Monday, August 09, 2010

Settling in...

Today marks 1 week 1 day since we moved in. Oh boy, its been a mad chaotic 8 days.

2 Saturdays ago, we rented a huge truck to move our furniture and everything that couldn't be stuffed into cars. Then started the endless cycle of unpacking, cleaning and dusting. Hubby and Dad had to re-build the kitchen, since we have a L-shaped kitchen instead of a rectangular one. We didn't have the Internet for 4 days, during which I withered in the non-existence of the virtual world.

I thought we had bad neighbours the last time. This time, we live in the same house as the parents of our landlady. They live on the 3rd floor while we live on the first floor.

Not 8 days have passed and I've been "taught" a few lessons:

- I need to gently close the gate whenever I leave

The old guy saw me unloading my groceries from the car and as I was mega-exhausted from the moving and carrying the groceries, I closed the gate (normally), while letting it swing shut by itself. The old guy came up to me and said, "Oh, you can't do it like that. When the gate shuts like that, we can hear the reverberations all the way upstairs. Come, let me show you how you should close it." Despite me apologizing, he kept going on and on about "how people need to be taught how to do things properly, if they don't know how to do it themselves"

- Hubby parked the car in front of the garage because he had to take an urgent call from the Internet service provider.

We had some technical issues with internet connectivitiy and the ISP company called to help us. I couldn't park the car on his behalf, because we don't have a garage and I would have to do some parallel parking on a slope. So, no thanks. The old guy of course had to rub it in saying, "Oh, parking in front of our garage is a big no no, you can't do that". I was like, "Yes, I know, but its only for a short while while my hubby takes an important phone call". He didn't even allow me to finish my sentence before saying, "yah yah, but you still can't park there". Ohmigosh. He's 88 years old AND German. Old = stubborn, German = A penchant for being utterly precise and wanting things done a certain way all the time. 

- Last Saturday, we spent the whole day painting our ex-apartment.

That is another horror story. Ex-landlord told us before we moved out that we didn't have to paint the apartment because her daughter might want it in a different colour. We thought, oh well, that's better for us. Hence, we didn't argue much when we had to pay half-a-month more rent because we moved out in August instead of end-September. When we moved out, ex-landlord calls us and tells us we have to paint the apartment after all, because they changed their mind.!!!

So, we painted the entire apartment, vacuumed and cleaned up everything on Saturday. Rushed home to take a shower before meeting up with some friends for dinner. Sunday, we slept in, went to church and watched "The Inception", which is an awesome show btw.

Turned out, we received a note on our door on last Saturday from the old couple asking us to drop them a visit on the same day, as they wanted to talk to us about some issues. We were working the whole of Saturday and on Sunday at 3pm Stephan tried ringing their doorbell but nobody answered.

When I was at home today, old lady comes down saying "You were supposed to come upstairs on Saturday, but you didn't". What the heck? Stephan would go up to their apartment today. These are seriously mega-free retired people who have no idea anymore that people need to work! I tried to explain that we were painting our old apartment and were not at home the whole of Saturday. And seriously, which person would leave you a note on your door asking you to drop them a visit on the same day it was written and get upset when you don't? As I said, old people.

Then she went on and on about how loud we were in our apartment the whole of last week. For goodness sake, we were moving in!!!! How quiet can we be if we need to build a kitchen, clean the entire apartment and move furniture? And she was like, "you know we're a very quiet neighbourhood and one shouldn't be so loud. We could hear you guys all the way upstairs".

Mind you, we were not noisy at all. We were just unpacking and doing the "quieter" things at night. Its just that we don't sleep as early as these people! Cut us some slack man! We haven't even moved in properly yet. Besides, what do they expect? That we tip-toe like mice around our own house?

And she was like, "You know you were supposed to do the Kehrwoche last week right? hmm?" Kehrwoche is this Schw√§bisch thing that involves cleaning the walkway etc. I was like yeah? We knew that, but we didn't do it, firstly because we didn't know what we had to do exactly, secondly, they haven't even told us properly what we had to do yet and thirdly, we were still moving in! Kehrwoche was the last thing on our mind!

Oh man. I don't think I have issues about staying in an apartment. I stayed in an apartment all my life when I was growing up in Singapore. But seriously, staying in an apartment in Germany is a different story altogether! I don't want to generalize but unless we've had a string of bad luck with neighbours, I do think people here are way more individualistic. Or people just think they have a right to tell you want to do.

On a positive note, we are are beginning to enjoy our new apartment. Its bigger than the previous one and we've got a storeroom for my groceries! :) Once the neighbours get used to the fact that we are "normal, young adults" who live "normal, noisy lives", I'm hopeful that we can live in peace with each other.

(If you've read until here, you're a real gem and deserve a huge HUG!)


Anonymous said...

Hi Priscilla,

I have just recently got to know your blog. A very hilarious one. Thus, very entertaining.

Normally I do not leave any comments to anyone's blog. But after reading your "settling in issues" blog, I sympathized with your predicament.

First of all, sadly, that's the reality of living in Europe. Individualistic, complainer. I can assure you that what you're experiencing does not only happen in Germany, even though the Germans can be a real pain in the a**.

Another thing is, apartments in Europe are usually old. They are not made sound-proofed. Therefore, almost WHATEVER you do can be heard by your beloved neighbor below.

The same go to the senior citizens. In french, we call them "troisieme ages". They don't only kill you with their words, they can also kill you on the roads.

I have no advice to give you, but to have you know that you are not alone.

God bless.

Katherine said...


I've come across your blog a while back while searching for food recipes!

I'm like you, a Singaporean who has moved to Germany and trying to get used to the idiocracy of everything here. Oh man, I can tell/rant a whole load of stories!

Anyway, glad to know you have settled in and hopefully you won't have too much issues with the neighbours :)

Steph said...

Hey Pris
Wishing u n Stephane many blissfully happy moments in your new hone sweet home !
XXX Steph
p.s I did read to the end ! ;)

Pris said...

Hey Chaton
Thanks for dropping a msg on my blog. And all the more since you usually don't leave comments.

Cool that you find my blog hilarious. I usually blog about my thoughts and as much as I try to keep it as positive as possible, sometimes I simply need to write out my frustrations and I feel better.

Thanks for sharing your own experience! I take it that you're in France? I suppose every foreigner would have their fair share of upsetting experiences in every country.

I found your "troisieme ages" hilarious!!!!!

Pris said...

Hey, I popped by your blog too! You're in Munich and have relocated there for about 6 mths? Munich's really nice! I've been there twice. Wanna go there again. :)

Yeah, I won't generalise to say ALL Germans are like this or that. But there are difficult personalities here, which even Germans themselves tell me "its not normal".

How are you settling in? How's your business coming along?

Pris said...

Hey Steph! :)
Thanks for your lovely wishes! Yeah, we want to make the best use of our place and not think so much about our neighbours. Its crazy how one small thing can occupy our thoughts, esp. when they are unpleasant.

Katherine said...


Yea, I've been here for the last 8 months or so. It's been quite a ride..haha..

I agree that it's always the minority that creates the problem. Most of the time, I just rant and let it go.

Business is quite alright after I've gone through the initial shocks and problems relating to postal and logistics...hehe

Pris said...

Hey Katherine,
Wow so you're a relatively fresh newbie in Deutschland. I hope to meet up with you in Munich soon! :) Would be nice!


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