This is part 2 of a two-part series. If you haven’t read the previous post, please start here.
Phew! I know it’s been a while since my last update, but the paperwork only recently went through for the apartment.
And the winner is…
…wait. I had to wait 3 weeks to get the final word, so I can keep you guessing just a little bit longer. Let’s first talk about what it took to get there.
Getting an Apartment In Germany
After we made our decision the very same evening of the apartment tours, we contacted our guide Birgit to inform her of the news. However, given the strictly structured work hours in Germany, no one works after they clock out at 5 pm. So we went out to dinner, celebrated with a glass of wine, and patiently waited until morning. The next morning, Birgit got back to us with a list of items we needed to attend to. We needed copies of our passports, copies of Craig’s work contract, and to fill out a formal application. In German. Here’s a taste:
I don’t know much German, so I spent the day frantically using Google Translate, translating from German to English and English back to German. Why the rush? This was a Wednesday and I was returning to the States on Saturday morning. Both married parties are required to sign, and a scan doesn’t count, apparently (this was fortunately waived for our extenuating circumstances, but we didn’t know that at the time). Save for a few questions that were poorly translated by Google, I was able to answer most of it. Though, Craig will make fun of me (and I will make fun of myself, now that it’s all over) to my answer to: Spielen Sie Musikinstrumente? (Do you play musical instruments?)
I was so caught up in the formality of the application that I wasn’t thinking. In my mind, I didn’t want to end up in German jail for not being 100% honest. Yes, we play musical instruments. In the last 4 years, Craig played the guitar a grand total of 1 time. 1. And I wrote it down. I made sure to write “Akustikgitarre” so we wouldn’t come off as obnoxious noise-makers. As it turns out, we aren’t even bringing the guitar to Germany because he uses it so infrequently. I also felt to need to write down my instrument – my singing voice. Guys, I really didn’t want the cops to be called. I figured they better know ahead of time, just to be safe.
I brought my form back to Birgit, and she laughed at my overt honesty. As she said, “Everyone sings in the shower, even Germans.” We made the few changes that needed to be made (added the word for “seldom” to Craig’s guitar playing) and we were set. So, why the hell did it take so long, you ask? Luckily for me, it was not our love for making music.
Well, 1) Craig’s contract was not to their liking initially, so we went back and forth for a couple days trying to get something acceptable. First it didn’t indicate the extent of his expat stay, then we needed to get a signed copy from his supervisor. 2) The expat company that was hired to assist us with the move had to have a team of lawyers review the lease before we could sign, and that takes time. But most of all it was 3) We got denied from our first choice because our 3-year stay was not long enough to justify having us as tenants! That’s right – three whole years is too short of a stay! They were expecting more along the lines of a seven year lease, which is more common.
But man, did we ever luck out! While we may have been denied by the owner of the apartment we had our eyes on, there was an IDENTICAL apartment on the floor below that was available from a different, more realistic, owner. So, after 3 weeks of agony waiting for our apartment lease documents, we are now the proud renters of…
Apartment #1! The Cramped Cellar!
Remember this beauty?
Bonus points! We don’t actually have the cellar that you have to slide through the tiny passageway to get to. No, that belonged to the
jerk kind gentleman upstairs who thought he was too good for us. Instead, we get a storage space where you can stand up 75% straight. Score!
So for now, we are happy campers, finally with a place to call home for the next 3 years!
I hope you enjoyed reading! Stay tuned for updates on the big move (Coming soon!) And don’t forget to leave a comment below!