The Eagle has Landed

I’m finally in my new place. The good news is that it only took two days, six train journeys, six bus journeys, a lot of sweat, some bumps, scrapes and bruises, far too much riding in lifts with screeching brats, and more swearing than Berlin has probably ever heard before. Still, maybe there’s something character building about knowing you can do this kind of stuff by yourself when you have to. I’ll let you know when that feeling kicks in…

Although I’m now living in what most Berliners would probably consider “the sticks”, I couldn’t be happier. This morning, instead of being woken up by blaring Turkish car radios, manic beeping, and sirens every seven minutes, I woke up to the sound of birdsong and distant church bells – something my good Irish Catholic soul finds very soothing. Ahem.

From this:

To this:

For the first time since I moved to Berlin, I have unpacked everything I own. In fact, there’s so much storage space here, I might need to buy new stuff to fill it all. The joy, the utter joy, of not having to move other people’s stuff to the side, or squeeze my things into the gaps that they left behind. I have drawers, cupboards, wardrobes and they’re mine, all mine! The place is spotless and fully equipped, even coming with a 104″ flat screen TV…

Welcome to the future.
Welcome to the future.

Of course, even when a flat comes fully furnished, there are always some bits and pieces that you need, in my case, clothes hangers and decent-sized mugs. So, after hefting the second load of stuff up the stairs and into the flat, I took a stroll to the DM (a bit like Boots) on the corner.

Where the hell were the clothes hangers? I did three laps of the shop and still couldn’t find them. Thankfully, there was a woman stacking shelves so I approached her.

Me: (in German) Excuse me, do you sell… (Shit. Due to the excitement of the day, I’d neglected to figure out what I’d say if I couldn’t find something. What on earth were clothes hangers in German? Deciding that ‘hangen’ was probably a verb, I finished with…) the things for clothes hanging? (Brilliant, I know.) 

Hadwigis: What? 

Me: You know, the things for the clothes hanging! 

Hadwigis: (looking like she wished she had an emergency security button underneath the shelf) What? 

Me: (lots of enthusiastic miming of clothes hanger shapes and hanging things up)

Hadwigis, finally twigging what I was after, or just desperate to get rid of me, pointed to the other end of the shop, said something in rapid German and went back to her shelf stacking.

I walked in the direction she’d pointed in, did another couple of laps but still failed to find anything remotely resembling clothes hangers. Embarrassed that Hadwigis would see my hangerless basket, I shiftily checked each aisle to make sure she wasn’t there and skulked to the till. Once outside, I Google Translated “clothes hangers”. “Kleiderbügel” – what a fabulous word, and one that I will not easily forget.

Kleiderbügel! Say it with me!
Kleiderbügel! Say it with me!

I wandered down the street and came to a stop outside a blast from the past – Woolworths. Pretty sure they’d have everything I needed, in I went. Naturally, the clothes hangers were again elusive, but armed with the correct word this time, I marched up to another shelf-stacker and confidently asked her where they were. My pronunciation might have been a bit Irish because she gave me a huge grin while directing me to the lower floor. I hadn’t even realised there was a lower floor but, oh my god, it was home-start heaven down there.

I finally struggled to the till with two mugs, 20 clothes hangers, a chopping board, a duvet and pillow cover set, a sheet, a dishtowel, a small bin and a scented candle. I nearly fell over when she told me the total – just over €16. As this makes Woolworths my new favourite shop, Hadwigis can breathe a sigh of relief as I’ll never have to darken her door again.

I now have everything I need, but the only thing I was slightly concerned about before moving here was the internet situation. The company I had contacted said that it would take three weeks to set up a connection. (Um, why?) But, lo and behold, thanks to a T-Mobile hotspot that I can pay for for 30 days, here I am. I’m hoping that by the time the 30 days are up, the other company will have got their act together. I mean, Jesus, I need the internet for Scrabble Facebook work. How hard can it be, Germany, huh?

So, before I go and enjoy a glass of wine in blissful solitude on my balcony, I can tell you that I’ve also made a major leap in becoming a real German…

Yes, it's my very own poo shelf
Yes, it’s my very own poo shelf

You’re free to laugh now.

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92 thoughts on “The Eagle has Landed”

    1. Ha, I do feel marginally safer here though 😉

      Hmm, I think Kleiderbügel is easier than that! German isn’t so hard to pronounce really. Just a lot of other stuff to try to remember!

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  1. Ah, total bliss. New apartment. Tons of elbow room. So much quiet. And a lovely view. I’d be in pig heaven too, Linda.
    Love the elusive hunt for hangers, but mostly how you didn’t give up. That takes a bucketload of grit to keep going.
    Congrats on the new move, and here’s to wide-open stretches, unwrinkled clothing, and sweet settled sleep. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. LOL! Welcome to the real world and congratulations on finally getting your own place. Yeah, service. Hmm! Ah well, for €16.00 you’re in heaven.
    p.s. You’re lucky to get a furnished place, I almost had a heart attack when I got my first “real” apartment. Consider this. I had never lived in a flat before I moved to Germany. Yep! Hence the word “apartment” and when I had my first one, I went to an English-speaking agency in Kreuzberg who linked me with a gay couple in Tiergarten who had a furnished apartment. They were great by the way and kept leaving me bottles of wine!
    After a year, I decided to bravely go for “unfurnished” and on the first night I slept in darkness as there was no lightbulb anywhere in the house. Yes, this apartment was empty-empty. Oh, and the kitchen apart from one strange cooker from 1972, was empty too. So I went to Ikea and bought a new one…..!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely! I couldn’t concentrate at all in the old place! But I was glad to have it for a month all the same 😉

      And yes, dreams I never even knew I had before moving to Germany – my own poo shelf… 😉

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            1. I can definitely imagine something like that at Oktoberfest! Haven’t seen any round here but I’m always munching on a healthy amount of sausage – just in case 😉

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  3. Your very own poo shelf! You dream big. 🙂

    Seriously, this is great, Linda! I love your new location, so pastoral and pretty.

    And bonus…now you can take the sun in the buff on your balcony. No one will be the wiser except the birds.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Poo shelf for the win!
    Not to mention the win that comes from moving into a place of your very own after living with roommates. That is the best. THE. BEST.
    That view looks much improved… who cares if it’s the sticks! (They have better beer gardens in the sticks anyway.) 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, I was in “the best” local beer garden yesterday – scary amount of wheelchairs and walkers 😉 But they were friendly in their own toothless way 😉 And having my own place is amazing! I couldn’t wait to get home this evening! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, the mythical poop shelf! I’ve only heard stories about its existence, and now here it is! Just in case you need to inspect your poo….

    I haven’t heard “Woolworth’s” in at least 15 years. Maybe more – maybe you will find other treasures from my childhood, like snap bracelets and big hair….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, I’m pretty sure they have it all! And at bargain basement prices too 🙂 I’m going to be their new best customer!

      And the poo shelf. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – why?! 😉 #why 😉

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      1. Ok so let me rephrase – I’ve never known someone that has one! And then it just begs a logistical question….is the water pressure high enough to get it OFF the shelf!

        I think you should do an exploratory post of the things you find in Woolworths 😛

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Once again, hahaha! I have never lived anywhere with a pooh shelf.

    Pretty sure DM doesn’t sell clothes hangers? I got mine from the dreaded Ikea 😉 or by buying clothes and saying yes when they asked if I wanted the hanger.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, buying the hangers is cheaper than buying clothes right now – although maybe if I shop in WW for ever more… 🙂 I’ll be the style icon of Berlin, I’m sure!

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  7. It’s good to know the German reputation for efficiency’s overblown.

    In Spain once my partner and I wanted to buy an adapter, and not only didn’t we know the word, our dictionary had been printed before electricity was invented. Or discovered. Which is roughly when we both learned our Spanish. I was afraid to mime it for fear the clerk would think we were looking for sex toys, so we did without.

    The word turns out to be adaptor.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha, most of the time it’s great when that happens! I also learned another great word in this whole process – Schlusselübergabe – which is basically ‘picking up the key from the house manager’ in English 🙂 I couldn’t have guessed that if I’d tried – or Kleiderbügel, for that matter 🙂 And yes, sometimes I have no idea where this reputation comes from!!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It was bloody hard work haha! Typically every guy I know was out of town that weekend so it was just little old me 😉 Feel quite proud that I managed it though – and the place is so organised now, I love it! Hildegard and Hildeberta would be proud of me too 🙂

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  8. ‘I finally struggled to the till with two mugs, 20 clothes hangers, a chopping board, a duvet and pillow cover set, a sheet, a dishtowel, a small bin and a scented candle.’

    16 euros for the entire list? Are you sure these things weren’t made out of (used) toilet paper?

    Also, I looked at that flat service web-site you used and mentioned in the last post, and, no, the picture with the little telly comes nowhere near the flashy interiors they promise. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha, maybe they were creative with their photography angles 😉 They own flats all over Berlin so they’re all different – some aren’t furnished at all so I’m just happy to have this one! And as long as I can see the TV, I really don’t care what it looks like 😉

      You don’t have Woolworths in LV, right? I don’t remember it anyway…

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      1. No, we don’t – but as far as I’ve checked, it’s some sort of a 1-euro-store? There are a bunch of these in Riga, but I’ve never been to one and I don’t known the names. 🙂

        Also, there’s another German show suggestion. I don’t know if the Cold War spy theme interests you, but there’s Deutschland 83:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deutschland_83

        It’s set in East/West Germany in the eighties, and it’s gorgeous. And this is probably the only non-pornographic show ever where you can see an African-American Army General talking German with his trousers down in a brothel. 🙂

        The problem is that the show has only come out in the US, so the only place you can get it in Germany is TPB (and the like). The good news is that all these releases come with English subtitles.

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        1. No, it’s not a euro store – more like a cheap department store. Don’t know what the Latvian equivalent would be – not sure there is one! Think the opposite of Stockmann 😉

          And yay for trousers down 😉

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    1. Ha ha, I don’t know – it is Berlin – I think there are around two of them 😉 2 days and not one blaring radio or wedding beeps – long may that continue 😉

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  9. Congratulations on finding your own place, looks great 🙂 Also, hello from Mountain View, California! I’ve been curious about (expat) life in Germany, that’s when I randomly found your blog and have been following it, but it feels like poor netiquette if I’m reading and not making a comment, so here we are. I’m more curious than ever to follow the language-learning adventures! best, –r.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi there Ravi! Nice to “meet” you! I’m hoping to get back into a proper course soonish now that I have a proper base – I think there are a few language schools close by so watch this space 🙂 The most frustrating thing is when it’s something so simple but you just have a gap where that word should be! Are you thinking of moving here?
      Linda.

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  10. I would definitely take your new views (and soundscape) over what you had before! You might have to do more traveling by bus and whatever, but it looks like it will be worth it! Congratulations! Love your TV and you have your own poo shelf, too! It must be heaven … lol … I feel your excitement. Much the same way I was when I moved into my first apartment alone. It was small but it was mine and mine to enjoy alone! I miss it sometimes … except for the porno movie theater two doors down 😉 Enjoy your new place!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! That’s what this place is missing! A porno movie theatre! Still, it IS Germany, so I’m sure I won’t have to look too far 😉

      As for the place, it looks far on the map, but in reality, it might take me 10 minutes longer to get places – the transport system here is brilliant! And the freedom (and cleanliness of the place) is amazing! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  11. That 104″ flatscreen is a humdinger ain’t it? Whew, never seen such a monstrosity. Myself I only got a 36″ TV:

    It fell into the laundry basket the other day, got washed, and now it won’t play dirty movies. 😛

    Ha! Sounds like a lot of freedom y’all got there missy. Those are awesome prices at Woolworths. The history of Woolworths is very unusual for a company. The original was F.W. Woolworth in the US and Canada. It closed but another company, same name operated in Ireland from 1914-1984. Then another in the UK until 2009 which was replaced by an online version that closed last month. There are still very viable Woolworths in Australia and in Germany and Austria. We studied them in B-school – very odd history.

    I need me some Kleiderbügel too! I tried asking in the stores but they just look at me funny. Ha! And having looked into your toilet – which is very clean, by the way Linda, I need one of them too. Ha! (Funny toilet story: I am a big fan of submarines and read all I can find on them – mostly true stories. One story took place at a sub base during WW2. The base commander was very meticulous [anal] and would inspect each submarine when it came into his base. If it was not up to the specs in the manual he would put the captain on report. One particular captain knew this and had been through it before so he had his crew clean the submarine so it was spic and span. Especially the toilets which they scrubbed hard and bleached so they were spotless and germ free. The captain smeared some peanut butter under the lip of one toilet and when the commander did his inspection, he found the smear and demanded “WHAT IS THIS?!?!” The captain bent over. wiped some on his finger put it in his mouth and declared “Why I believe that is shit sir.” The commander gagged, turned and left and never came back. Ha!)

    Happy rural living with the trees and birds Linda!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. H aha! I’m not surprised the inspector never came back! Good trick! 🙂
      Ah, rural living – maybe I’m getting old but it seems to suit me! Still, it’s only day 2… 😉
      I vaguely remember Woolworths in Ireland but it has been gone for years! I think they should bring it back! €16 for all of that!!

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      1. It actually looks absolutely charming – just not very Linda 😉 I would love to visit you there, though it looks like I am (thankfully) skipping out on the October News Xchange event in Berlin (I told my boss I am totally ok sitting out all our big trips this year – bc they are social anxiety nightmare for me). But maybe I will pop in in December, once the markets open?

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  12. Riding in lifts is not good for the suspension Linda. Shame on you. (Tee hee!) Best of luck in the new place! It looks like it’s in a great location, even if the internet and the TV leave a little room for improvement.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha, dirty bitch 😉
      Yeah, there’s always room for improvement but everything is working right now anyway! It’s great having German TV again 🙂 And it’s so peaceful – I slept like the dead last night!

      Liked by 1 person

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