Finally after a long wait, we found a decent apartment. Actually the apartment found us. We stopped searching after a while since nobody responded to our requests. And out of the blue a friend messaged in the morning that he is vacating his apartment and offered us to take over. What a relief it was! Now after completing most of the formalities and an informal meeting with the actual landlord, we started the planning to move out. It’s a fully furnished flat and we thought moving out would be easy. But nothing is easy here as I’ve learned in past year and a half. Fortunately the same friend provided a contact who can help us with movement. We had to pack most of the stuff apart from bigger furniture like Sofas and Beds and Kitchen platform etc. By end of three days hard work, we packed most of the items in around 40 boxes/bags. That was too much. We were anticipating that the helper guy would carry all the stuff and the moving would be a piece of cake. Finally the day came, Saturday as we decided. The morning was great, since I had to rush again to buy some more bags to pack some remaining stuff. The scheduled time was 12.00 noon for relocation, and I got an message around 11.00 from Alton (the moving helper) that he is running behind the schedule and would not be able to make it at 12.00 noon, but moving at 14.00 was still possible. We were okay with that since we also got a breathing time. I got a little nap and got up at 13.45 in an anticipation of his message, but at 14.15 got another message from him that he has a problem with the earlier shifting and would not be possible to leave them for some time. At 15.45 another message came that the other clients had trouble finding the keys to the apartment and since their stuff is still lying in his truck, they are going to make a decision what to do at 16.15. I messaged him at 16.30, no reply, the biggest WTF moment since we were all packed and nothing to do. I started sending messages to the local whatsapp group to get help with relocation. A nice guy replied with couple of contacts who can help with relocation, but i was little skeptical working with them since I had no idea what would they charge and weather they would help me immediately (or worse the next day – Sunday, when mostly nobody works). Nevertheless, I made a call to Tania – the freelancer who helps in relocation, and she was speaking very nice English (step-1 was easy ;-). Then we estimated the time to relocate based on our stuff and distance. She offered a helper and let me know the charges. I consulted with Bijal and thought to appoint her. Meanwhile I received an apology message from Alton that he was really sorry for keeping us waited. I was frustrated and but had a hope that next day will be better. Meanwhile I got a message from Sebastian – the new tenant, that we do not need to do the cleaning and painting of the apartment as they are anyway going to do that. So nice of him, but out of respect, we wanted to clean the apartment if not paint, so we started off with Bathroom and cleaned it just like new. And then we were really tired.
So to celebrate our last evening at this home, we went to Burger King and had my favorite Country Veggie burger – and it is delicious as always. Went back home in time and started unpacking few of the boxes to get minimal bedding setup and some clothes, such a hassle.
Next day we all woke up in time, and cleaned most of the windows, which was much harder than I thought before. And then we were waiting with hopes that Tania would not disappoint us, and she did not. She gave my address to Pete, a helper who would do the heavy lifting stuff and I can give him a hand to free him faster. Pete rang the bell sharp at 10.00 as discussed. Wow, the moment we have been waiting for since a day. He climbed till the forth floor and one of the first questions he asked was: at what floor we are moving in? I answered that at 1st floor and he said: Jackpot. I can understand that. So both of us started moving the boxes and stuff, and by 40 minutes, all stuff was on the ground floor at the entrance. Meanwhile Tania had arrived at 10.30 on appointed time and started loading everything on truck. That was very professional. I fetched the new apartment keys and we were off to the new destination.
I also called Sebastian if he could come to the apartment and collect the keys from Bijal, since I was in the truck with Tania and Pete and asked Bijal to stay at home, hand over the keys then take S-Bahn to the new apartment. The ride in truck reminded me of my hostel commute days – me sitting in the middle seat (not actually a seat but a sponge sheet) between Tania and Pete, saving myself from the gear shifting. And we discussed the demonetization (?) to my surprise that both Tania and Pete were very well informed about the stuff going on in India. And Pete was extremely against that move, and sounded like Anti-Modi, that he had no trust in him and considered the demonetization as a open theft from the poor people. I tried to reason him with all my efforts but I could not convince him that it was a bitter good move. So with our small talks (not really) we reached to the destination, started unloading and carrying stuff to the apartment. That was quicker than I anticipated and we departed after I made the payment. It reduced down to half the price that I had decided with Alton – and I was happy about it.
While carrying the stuff to the apartment, I met first few new neighbors and flaunted my basic German skills (by saying that my German is not good – in German :() and they reply that their English is worse than my German :) Then I met an interesting man at the front garden, who was working on his laptop and looked to me in his early 50s. I just introduced myself in a bit German and he spoke very softly and slowly, just like my teacher in my German class and later on during our conversation I figured that he is actually a pysicst, working as a software engineer and teaching German to the refugees in Berlin. Wow. Few moments later, while I was lying on the bed, Bijal and her mom arrived at the nearest station and I went to pick them up. And finally we moved in, officially.
Such a busy day! – Dr Mashoor Gulati ;-)