Friday, September 25, 2009

hello!

As you all probably figured out, the internet thing is not working at my new place.
There is a wlan network to which you can connect after you paid a fee.
But it is not working in my part of town.
Bummer.
Now I have to wait until I get the landline which is supposed to be in early October...


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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

mission accomplished

Finally!!!
On Sunday we made some more phone calls and spoke to people that offered apartments...
At some point, we spoke to someone who offered a place that turned out to be too far away from my new school.
But then he told us, he might have something else, which is not completely done.
But the price sounded good and so we practically nailed him on his offer and we agreed that I would come down to look at that place on Monday right away.
He even went so far to say if I like it I could sign the contract right away and even sleep in there that night.
So, down I went.
I went to their house.
At first they showed me a rather not so nice place.
Then we went to the place he told me about on the phone.
I liked it right away.
It has two rooms, a small pantry kitchen and a bathroom with shower and sink.
The toilet is in the hallway and I share it with my neighbor, but I think that is ok.
He insisted on showing me another place too, so we went there afterward.
That was a nice place too, but it was smaller and more expensive.
So I decided to take the other one.
We went back to his house, I paid some money and got the keys.
The real contract will be waiting for me, when I get there on Saturday, since his printer ran out of ink...
He then dropped me off at my place (I like to say that :D ) and I started to explore the area.
It might not be the greatest area, but there is a bus stop nearby, there are two stores, a bakery, some places to eat and some other convenient places.
There is a Döner place nearby and I tried one for dinner since the pantry kitchen was not ready yet. The Döner was good and the price ok, good to know. :D
On Tuesday morning I went back home, on local trains again and got here around 8 pm.
Now I am busy getting stuff ready, because my Mom will drive me and my stuff down there on Saturday.
The following Saturday she will come back and we will go and buy furniture.
This Saturday she has an appointment before we can leave so the stores will be closed by the time we get there, so she will come back.
I am really excited right now and busy planning. :)
I even found a way to be online before I get my land line and internet at my new place.
I hope it works as well as they say it will. :)

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

and still no apartment...

At some point last week I made two appointments to look at places.
Since I am just a poor student, I decided to go down there the cheapest way I could which means I used a train ticket called "Quer durchs Land" (across the country) which allowed me to travel all over Germany from 9 am until 3 am the next day for only 34 Euros.
Sounds nice you think?
Well it is ok, the thing is that you are only allowed to use local trains.
So I went down to my new town in 8 hours, changed trains like 7 times and got there around 6 pm on Thursday.
It was around this time that I found the voice mail from the company that owns the place I wanted to look at on Friday which said that they have to cancel the appointment. WTF??
They called me the day before to reconfirm and make sure that everything is set and then not even 24 hours before the appointment they call me?
They do have my information, they know where I live, and they should be able to figure out that this wouldn't be just a little trip for me.
They did ask me to call them back which I didn't do since they have one of those hotline numbers which are expensive and even more expensive when calling them from a cell phone.
And the last time I called, I was waiting for more than 5 minutes to speak to a CSA.
I do certainly know better ways to blow my money.
So I went to the place I wanted to look at on Thursday and it was a nice place, that's for sure, but the previous tenant wanted 1000 Euros for the stuff she would leave in there (eg linoleum, kitchen, a shelf, the light fixtures).
Had she mentioned this amount before, I wouldn't even have bothered looking at that place.
So my two possibilities were vanished in no time.
I then went to the newsstand at the main station in hope to find a paper with ads there but obviously they only come out on Wednesday and on Saturday and since it was Thursday there was no way to get one.
I then went to Starbucks to cheer me up a bit, then hopped on the bus that brought me to the hostel and while walking up to the front door, my Mom called and I was able to vent a bit. :)
I then checked in, discovered that I was the only person in the room and got something for dinner.
When all the kids finally were in bed and I was able to get to the one internet terminal they have there, I searched the web for some more places but without success.
But somebody I know from a forum told me about an elder couple that rents out rooms.
I decided I would give them a call.
The next morning I checked out after breakfast and took the bus to the main station and from there the train to the campus. There I got a little stamp on my student ID which allows me to ride the public transportation in and around my new town for free.
This was the main purpose of going there this day.
I also checked the message boards there but didn't find anything I would want to look at right away, plus I had this elderly couple I wanted to call.
Until today I had the possibility of renting an apartment beginning 11/1. So I figured, I would take the room at the couple's house, stay there till I can get into the other apartment and this would be it.
But then it turned out that I couldn't have to room right away.
I thought that it would be available right away.
And today I found out that somebody already put his finger on the apartment.
The contract is not signed yet but he said he want's to have it.
After looking at the room I went back to the main station, got me an Italian BMT at subway and a raspberry mocha frapp at Starbucks and hopped on the next train, which took me to Duesseldorf where I had to hang out for an hour.
The trip home went well too, except the hour in Hamburg.
I had to wait for my next train home, and when I left the track and went toward the main hall, I already saw some police officers in riot gear. I was asking myself "Oh, who played today?" since this is a very common view in German train stations of towns that have soccer teams in the first league.
But on Friday there was no soccer game...
Nope, there was a riot again... left wing extremists vs Nazis and the police right in the middle.
Obviously most of the action took part in Hamburg itself and what I got to see was just Nazis on their way home and left wing extremist bidding their farewell.
It was really scary. You could feel the tension in the air and from time to time one group chased the other and vice versa.
Not a nice situation.
I was glad when I could get on my train.
At our train station I met my brother who gave me the key to the car.
I finally was home by 1 am and really tired but then as soon as I could settle down, the caffeine, that I consumed because I knew I had to drive home and was already really tired, kicked in and I couldn't sleep.
Bummer.

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Monday, September 7, 2009

spending money

Nothing new so far on the apartment front.
Right now looks like I will go to my new town next weekend, but not to a new place, but to a bed and breakfast or so and look for apartments from there.
This should make it easier and, as I mentioned earlier, I have to be at school on Sept 21rst.
Regarding the title...I don't have a place to stay yet, but I already have a new coffee maker. :)
I also got some decoration, nothing big, just some 1Euro-things.
And it is my brothers birthday today and I got him a present.
When I started, I had no idea what to get him but I found something and he likes it. :)
I also shipped a package to the States and I got a good deal on that (if you can say so regarding postage).
Other than that I looked for apartments and now also for a room to rent for a certain time...
No success on either.
Next try tomorrow.
( btw: I enabled anonymous comments, since I know at least two persons that don't have an account to comment here ;) )
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Sunday, September 6, 2009

busy weekend

I ended up not going to that soccer tournament yesterday.
Actually I was pretty sure I would go, but then I woke up and felt not well.
In fact, I even skipped the workout because of that.
Instead I spent some lot's of time online, looking for apartments, had lunch with my Mom and then some more quality time with her.
We went to Praktiker (something like Home Depot) and got some boxes, and some other stuff.
Then we had a little rest at McCafe and then did some grocery shopping.
We even got a pumpkin which was made into a very delicious stew today.
Today it was mainly unpacking, sorting and then packing.
I went through my stuff in the attic and put together what I will need in my new yet to be found apartment. During the week I will pack up the stuff which I have in my room now e.g. books, CDs and clothes.
We are shooting for next weekend to move me and my stuff down there.
Hopefully I will have a space then.
If this doesn't work out, I will at least be completely packed.
I am a little under pressure here since the orientation weeks start on Sept 21rst and some of the events are mandatory like the lab orientation...
Worst case scenario: I go into a b&b or a hostel for a few days but I am still hoping for a place.
Beside packing, my Mom and I had a nice breakfast and some delicious coffee.
The coffee recipe which I mentioned in my previous post is really great.
We had some in the morning and later in the afternoon.
I am not sure if it is exactly like a Pumpkin Spice Dolce Latte because I am not sure if I remenber the taste right, but heck, it was still awesome.
And so much cheaper then Starbucks, which doesn't carry it anyways. :)
Right now I am writing an applicatio for a student job while watching "Autopsy" on TV.

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Friday, September 4, 2009

There is no bad weather...

...just a bad choice of clothes. :)
Now that fall surely is on it's way the weather is acting crazy.
At least here.
Yesterday one moment the sun could shine through some white clouds while the sky is blue and then in the next minute, everything is gray and it pours like crazy.
Since we have this very demanding dog that wants to play all the time, it happened that he wanted to go outside, while it rained yesterday.
No problem buddy!
I just put on a raincoat and some old boots which are my Dad's old military boots if I am not mistaken and we went outside.
I added a rubber glove to that outfit because the dog has a tennis ball which I used to kick for him.
But recently I found out, he likes it even better if I throw the ball.
Of course it gets all soaked and slimy while he brings it back, hence the glove.
Dressed like this I went outside.
He played nice for a few minutes but then he started to crawl under the bushes where the rain wouldn't get him.
When asked for the ball, he tossed it out (yes he can toss balls :) ) and waited until I picked up and threw the ball myself, before he shot out of the bush.
He then caught the ball and went back under the bushes.
I laughed so hard, he was so silly!
In general he loves water, he would go for a swim whenever he sees a lake or the sea, but obviously he doesn't like to be rained on.
He doesn't like to be hosed down either.
Today there was no rain so far, about which he is really happy.
But you can tell, fall is on it's way.
It got colder over night, it is really chilly now and I would not even think about going outside in short sleeves like I did on Monday.
I like that weather in general but since I lived in the States for 2 years, Pumpkin Spice Latte is an essential part of fall for me now.
Germany is a bit retarded in the Starbucks section and some of my favorite flavors are not available over here. (but I think I should be happy that they have Starbucks at all)
Punpkin Spice is one of them.
Cinnamon Dolce is another one.
When I met some other Au Pairs (former and future ones) in Hamburg last October, of course we went to Starbucks too.
There I ordered a Cinnamon Dolce Latte. After all, we do have cinnamon here in Germany, so I figured the chances are good that I could get a Cinnamon Dolce Latte here.
You know what they said? "It's not Christmas yet" I was like WTF??
I got a Cinnamon Something Frappuchino in the summer of 06 in White Plains, NY and here they tell me I have to wait til Christmas??
Well I ordered something else which was good as well, but still...
At least I can put cinnamon in my coffee at home and a friend of mine gave me a recipe which is supposed to resemble Pumpkin Spice Latte and I will try it out this weekend.

On another note, there is nothing new in the apartment/room hunting.
Yesterday I saw a cute place in the right price range, which was not where I wanted it to be (bigger town near school) but close by (where the school is).
So I called and emailed them and didn't hear from them til today, 8 am, when the nice lady called back to tell me, that the place is available not earlier than Dec. 1rst, which is a tad too late for me.
I will keep that place in mind thought, just in case I end up in an ugly place, but for now I am still without a place to live in new town.
The lady even looked around for another appartment but just called me back to tell me that she wasn't able to find something.
Tomorrow is a Soccer tournament from my old company and I told them I would come and cheer them on but right now I don't feel like going.
There is a Coutry/Western party afterward and it just is too cold outside to drink something.
Beside that I don't feel like I should "waste" a whole day, when I still have to find an apartment.
And it would be nice to spend time with the family, now that I am moving out soon again...
I think I will make a spontaneous decision about that.



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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I know, I know...

I should write more often, but somehow the days went by quickly and I didn't have much to write about.
The week went by pretty quick and in a blink it was already Saturday and I had my last day at work.
I had to come back on Monday though to hand in my parking permit and my ID and I was told I can come back if my studies don't work out.
Good to know.
I mean not that I plan on not finishing my studies or not getting a degree, but good to know that they were happy with my work and I have something like a cushion.

Right now, I am trying really hard to find a job in new town, something part-time and I already sent out an application yesterday but the most important thing is a place to stay.
Yesterday I was told that I most likely will NOT get a space in student housing, so I am trying to line up some appointments to look at places for next week, when I can go down there and look at them.
This week my Mom is on a business trip and I am watching the house and the dog and I don't have somebody that could drive me to either trainstation or airport.
On Monday morning I have a doctors appointment and I try to go to new Town either later on Monday or on Tuesday.
I already have one place which looks acceptable and if it is still available next week, I will look at this too.
I hope I will find some more acceptable places.
Some are just overpriced, too far away or just hideous.
I saw a "room" which had wood everywhere. Floor, walls, ceiling. I bet this would feel like living in a coffin.

Beside this there is nothing else to report I think...time to get a life. :)

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