I think I left you when I got the "go" for my flat, didn't I? Feels a lifetime away.
The commute between Glasgow and Munich went for another round after that and it felt weirder and weirder - like living two parallel lives. Every time I went back to Munich I just slipped back into my old life with all the familiar things around me and Glasgow felt so far away. Same for the other way around .. barely out of the airport Glasgow felt normal and Munich far away. Transition times are strange and emotionally draining.
It was mid March when I came back here (Glasgow) to pick up my keys and get the flat ready to move in. While I was in Munich I had tried to plan the furnishing but that is quite difficult without a floor plan and exact measurements. That's why getting all the hard facts was the first thing I did when I had the keys and went to the flat. My flat is magical though (in many ways) - it shrinks inside your head. When I was in Munich and tried to plan in my memory it seemed to be small and I was so not sure if everything would fit in and I planned for various scenarios panicking I would not get it all set up properly. When I came back into the place for real I realized it is really big. I think now we look at about 70 qm while my studio apartment in Munich had a bit more than 40 qm (and only one big room). It is definitely the biggest place I live in since I moved out my mom's age 19. I might finally do some adulting ... kind of.
When I was here to furnish timing was everything because I had only one week to get basically everything done and so I had phoned the Ikea customer service beforehand to see if my plan would work and they said yes. And here is how I did it:
Monday - keys and measuring
Tuesday - a good half a day at Ikea to buy basically everything (except for that Oliver Bonas bedside table which HAD to happen and did).
Wednesday - running places for getting internet set up organized and such things
Thursday - Getting everything delivered from Ikea
Friday - Getting everything build by Ikea assembly service
Saturday - Another shopping trip to Ikea with my lovely friend Emma for lamps and all those many wee things & flying home
That all happened and also lots of cleaning (it was pretty clean but you want your bathroom done by yourself) and sitting on the floor in the empty flat trying to get a feel for it and realizing this is home now.
Crazy thing is ... the plan worked 100% and I am super impressed with the service culture here. Germany is always praised for being efficient, but in direct comparison things are REALLY good here as well and in some cases even better. Virgin wins anytime against Deutsche Telekom and the Job Center where I had to apply for my NINo beats every German public institution when it comes to waiting times and quick processes. I was in and out in minutes. PLUS ... everyone so far is friendly and helpful. I did not expect beforehand to be so pleased with those things, but I really am.
But back to Ikea ... I had another delivery this week with more lamps, chairs, coffee tables and some more smaller stuff that I of course assembled myself, but for the big stuff I had booked the before mentioned assembly service. That is not cheap, but so worth the money. It took the two guys about 3.5 hours to build a king size bed, a 5 chest drawer, a small table with chest for the hall, an expendable dining table, a TV bench, 2 bookshelves, 4 CD shelves, a sleeper couch, a sleeper chair, an office table and an office chair. Magical. Just try to think of how long that would take a normal person and how much nerves that would cost. I did not regret it for a second.
Once the flat was ready I went back to Munich to work and pack. That I think was the worst part of the whole process. I am my father's daughter. I am all for adventures as long as my base is okay and my home is nice and comfy. If that is not the case I am not in a good place and when you pack all your stuff to move across Europe that of course consequently breaks up home and packing is not "comfy" in any way. I was also extra stressed because the movers picked my stuff one day earlier up than planned. It was pretty horrible and there were tears and lots of last minute questioning if this was the right thing to do well knowing it was too late for any plan changes. I worked day and night - literally. I also went to see my local friends to say good bye and that is always emotional as well. I felt exhausted on every level at the end of this.
Shit got real when my old flat was empty and the real estate agent came and I handed her my keys. After twelve long years in the same flat (16 in Munich) I left the house with a bag and a huge suitcase and no chance to go back in. Scary.
For the last night in Munich I had booked myself and my sore bones a fancy hotel in the city center and that was very smart. That huge and super comfy bed was worth a million - as well as the final Schnitzel dinner with friends and the next day pizza lunch with my colleagues before I went to the airport.
The trip itself felt like just another flight to Glasgow and I had to remind myself there was no flight back. Strrrrrange,
I arrived Thursday night (31/3) and on Saturday my boxes arrived (37 of them) and with it the second round of a shitload of work and making a flat a huge mess. I dreaded it so much that we escaped to a gig (Chvrches / Twilight Sad) and to Ayr. I really needed the sea to take a deep breath and gather some energy for that final phase.
In the meantime (two weeks) - while working full time again btw - all boxes were unpacked and everything found its new place. Some smaller things like hanging my art still need to happen but other than that I am done.
At the moment I am sitting wrapped in my comfy blanket on the couch watching Download Festival bits from the past years over my super fancy high speed broadband on TV. The flat is amazing - I was really SO lucky - and I am very happy.
So far ... life is good and I love to be here.
PS: Appropriate and amazing soundtrack for this transition chapter was and is the fantastic new album by Frightened Rabbit fittingly named "Painting Of A Panic Attack" - I had my fair share of those over the last months. Interestingly enough the record is mostly about being away from Glasgow - so kind of reverse action.
I had the pleasure to attend the album launch instore here in Glasgow and after years and years of trying and failing for diverse reasons FINALLY my first proper Frabbits show in Dunfermline and ... it was so damn good. I am still buzzing. Can't wait for the proper tour already!
You know what is great as well? NO MORE GEMA BLOCKED YOUTUBE! (Sorry to all German readers who might not be able to watch this.)