hubby and I went to IKEA to tell them that our box 3 of 3 didn’t come with our table. I was nervous they were going to basically give us the finger and say sorry suckers, but they didn’t! They just gave us the 3rd box. And it was difficult to communicate what happened in my broken German, but we got it!!
We got home and ate pizza, planned a future vacation and I did my German homework while Hubby finished putting together the table. Our couch is together but one side isn’t as secure as the other, so we’ll have to fix that.
Man, I’m exhausted.
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