It has been one month since arriving here in Berlin. As always, time travels faster than one thinks possible and yet the day of our departure seems like yesterday. We have certainly accomplished more here in one month than we would have in Chicago. Throwing the need for relaxation aside and sometime into the future, we have jumped from one place to the next within the city and our to-do list.
- Become real residents here, as is now shown on our passports and every other official-looking piece of paper, complete with a multitude of stamps to verify that we are indeed who we say we are and actually living here.
- Signed up for the BVG transportation services to avoid the ticket-buying hassle and instead got official photos, which were attached to official cards, which were stamped elaborately for at least 10 minutes.
- Gone to IKEA twice to look and finally to buy. Decisions regarding beds, closet combinations, bookshelves, lamps, and more were decided. Trips to the new apartment were taken frequently in order to make extra sure what we buy will positively absolutely fit. As my father says, “measure twice, cut once”. In this case, buy once… Or four times if you have four kids.
- We have swung on almost every swing, ran on almost every fortress, and zipped on absolutely every zip line we have come across. We have even developed a playground-rating system. I believe a 5-star playground includes at least 2 Ping-Pong tables, a huge fortress with climbing walls, at least 2 swings, a creative and unique aspect, a big playing field, a water-pumping system, a tree house, an obstacle course, other stuff I can’t remember, and of course, a high-speed quality zip line. Believe it or not, we’ve come pretty close to a 5-star. This is officially child-heaven.
- We have pushed our way through as many flea markets as we can, searching valiantly for things to decorate our new home with. Emilia bought a bag of old stamps and Josephine a babushka doll. So much for antique furniture…
- We have visited the must-see sites such as the Reichstag, the Berlin Wall, Kurfurstendamm, and of course, the KaDeWe, a massive shopping center that has practically everything you could expect to be there, more, and a massive floor dedicated to every food ever.
- But, most importantly of all, we have found it necessary to try most ice cream places we see, at the going rate of one scoop per day. I’m pretty sure we would have gotten fat were it not for the ample amount of parks to go running (a new pastime of mine) and swimming pools complete with a heated outdoor and a 35 meter slide.
German efficiency has prevailed. 🙂