Laminate and Lucia

There is the quiet before the storm and in my case, there is also the slump after the storm. Since the grand event in the end of November, it feels like much of my energy is hibernating.

Some things, of course, still put me in high gear. If you are an attentive reader, you know we have entered Lucia times and so I didn’t need to be told twice that the Lucias at Ikea in Dortmund needed additional Lucias with solid “Så mörk är natten“-experience.

One of the major misconceptions I have had about the region here is that every city is only ten minutes from the next. It is true, of course, that when you drive through from Dortmund to Düsseldorf, a lot of well-known large cities come up every few minutes Bochum Gelsenkirchen Duisburg Essen and between those it’s only a few minutes but if you go the entire route, it actually takes an hour. It only takes half an hour to Cologne and it’s about the same distance from there to Bonn, but that means it is in total one hour from here to Bonn. I can either explain this with ‘Maths has never been my strong side’ or with the fact that when going to Hamburg for four hours, the way to Dortmund always seems very short with one hour.

Lucia

I also attended the Lucia celebrations in Düsseldorf, passively.

However, even after understanding that a kilometre is still a kilometre even in the Ruhr/Rhein area, I did not let the Lucias down. In a train (that musically could not be compared to the Hamburg Lucias) we treaded through the furniture store, inducing delighted looks on children’s faces. The adults, I think, believed us to be some kind of elaborate flash mob with an unclear political message. (At least I hope no one mistook the stjärngossar [star boys] for Kukluxclan members.)

I received this wonderful baked advent calender from AnnaIMG_1467

My move is drawing nearer, too. The weekend after this I will already be unpacking boxes. Unbelievable, isn’t it! In Germany, finding an apartment to rent is not as hard as in, say, Stockholm. But there is another peculiartiy about the rental market: most times, kitchens do not come with the apartment. It is perfectly normal to bring your own kitchen and in my case even your own floor. I have grey PVC flooring in 80 percent of the apartment, giving off the charm of a school room in the 1970s. So I went all in SIW  Mode (Strong Independent Woman Mode) and went to the hardware store with my friend Jonna. I have hated those building stores since childhood and it does not help that I have to pay the stuff myself now. I am rather free of DIY knowledge but the friendly shop assistants helped us pick out what we needed. You think you’d only buy some laminate but really you also need skirting boards and other stuff that I cannot even translate but which costs a fortune. Jonna and I then rented a car, heaved the twelve laminate packages into it and unloaded everything at my new home. Let me tell you, laminate is very heavy. Especially when you have twelve packages.

Laminat 2

So much fun at at the Baumarkt. Not.

 

 

Military Mom

Just when I thought, at least one thing will be in order, meaning my letter archive, it turned out I need 4 not 3 boxes. Oh well.

Just when I thought, at least one thing will be in order, meaning my letter archive, it turned out I need 4 not 3 boxes. Oh well.

Maybe providence is planning for me to marry someone from the U.S. Army. Not that I am particularily fond of armies (no yellow ribbon on my non-existent car) or have a record of dating U.S. citizens, but the fact that I am constantly packing and unpacking large moving boxes makes me think that maybe the point of all of this is that by the time I marry that U.S. Army Sergeant, I will have transformed into a Military Mom who is totally okay with moving every year. (In army language, they call it PCS (permanent change of station), you see I am educating myself already.)

Because these past days, I have spent hours and hours packing. What do I absolutely need in Düsseldorf the next four months? What do I need to be able to access very quickly in Hamburg? What can I ship and what do I need to carry with me? How do I store my ball gown?

You would think packing and moving would be very easy if you are renting out your apartment with furniture and have been frantically decluttering ever since you moved in. Let me tell you, it isn’t. It still means these moments of wanting to throw everything away (“I only need two dresses and one pair of shoes anyway!”), questioning your moving decision (“What am I supposed to do in a city where Ingrid does not live?”) and wanting to ask God if this is ever going to end (while knowing the answer, Hebrews 13,14).

The one thing that I have learned at least during my now, about 26 moves, (apart from free yourself from clutter!), is:

Label your boxes with numbers and keep a document in which you write down the content of the boxes in as much detail as possible. For example: “Box 4: Winter coats, green and grey, winter boots, velour and black, white woolen hat, black mittens”. It really helps because if you use your moving boxes more than once, writing on the boxes will become a complete mess. Also, with the document, you will be able to guide someone from a distance to locate your green winter coat whiile you sitting somewhere else with the document. “It’s on box 4, check for the box with the big 4 on it”. (Ingrid, now you know what is awaiting you once the winter makes its entry in Dizzle.)

After I carried a giant box to the parcel service (“Are you sure this is under 25 kg?”), I have given up for today and shall put my feet up and watch my latest TV discovery from Denmark: “Rita” is a series about a very outspoken and rebellious woman. Rita is a school teacher who is competent in the classroom, but seems to need a teacher of her own, when it comes to her personal life. It is an entertaining and distinctive show, and also, they speak Danish which is amazing in itself. You can watch it on Netflix.