My 1st Germanniversary

This time last year, I was sitting on a bus from Riga to Berlin, my worldly possessions safely stowed in the hold (I hoped), with around 16 hours stretching ahead of me to contemplate what exactly I was doing; moving to a city where I didn’t know a soul, with no job and no long-term accommodation lined up. All I had was about five words of German and a roof over my head for the next two weeks. Little did I know I’d end up sharing with a septuagenarian who would have a penchant for dry humping me while I cleaned his fridge.

I still did a bloody good job on the fridge though.
I still did a bloody good job on the fridge though.

Looking back, there were a lot of things I couldn’t have predicted. And while I’m not saying six flats, three jobs, leaving the Catholic Church, and endless rounds of bureaucracy were a walk in the park, they certainly made for an interesting year. In between all of this, of course, I did have some fun. I’ve been to museums, festivals, lakes, book launches, football matches, Christmas markets. I’ve been to Hamburg, Dresden, Leipzig, Potsdam, and Marzahn (shudder). I even managed to get my name on a plaque in Humboldthain Park.

You have to look very closely, but it's there.
You have to look very closely, but it’s there.

I’ve done my best to unravel the mysteries of the German poo shelf. I’ve been sold on the idea of two single duvets on a double bed (that probably also has two single mattresses). I’ve battled with the German language and am now an expert absolute beginner at business German thanks to “Die Höhle der Löwen”*. Or at least I can almost pronounce “Die Höhle der Löwen” – it’s something like “dee huhhluh der luhffen” if you want to give it a go. (Germans, feel free to laugh now.) I’ve tried – and failed miserably – to be a good German Hausfrau, but I do still rinse out my pasta sauce jars. The fact that I use pasta sauce from a jar explains a lot about my failure to be a good Hausfrau.

Because you can never have too many poo shelf pictures in one blog
Because you can never have too many poo shelf pictures in one blog

I’ve made some fantastic friends, and some colossal mistakes. Thankfully, the former helped get me through the latter. The thing about Berlin is that she’s a slippery little sucker. Every time one thing slips into place, something else slips away. For the past year, it’s all been a bit one step forward, two steps back. Or, sometimes, more like half a step forward, have your feet ripped from under you and end up flat on your arse. But I’ve realised that the trick is to keep getting up again, a bit like Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator. (The similarity would probably be more apparent if the Terminator liked a glass of wine and busting out Dusty Springfield tunes.) Aaaaanyway, the point is, one year on, I’m still here and I’m still standing.

Because this is my life, this is Berlin, and this is home. There’s always something amazing around the corner. And even if there isn’t, there’s only a few months to go ’til Glühwein season…

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So, I hope you’ll all be sticking around, because I know I will be.

*The German version of Dragons’ Den/Shark Tank. The 50% I can understand is massively entertaining.

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85 thoughts on “My 1st Germanniversary”

  1. I can’t believe you’ve only been here for a year. Marvellous stuff and congratulations. You’ve survived the paperwork, moving house and German TV. You’re made of stern stuff. 🙂
    p.s. I’ve heard of “Die Höhle der Löwen” of course, but I’ve never watched it or the original version of Dragon’s Den. I’m too busy watching “How to get away with Murder” instead you see. In GERMAN. I know!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Oh my gosh, has it really been a year?! Time flies…it’s crazy! Happy first anniversary, and in the states, the traditional gift is paper, so I hope you’v got some pleasantly marked paper coming your way 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Congrats and Happy Germannivesary! And while it wasn’t just a joy ride, I do think that German suits you, and you fit right in 🙂 Be that next year (and maybe many other to come) is like that second and better pancake. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, this year has flown by! Things really seem to have fallen in place over the past month or so. I hope you’re enjoying your fabulous new apartment. Looking forward to reading about the next adventures!

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  5. SIX apartments?!?!? (errrr..that is what us American folk call flats)….wow….. I thought I read every post related to apartment changes…now I am thinking I must have missed a few. Anyway….congrats….you seem really happy.

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  6. Happy Ger-versary! You are absolutely right, so much of life here is one step forward, two steps back, but it’s doable. No guarantees that one is ever doing everything correctly, but we can keep on trying. Plus, all the beer and pretzels should add an extra layer to the ass… making falling on it slightly more comfortable. 😉

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  7. Hi Linda,
    I was reading your blog all year long. I’m always impressed with how you write and how well you comment your posts.
    Keep up the good work!
    …and greetings from Lena, Frank, Līga and other nice Latvians 😎

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          1. Hahaha! I totally get those… we were supposed to be at a wild animal party. However the host had to cancel so we had a most welcome quiet eve at home… author musician friend from out of town came home, wine bottle opened, I cooked, conversation flowed… a fine evening that ended early. 🙂

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  8. There’s a Russian expression, pervy blin komom – applies to pancaked, specifically, when you make them, the first one usually comes out a bit jumbled, but it’s ok (there’s another interpretation that involved literally feeding a bear, but we’ll shelve it for now). So maybe this first year is just like that pancake, and starting with the second one the baker knows his way around the skillet a bit better? Let it be like that. And I look forward to all that glintvein in December with you!

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  9. Wow, has it really been a year already? How quick has that gone?
    I am not German, but I’m still laughing at your pronunciation 😉 By the way, a W is pronounced like a V, not F!

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    1. Yeah, I know, but they don’t say ‘lovin’ – it’s more like ‘luffen! Verging slightly more on the ‘v’ side but not a total ‘v’ – damn, this is hard to put into writing!

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      1. I know exactly how to pronounce it but I can’t write it down :-/ It’s not “lovin”, it’s like “lurv-un” (like the sound at the beginning of Lurpak butter, but not quite, then a reeeeally short “uh”, like in “ugh”).

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