Modernity – a fuzzy concept for some

Cliff and I are waiting for a letter, to be delivered (hopefully soon) by the Deutsche Post. This letter will inform us of an appointment. Provided this little piece of paper leads to a successfully-kept appointment, we will be pleased.

The appointment is with our internet and phone service provider to have our new apartment hooked up.

You’d think they might have embraced the use of e-mail. Or SMS. Or, you know, phones.

update on the move

Well, tomorrow marks one week since we moved. We’re settling in pretty well. We started with 57 moving boxes of stuff to unpack and are down to less than 15 at this point. The moving company is going to come pick up all the boxes sometime in February, after we return from our vacation in the U.S. A friend who is moving herself soon scooped up our vast collection of packing paper — we had been wondering how we were going to throw all that stuff out without monopolizing the house’s paper garbage bins. Sarah bought a shelf unit for additional bathroom storage and we set that up yesterday.

Pretty much all that remain to do at this point are

  • getting more kitchen storage in the form of shelves, cabinets, and counter space (think dessert cart)
  • that will allow us to finish unpacking the boxes fully
  • get one remaining shelf set up here in the new living room
  • plan out and hang up our pictures on the walls in the new place (because WE CAN)
  • take advantage of our attic cage with some seasonal storage boxes (IKEA was out…grrrr)
  • move some paperwork and remaining trash out of the old place
  • get an estimate on the painting required at the old place, get that done
  • haggle over lighting at the old place (it belongs to us but is mostly ill-suited for the new place)
  • get our security deposit back
  • observe the mail at the old place and inform all senders of our new address
  • wait out the lack of phone/internet service at the new place until early February (vacation coming up will make that pretty easy) — if you need to get ahold of us the next 3 days, our mobile phones are your best bet
  • report our move to the local authorities

OK, that list looks longer on-screen than it felt in my head. Hmm, still a fair amount to take care of, I guess.

I would like to take a moment to thank everyone who offered to help us with our move — before and after the big day, there are tons of errands to be done and we are grateful. Also, I heartily recommend Zitzelsberger Internationale Möbelspedition for a move into, out of, or within the Regensburg area (ours of course was within). These guys were fast, friendly, reliable, and a pleasure to deal with at all stages of the move (online inquiries, follow-up pre-move consultation, packing, loading, unloading, even the billing). And the bill from them came in at 8€ under estimate for our move. Love that.

Weird things I’ve noticed in the past week:

  1. Looking out the window and seeing people walk by (still) makes my eyebrows rise. After spending the last 5 years at 4th story levels and higher, I’ve forgotten what pedestrians look like from inside the house.
  2. Our new places has windows with those nifty German shutters that roll down outside the building based on pulleys inside the building. I dig those, but am utterly helpless in the absolute darkness they create, and apparently unable to orient my bodily clock without the natural light we used to get from our skylights. Gone, at least temporarily, are the days of getting up with the sun — it’s back to artificial delineation of sleep periods.
  3. Streetside-traffic doesn’t bother me in the least here. I thought I’d at least notice it, but so far I haven’t. I also don’t miss the drunk kids horfing and hollering at 3:45 in the morning. Not that I thought I would, really, but I expected to at least notice street traffic instead of pedestrian noise.

this might be the last post for a while!

In 58 minutes our movers are scheduled to arrive with a big truck, pack up all our stuff, and move it over to the new place. I wish our phone and internet service provider were as on the ball; I’m still waiting for the forms they promised to mail me to arrive.

So, our internet access is going to be pretty limited for a while — just cafés and such until the ISP gets ahold of us. Of course, with our impending vacation at the end of the month, it could be quite a while before we have phone and internet at the new place.

Wish us luck!

gettin’ ready

Just one more business day in the old apartment before we move to the new place. Today Sarah and I (mostly Sarah) made some chocolate-orange cupcakes and carted them over to the new apartment building to greet the new neighbors and wish them a happy new year. Everyone seemed really nice and pleasantly surprised to be cupcake recipients. Cupcakes are good like that.

On Monday, movers are coming over bright and early* to pack our stuff up and cart it across town to the new place, unload it and then leave us to unpack at our leisure. They’re going to be disassembling and reassembling all our furniture as necessary to get it out the door and down the stairs as well as packing our breakables. Here’s hoping it goes smoothly. What are your inside-Germany moving experiences? I suppose tomorrow during the day, if possible, we should get all that official stuff done (GEZ, REWAG, Bürgerzentrum-whatnot) — at least as much as possible. pc255057 pc255056 Then our last remaining activities in this apartment should be cleanup/touchup work, like filling in holes drilled in the plaster with putty or painting over scuff marks, and being here for visits should prospective new tenants need to stop by for a look-see. We got some preliminary packing stuff done. Have you ever used Space Bags? Big thanks to mother-in-law Susie for sending us a box of them. They are too funny — conceivably really, really handy for shrinking down your out-of-season stuff or maybe for getting the most efficient use out of your suitcase prior to a big trip. All you need is a vacuum cleaner and good luck in customs / bag-inspection.

This evening we had a great time over at pal An & Alex’ house for dinner (prepared by a visiting novice chef in the family — under An’s guidance, and it was great food) followed up by an intense euchre tournament. Sarah and I routed the first three teams confronting us and got big swollen euchre egos. Then Team Alex nearly skunked us right before our bus came by to pick us up.

Last night we brought in the new year at Tammy & Matthias’ house — along with 22 local and extended friends (including the euchre tournament participants from today). We did an evening of raclette grilling and shooting the breeze before heading out to the river to marvel at all the fireworks (and make sure no one lost any digits). I took a few pictures worth keeping around.

English Muffins! Dampfnudeln! SketchUp!

I’m glad I’m not working this week — I might not have had the pleasure of these several experiences  In reverse chronological order:

Thanks, Wikipedia!
Thanks, Wikipedia!
  1. I stumbled upon English Muffins at Edeka this afternoon! I’ve been looking for these puppies for like five years now. Maybe they were there the whole time and I’m just not a good finder (ask Sarah), but I prefer to believe that they’re new to the market (at least around here). Stocked up this afternoon, tried ’em out this evening with a little lemon curd spread over them and…yum!
  2. Dampfnudel Uli is one of those places I’ve been walking or biking past for about five years now and haven’t ever tried — though locals have recommended it to me on occasion. It’s literally a hole in the wall around the corner from L’Osteria tucked back in one of those Altstadt streets which are almost too narrow for my bike. Besides Dampfnudeln, they specialize in kitsch*. We should have figured this out from their odd hours: 10:01 to 15:01 weekdays (and they’re closed Sundays and Mondays). Sarah and I ducked in there on a whim today for dessert after a combined meter of sausage on this, the Weihnachtsmarkt’s final day. Results: mixed.
    • The coffee was dreadful.
    • The special of the day was OK, if a little weird. It was beer-battered Apfelkücherl in a Weißwein-Vanillesoße. I’m not sure how I felt about the vanilla pudding with a white wine aftertaste.
    • The Dampfnudeln in their own non-boozy Vanillasoße (on sale every day) were excellent.

    Just goes to show: go with what you know.

  3. Google SketchUp looked neat as all get out for 3D-diagramming — especially in the training videos. I’d heard Tammy was happy with Google SketchUp for layouting their furniture in their new apartment. Unfortunately, for diagramming ours, it’s not working out at all. Of course I looked for a Linux version first. No dice there. Then I tried installing it on the Windows machine at my disposal. It appears to install OK, but quickly crashes as soon as I try to launch the application. I got it installed easily on our Mac, but it’s a real pig to use (even after watching the nifty tutorials). It’s slow and jerky and every action (adding a new polygon, erasing an existing one) invokes the pinwheel and 10-15 seconds of waiting. Yuck. I know my Mac is weak*, but c’mon.

    Has anyone managed to get it to work?