I’m not an easily adaptable person. I don’t often go with the flow. I panic too easily, worry too much and cry at things even I sometimes don’t understand. But I find myself in this life where we are home part of the year and somewhere else part of the year, constantly putting myself in situations where I have to adapt and go with the flow. I’m picky about beds, and yet if I’m not at home in Freiburg, there’s a very high chance the bed I’m stuck with won’t feel as comfortable. The kitchen will never feel as useful or practical as ours at home.
Our hope for the Berlin apartment
Andy and I have been in Berlin for about two weeks now, and I’m struggling a little more than I’d like to admit. We rented an apartment for the first month with the hope that we’d get to know the neighborhood, settle into the apartment, and consider staying for the entire three months. After all, it would be so much easier to not have to move again, and the rent is great.
But reality sucked
Instead we decided within days that this was not the place for us. Despite our handy apartment checklist, there’s no way we could’ve known what we were in for before arriving. The apartment is located on the ground floor and the windows face the small inner courtyard. This means even on the occasional sunny day, it still feels dark and gloomy in here. The bed is firmer than either of us would like. We have to turn the sinks on just right in order to make sure the water heater actually kicks in and we get hot water. Though somehow we never have a problem with the shower.
Aside from the lack of sunlight, the kitchen is probably the part I hate the most. Most of the lights in the kitchen either don’t work or only sporadically work. The kitchen supplies are minimal at best. There is only one pan, and it really does look like it’s about 50 years old. The knives are barely sharp enough to cut paper. There are only three forks in the drawer. The owner of the apartment doesn’t actually live here, so overall it just doesn’t feel warm or homey.
Our futile apartment search
We decided we had to find something else for November and December and started looking for other apartments. I thought we had a good one, but at the last minute it fell through. All the others we’ve found are 250-300 euros more per month, and we can’t even look at them ahead of time because they currently have renters in them.
Ultimately we decided the extra 300 euros a month was better spent on activities and eating out a little more often than we would at home. We want to experience as much as we can in Berlin anyway, and being out of the apartment makes us feel better.
Trying to adjust
We bought a new pan. One of ours at home is slowly starting to die anyway, so we’ll just bring the new one home with us. We bought three more forks from the euro store, so at least we have six now. I’m going to buy a new knife because if it takes me an hour and a half to cut up my week’s worth of salad again, I’m going to lose it. The landlord is going to see if he can figure out what’s wrong with the kitchen lights.
So yes, we’re trying to make adjustments and deal with the situation we’re in. But I still can’t help thinking how much I hate this apartment, and can I really handle it for another two and a half months? I know we’re always going to be dealing with less than ideal apartments as we travel, what if I continue to freak out because of it? The thought of NOT traveling freaks me out too, so that’s not an option. I feel like I used to be better at adjusting on the road, is that skill diminishing with age? How do I make myself more adaptable and flexible? What if I just never get used to this?
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