The Littlest Hobo

At the end of this month, I will be moving out of flat number five and into flat number six. Not bad going for ten months, even by Berlin standards.

My plans to change the locks in Ailsa’s place failed and I dutifully moved out at the end of June. Ailsa came back from America to a spotless clean apartment, which she was very happy about, and I was very happy that she hadn’t arrived a couple of hours earlier when this was not even remotely the case.

Aware that I was about to be homeless – again – I started putting out feelers to see if I could find somewhere to keep me off the streets for another few weeks. As luck would have it, my German friend, Adalwolfa, was going to the States for a month with her dad and was looking for someone to take over her room. Funnily enough, the flat is about a ten-minute walk from Hermann’s place so it feels a bit like coming full circle.

I’m now sharing with a charming young German gentleman and a (thankfully) sane Swede. My first act in a bid to impress my new housemates was to make a cup of tea with a spoon and a half of salt, which I then proceeded to spit all over the kitchen. Eberhart came to my rescue and pointed out where the sugar was, though probably not before thinking he was living with a complete lunatic.

20150718_154429[1]

In my defence, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone keep salt in a jar with a spoon in it before. Surely that’s just asking for trouble, or is it yet another example of the much-maligned German sense of humour?

Anyway, since then, things have been going just fine. Although some of the décor leaves a little to be desired…

Um...
Um…

and the kitchen would give Hildeberta and Hildegard the willies, I have a huge room, working wifi, nice flatmates who don’t ask anything of me and, most importantly, a roof over my head. As Adalwolfa is a bit of a technical genius, I’ve also had hours of fun with her remote-controlled lighting system, hitting random buttons to see which light comes on or goes off. I’ve even managed to make it through almost an entire month with only one mini-lecture about putting packaging in the bio bin.

However, all good things must come to an end, and conscious of being under serious time pressure, I started looking for a new flat right after I’d moved into this one. And, I can hardly believe it, but I think I’ve found the perfect solution.

There is a company here called Berlinovo, which has apartments all over the city. The real beauty of this, particularly for someone with my sketchy employment history and even sketchier prospects, is that there’s no deposit, you can rent by the month, and only have to give a month’s notice when you want to leave.

The flat is small, but fully furnished (down to a corkscrew – I checked),  there are good transport connections, and I will be living on my own. ON MY OWN – how sweet those words are…

I'm this happy
I’m this happy

Regarding my current area, I will miss my new favourite bar, where it’s rumoured they eat foreigners for breakfast. I, however, have fit in like a dream, and the scary-looking locals have turned out to be lovely German pussycats, who help me with my language skills every time I go there. If there ever comes a time that I need to rob a bank or hide a body, the German that I’m learning from these characters will come in very handy.

I will NOT miss my local Italian restaurant, where the lecherous, elderly Sicilian waiter seems to think it’s perfectly acceptable to follow timid young women (yes, me) into the ladies bathroom, and attempt – repeatedly – to kiss them.

Numerous shoves in the chest failed to convince Salvatore that the feeling was not mutual.
Numerous shoves in the chest failed to convince Salvatore that the feeling was not mutual.

Anyway, for better or worse, soon I will be leaving all of this far behind and making the 25 or so S-Bahn trips it will take me to get all of my stuff from one end of the city to the other. This will probably be a walk in the park in comparison to setting up an internet connection…

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87 thoughts on “The Littlest Hobo”

  1. Congrats on getting a place of your own to call home Linda! Brilliant news! I can but dream of such a luxury. That Sicilian though – you should report him to the police…or carry a cattle prod at all times. Stay safe and good luck with the move xx

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    1. Naturally. I’ve grown accustomed to having the little buggers around now 😉 Actually, I doubt there will be much decoration going on – I’m not really the homely kind!

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    1. In this place, I haven’t really bothered unpacking as it’s only for 4 weeks! Plus everywhere I’ve had so far has been full of other people’s stuff!

      So, you’re probably the expert on this one – is Salvatore’s approach common practice in Sicily?? 😉

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  2. “maybe tomorrow I’ll want to settle down, until tomorrow I’ll just keep moving on…”

    I now have the theme tune to The Littlest Hobo in my head…

    :-/

    also yeay for a flat to yourself 😀 😀

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                1. awww! I can just see him queuing up at the tax office with his little bag of money!
                  but you are right, I don’t think he ever hoboed to germany…
                  so do they dogs have to pay it themselves or are they allowed to send human representatives?

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                2. They’re allowed to send human representatives as the official language of the Finanzamt is German, not Woof. Also, dogs would have a hard time paying the tax online – I did 😉

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                3. that is ok then…otherwise there could be a lot of trouble at the tax office…they might need werewolf translators who speak both woof and German 🙂
                  dogs do have trouble online…they find typing tricky with paws and mice are often too chewed to be useful…

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  3. 6 flats in ten months… you must be a moving specialist by now!
    I was lucky, no Internet to be used when I lived there so no experience on that. I did get yelled at when getting a landline though because I did not know if the last tenant had paid her bill or not. Stupid me didn’t even know what her name or current phone number was. After all, I rented from the landlord after she had moved out.. may this work as a warning…

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    1. I’m hoping not to have any problems like that as it’s all run by this company, but still, a good warning like you say! And I’m hoping this move will be the last one for a while – I’m exhausted 😉

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  4. That Berlinova sounds like it could be a good gig for a traveler who is planning to stay a month. Your nomadic life makes for an unboring one.

    Did you ever watch the TV show, The Littlest Hobo?

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    1. I did – I used to love it! And I still know the theme tune off by heart 🙂 And yes, I think they also offer accommodation for students and business people planning on staying for a few months. It’s a good idea!

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    1. Right now I’m about as far north as you can get, and this is deep, deep south! It would cost a fortune! I’ll just do several trips – load up the wheelie suitcase and off I go!

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      1. Canadian prairie style would be to call folks over to help, supply them with pizza and beer in exchange for their labour, packing / unpacking expertise and most of all – access to a vehicle! We are shamelessly community oriented that way. 😉

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        1. Ha, yeah, the Germans are pretty good like that too! Unfortunately almost everyone I know is out of town that weekend! And I’ve moved so many times at this stage, I feel bad asking for more help! I’ll just get lugging 🙂

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  5. Does it say ‘You’re my cretin’ on the last picture? Is there a ‘left intentionally dubious’ warning on the other side of the card? 🙂

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      1. Oh, so it’s the number that’s hidden! I thought there was the rest of his name, or maybe some sort of an identifying nickname: ‘Smoocher’ Salvatore might probably be known to the Berlin coppers as a notorious safe-cracker who uses his tongue to pick locks! 🙂

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          1. And think how the forensic specialists working on those crime scenes must feel!

            (Sorry, though, I’ve now realised that, when it comes to this semi-imaginary person, you’ve been exposed to far more visuals than I have. :))

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  6. That’s fantastic to finally have a place of your own. I’m still waiting for that day. It’s coming, I swear! Good luck with the internet. I’m a complete idiot when it comes to technology.

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    1. I fear I’m not much better! Ideally I’d like to get a monthly contract, but I don’t think anywhere here does that! Definitely not signing up for 2 years, which is what some companies have as a minimum – it’s all ahead of you 😉

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      1. Ugh! They do that bullshit here too. They lure you in with promises of fast internet, cheap prices, and 500 channels, and the don’t deliver. Then they jack the prices up after the year mark. I sincerely hope you don’t get stuck in that position. It’s cruel, I tell you, cruel.

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        1. Ha, I hope not too! I’m in touch with one company so waiting for them to get back to me with an offer. Will have to find a cafe with good wifi in the meantime!

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