Welcome to my hood

I am officially declaring my first week and a half of living on my own a roaring success. But, I suspect that since posting these pictures…

…some of you might think that I have taken to tree-hugging, stuff-picking, or whatever else it is people who live near forests do. Not so, dear reader. If there was ever a chance of that, I think it probably would have happened in Latvia, and the closest I came to tree-hugging there was being driven out of the country by stick-wielding local lunatics. (Slight exaggeration, but close enough.)

Far from feeling isolated from my beloved Berlin, I am feeling very much at home here. During the day, I get to scoff at tourists who spend 20 minutes standing in front of a map of the train system, and a further 20 minutes trying to figure out which ticket to buy; in the evenings, I get to come home to my tranquil little haven. It’s the perfect balance. In fact, living here feels a bit like living in a holiday camp, which I can’t recommend highly enough.

Despite being small, the town has absolutely everything I need for daily living – an efficient transport system, supermarkets, banks, a post office, shops, WOOLWORTH, bakeries, cafés, restaurants, bars, late-night shops (for midnight/Sunday wine runs) and even a little cinema. Oh, and there’s also a church for people who like that sort of thing.

The bells, the bells...
The bells, the bells…

In my back garden, there’s a table tennis table which I’ve never seen anyone using, but am planning to take full advantage of at the first possible opportunity.

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Just down the road in one direction, there’s mini-golf and archery, and in the other direction, there’s a swimming pool, tennis courts and an ice rink. In fact, all I need is some bad karaoke, bingo and ballroom dancing and I’d be living in Butlin’s. (For non-UK/Irish readers, Butlin’s is a famous holiday camp in the UK – think “Dirty Dancing”, but without the dirty bits.)

Something the world hoped it would never see again...
Something the world hoped it would never see again…

Dotted all around the town are pretty little allotments where the Mermans, “merry Germans” in case you’d forgotten, grow stuff, grill sausages, drink beer, bask in the sunshine, paddle in inflatable swimming pools and get naked a lot. This last one is, as yet, unconfirmed, but this is Germany so…

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Naturally, I’ve also been to check out my new local bar. I first went last Sunday as a little treat for managing to lug my worldly possessions – solo – from one end of the city to the other. I was mildly perturbed to find that I was in the minority given that I didn’t have white hair, a walker or a wheelchair. Still, the punters were friendly, in a toothless, elderly sort of way.

Not one to give up so easily, I decided to return on a Saturday night to see what kind of crowd it brought in on a more “happening” night of the week. I had no sooner settled in with a nice glass of wine when the waiter came over.

Eggert: Those gentlemen over there would like to buy you a drink.

Feeling a bit like I was in a movie, I looked over to see three men of various ages/sizes grinning back at me.

Me: Um. 

Me: Ummmm.

Me: OK, I’ll have a white wi… no, sod that, I’ll have a whiskey. Irish. No ice. No water. Danke. 

When it came, I raised my glass to the gentlemen, thanked them in German and offered a pleasantry or two. This was greeted with looks of disappointment. Huh? Surely my German wasn’t that bad – it wasn’t like I was saying anything overly complicated. What was their problem?

As it turned out, their problem was that they didn’t have a word of German between them. They were Croatian builders who’d been in Germany for around ten days. Two out of three spoke passable English though, so in the end, we managed to have what was probably the most uproarious night that particular bar had ever seen.

It used to be so peaceful…

With my flat kitted out, my internet provider coming on Wednesday and my new bar of choice selected, there is really only one thing left to do. Yup, it’s back to the dreaded Bürgeramt to re-re-re-re-re-register my address. I guess if they try to make me wait for hours on end again, I can just start screaming, “Nobody puts O’Grady in a corner!” and see where that gets me.

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94 thoughts on “Welcome to my hood”

    1. I hadn’t seen it before I moved here! It’s a fantastic idea though – and I seem to have this one completely to myself whereas you could wait hours for the ones in parks! 🙂 Had a few games on Sunday – great fun 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Congratulations my dear. You deserve a bit of peace and quiet and so do they LOL! 🙂 Seriously though, I’m glad you’re settling in. Now all we need is the nakedness to start. I mean, the real naked stuff, not the old people wandering around in their smalls…!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It looks idyllic and pastoral. I’m waiting for the naked Germans to come out of the woods and carry you off for some midnight reveling.
    And now I am wondering, what IS the most popular German man’s name?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Whew, you are settling in fast and well Linda. I spent most of my life living in bedroom communities and commuting – sometimes even moving to be closer to work. Now I live in a community called Sandy Hill where I can walk to any service I want. I imagine it more like European living and it is really comfortable. There are two pubs within two blocks and thirty within a 15 minute walk. There are grocers, liquor stores, bakeries, banks, pharmacies, take outs, everything anyone could need . There is even a barber on the next block and a large hospital 10 minutes away. I spent 50 years living the North American way of commuting everywhere and this feels so much better. I can appreciate your comfort level in your new place. It’s great to see you finally settled permanently – even if it means another address change. I can empathize as I had to move a few doors down in the same block when my ceiling began leaking and they couldn’t get it stopped. I got a bigger and more newly renovated apartment for the same rent. Good deal. But I had to do the address change thing and did a post on it https://willowdot21.wordpress.com/2015/08/09/if-we-were-having-coffee-august-92015/

    I hope all goes well Linda. Great post.

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  4. 1. trees – check
    2. some sort of weaponry range – check
    3. ice rink – check
    hm, Germany ain’t no Latvia, but you surely have taken some of Latvia with you in terms of possible do overs 😀
    Love the view from the balcony by the way. I almost would like it for myself, but will do with what there is 😉

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hm, maybe you could substitute Janises with some Jurgen or which ever is the most popular men’s name in Germany. There’d def be plenty of do overs there. Like do German ladies go all crazy and jump people out of a bush if said people was/were having friendly drink with crazy lady’s BF 😀 Like a whole new thread for your blog Lv vs. Ge blog boxing match

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Too bad there’s no frequent mover miles you can get from the Bürgeramt… you’d definitely qualify for some at this point! But hopefully the new digs continue to be this nice, and you won’t have to deal with them again for a good long while. The last few times I was in Berlin I stayed with a friend in Steglitz, love that area!

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      1. Really? I thought it’d be a bit more famous. His neighborhood was all leafy and Art Nouveau gorgeous, but minutes from the U-bahn and a ton of shopping. Plus a short ride from a huge Bavarian Biergarten on a lake. Score!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yeah, the shopping in Steglitz is pretty fantastic! Haven’t needed to go there yet really (apart from the U-Bahn station) but when I do… 🙂

          And I think most people tend to just stick to their own little areas of Berlin!

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  6. I am super-excited to crash w you in December :)))) I know it wont be all verdant like this, but it’s just so lovely! I cant wait to check out that adorable local bar! Now if only I could seduce you to go mushroom-picking…

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    1. Maybe I’ll try it some day for the laugh – but only if we can bring beer/wine/whiskey and sing all the time. It’s not like we can scare the mushrooms away after all…

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    1. Ha ha! I don’t know how sexy I look in that pic but I did enjoy missing stuff with the arrow – the gun pic is still one of my all-time favourites though! The bow and arrow one was taken in New Zealand – fun times 🙂

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  7. Good luck with living on your own, Mrs Sensible is still in Sicily so technically I am also living on my own.

    The Germans seem to have a fondness for barbecuing and walking around in the nude, can we expect a post about the local sauna… LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sounds like a rollicking good 1st week!

    I’m soaking in the peace and quiet of the building imposed ‘no noise’ time as its been non-stop banging and pounding all day.

    I’d like a little of your small town German tranquility about now before I explode and go mental on the poor workers who are only doing their job… sorta! At least making a heck of a lot noise while doing what ever it is they are doing outside my window, the floor above and below! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh there will be many more months to go!!! And to think this all started end Feb… I have friends who live in buildings where it has gone on for… get this… years! Years?! Money runs out, stops for a bit with everything half done, then starts again… I’d go mental! Oh that’s right… I’m already going mental. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, excellent! Can’t wait to read that! I might actually do it and write a post on it 🙂

      And yes, it really is perfect – so nice to get away from the crowds in the evenings, close the door and have your own little space. I do so much talking all day every day that silence in the evening is all I want! Sometimes even the TV bugs me 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. It’s gooooooorgeous! And look at you, you’re a proper Berliner now, tourist-shaming an all! I am also so very, very proud of you for ordering whiskey instead of wine, and having a fabulous night (and getting hit on ONCE AGAIN)!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Ha ha, what can I say!? They were funny guys – good night 🙂 Saw one of them the next afternoon outside a cafe – he looked a bit worse for wear! And 12 million tourists a year – you’d sigh and roll your eyes too 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I live exactly between NYC and Boston…believe me, I know the touristhate 🙂

        I don’t know how you hold your alcohol so well, I assume most of Europe drinks like fishes, but it still baffles me. These days, I’m done after two martinis!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Ooh, looks lovely! Congrats on the new place! 🙂 You have me very curious though.. where is your new Kiez? (understand if you don’t want to mention it in the blog!) You must get out for a game of Tischtennis soon. There are tables down the road from us too, meaning I can finally say that I do a sport!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nah, I don’t mind – people don’t hate me here 😉 It’s Lankwitz, near Steglitz – l like it so much! Maybe I’m getting old or something but it’s just so perfect for summer! While the tourist hordes invade Berlin, I can retreat to my own little oasis not 20 minutes from the centre! Perfect! And yes, that’s my plan for table tennis and mini-golf too – I’m so sporty 😉

      Liked by 2 people

        1. Thank you! It’s one of the things I love about Berlin – all of the neighbourhoods are so different, it’s like being in a different city even if you only travel 10 minutes! And God knows, I’ve lived in enough of them at this stage 😉

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    1. I’m not holding out any great hope for that 😉 Also have to get a new passport and the Irish Embassy is dragging their heels, or their online system isn’t working – both would be no surprise 😉

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        1. There will probably be a future blog post or two about it 😉 At the risk of repeating myself with another Bürgeramt tale! Throw Irish incompetence into the mix though and you’ve got yourself a humdinger 😉

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  11. Looks like a lovely place…and good luck for the registering of your new address. One thing I haven’t missed since our return to Canada is European bureaucracy. We do have some as well here but it isn’t as complicated to Europe or at least it feels like it to us…(Suzanne)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Yes, it’s really pretty and I’m enjoying it a lot so far! 🙂
      You’d think I’d be used to all the bureaucracy by now but there always seems to be something new – or just repeats of the same thing over and over! Hope you’re enjoying Canada too! 🙂

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