Living on my own

Me: Of course, my dream is to live by myself eventually.

Kayla: Oh, my Aussie friend is looking for someone to take over her flat for a couple of months. Maybe you two should meet? 

Me: Hell yeah. 

And so, through my South African friend that I used to work with in Dublin who now also lives in Berlin, I got to meet Ailsa, the Aussie artist who’s going on an artists residency in the States for a couple of months. She’d had some problems with Airbnb people before, so she wanted to leave her flat in safe hands. (Ahem.) Enter me. Naturally, she loved me at first sight and we both agreed that I should have her apartment.

Of course, Hildeberta and Hildegard were heart-broken when I told them I’d be moving out. Who would leave long dark hairs all over the apartment when I was gone? But, on the plus side, they now get to clean every second week instead of every third week so I guess there’s that. Naturally, I will miss them a lot, but we’ll still see each other and I’ll have them over to my flat for a (hopefully not poisonous) dinner soon.

I moved into my new pad in Neukölln on Tuesday with the help of Fritz, who I hoped would be more alert behind the wheel than he is on trains. He came to my place at 10am (on the dot) and by 10.40, we had everything moved into my new flat. German-Irish efficiency. (Yes, it is a real thing…)

I fully intend to.
I fully intend to.

Words can’t describe how happy I am to be finally living on my own in Berlin – even if it is just for a short time. Of course, it’s more expensive than my old place, but I’ve decided to start living my life the way I want it to be (rather than how it actually is) and hope that everything else falls into place. Madness? Perhaps, but it feels wunderbar. And I get to play “If I were an egg, where would I be?” in a whole new LIDL.

I’ve already charmed the Lederhosen off the auld lads who are permanently installed outside the bar next door, and I’m planning on joining them several times a week – to practise my German. I’ve also met the little old Turkish lady who’s like the gatekeeper to the building and a good woman to have on side. She also doesn’t speak a word of English so our first meeting was quite entertaining.

Zeynep: Are you from Australia too?

Me: No, I’m from Ireland. 

Zeynep: (brief pause) JOHNNY LOGAN!!!

Me: Erm, yeah… 

(Ah, the good old days, when Ireland got more than “nul points” in the Eurovision.)

My first act upon moving in was to accidentally melt cheese all over the kitchen floor thanks to my new sandwich toaster. I’d gone to get dressed and put on my make-up after turning it on, and came back to find molten hot cheese covering the nice wooden floor and some wiring. I’d forgotten how fast those things toast, clearly.

Don't worry, Ailsa, it came off easily...
Don’t worry, Ailsa, it came off easily…

I’ve also had to permanently close the door to the storage room, as I kept walking in there thinking it was the kitchen or the bathroom. But, thankfully, I’m less confused now, and becoming more successful at living. Last night, I had Nigel over for dinner and managed not to kill either of us. I cooked a sausage casserole that I was hoping would feed me for the week, but Nige polished off three-quarters of it in one sitting. Still, at least he didn’t wildpinkel on the balcony.

View from my awesome balcony
View from my awesome balcony

This morning, feeling rather continental, I decided to have my Schokobrötchen and tea on said balcony while sunning myself in my underwear. This afforded me the treat of seeing my Turkish neighbour doing his morning stretching routine on his balcony. Or at least he was doing it until he spotted the half-naked Irish woman eyeing him.

What I'll be doing every morning from now until July.
What I’ll be doing every morning from now until July.

On the whole, after only two days, I’m enjoying living here so much that I think I might have the locks changed while Ailsa is in the States and not open the door when she comes back. Although, I’m not sure how German law enforcement would feel about that.

OK, I know exactly how they'd feel.
OK, I know exactly how they’d feel.

So, for anyone who hasn’t been keeping track of my journey in Berlin, this is how it looks so far…

North, south, east, west...
North, south, east, west…

Where to next? Who knows, but I should probably start looking tomorrow…

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92 thoughts on “Living on my own”

  1. You’ve made it. You’ve become one of us “living the Berlin lifestyle” although you’re not completely German Linda, as you’ve made friends with the neighbours far too quickly. You need at least a year before you get the nod of recognition! Having said that though, when I lived in Tiergarten (before moving to genteel Prenzlauerberg), our gay neighbour left a bottle of red wine outside my door as a welcome gift! Now that’s the way to do things LOL!

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  2. Congratulations! I actually googled the neighborhood – looks super-cute! The balcony reminds me of my fire escape in Manhattan, and I used to sunbathe there too 🙂
    It looks like you’ve lived in more areas of Berlin already than most Berliners!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I probably have! Most new arrivals move around quite a bit though – accommodation is NOT easy here! I even have a guest mattress if you do make it before July 😉

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  3. Linda on her own in the big city! What trouble will you get into now, especially with those Germans at the bar next door…I mean, the BAR next door!! Congratulations on your strokes of good luck 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jealous!!! I want to live by myself, waaaah! I love my roommate and all, but shit, it would be heavenly to have the whole place to myself. When she goes off for weekends away, I just feel so at peace. Nobody cares if I don’t wash my dishes or if I’m loud or if I’m naked… I hope you walk around naked all the time. Milk that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m naked right now. (Not really) 😉 And yes, it is an amazing feeling! I LOVE living by myself! Just hope I can find somewhere on my own after this – it would be horrible to have to go back to shared living now!

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    1. Huge living room with balcony out double doors, large bedroom with double bed that gets the sun in the evenings and turns a lovely rose colour 🙂 Small-ish kitchen but it has everything you need, same with the bathroom. There’s also a spare room used as a storage room that’s like Monica Geller’s closet of doom 🙂 Wooden floors and big windows throughout 🙂 It’s great!

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  5. Nice legs! How great to have a balcony and some privacy if only for a short time. Maybe you could become a professional housesitter … that would be an interesting way to get to know Berlin as well 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It would but I’m not sure I could handle moving every couple of months! It would be nice to have somewhere for a minimum of a year next – feel a bit more settled! And thanks for the compliment – I’m blushing 😉

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  6. awesome! that balcony alone is so worth the move even if it’s for a spell. don’t forget sunscreen or soon you’ll turn into glowing red Irish fury after too much sunbathing 😉 fingers crossed for that job.
    P.S. that lock changing scheme is so tempting

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  7. Wow you are coming up in the world Linda – whew, your own place (even of it is temporary). That’s wonderful , especially the balcony. Congrats!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know – I love it 🙂 I need to find out how many versions of ‘pinkel’ there are in German. So far I’ve got Stehpinkel (standpee), Sitzpinkel (sitpee) and Wildpinkel (outdoorspee) 😉

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  8. Woohoo! The glorious-ness of your own place after roommates (even good ones) is a beautiful, beautiful thing. Enjoy that sunny balcony and we’ll expect some good stories of future neighbor tales!

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        1. For the sake of two months, I won’t be doing any IKEA trips 😉 Though I did pick up a few bits and pieces at Pfennigland – my new favourite shop 🙂 2 wine glasses, an egg cup, a nice scented candle and a potato masher for €5 🙂

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      1. Ha! You need some drapes Linda. I have an acquaintance who is a police detective. He and I took a course together and he is a big, muscular black guy with a perpetual frown in his face. To top it all off he, of course, always carried a gun, even when off duty. But he is really a teddy bear underneath. Anyway, during the course, my marriage broke up and I moved into my own place for the first time in many decades. He sought me out in class one day during a break to offer his empathy. “You know when my marriage broke up, I realized that I could play my music as loud as I wanted and dance around the house naked.” I thanked him for his attempt to cheer me up. A few minutes later one of the other students came over and said in a low voice: ” I happen to overhear your conversation earlier. Don’t you find the image of him dancing around the house naked, except for his gun, a little disturbing?” Bwahahaha! Don’t disturb the neighbors Linda!

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        1. Ha ha, this post made me want to go and buy a gun, not curtains! Dancing around naked with a gun would be unusual – even for Berlin!! Great story! 🙂

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    1. I’m pretty set on living by myself but it depends on my work situation – STILL waiting to hear about this damn job! And our lease was going to be up on that place in a few months anyway so they’ll be looking for somewhere new as well – and they’re turning my room into a living room (cos they know they’ll never find anyone as awesome as me again) 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  9. That’s an awful lot if moving you’ve done there. Living alone sounds so wonderful. I hope this a a wonderful next few months, and when your friend gets back you find the perfect apartment to live alone in.

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    1. Oh Britt, me too! And I’m trailing behind some of my friends in the moving stakes! Though I think I’ll be catching up after the next one! Seems to be a common theme among people who move to Berlin!

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      1. Yuck! I absolutely detest moving, so much so that I’ll live somewhere that I hate before convincing myself to move. Herrball and I are finishing up our move at the moment, and all I can think about is how we’re just going to have to do it again in six months at the latest. I just want to trash everything I own and start over, but I’m way too poor for that.

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    1. Johnny Logan won the Eurovision twice for Ireland 🙂 But you’re Canadian so I don’t expect you to know what! Nigel is my English friend – Nigel was the most English name I could think of 😉 He was in the last post too – puking 🙂

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