Tag Archives: one world 4 girls

Starting to look like home…

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Due to the Deutsche Bahn tickets scheduled for 2 weeks of relaxation,  I must apologize, for this blog post has been sitting and waiting to be posted for far too long. Unfortunately, I am a perfectionist and felt the absolute need to add pictures. Our last taste of summer in Münich will be posted shortly!

Contrary to what we were doing in all of June, we are insisting on settling into Berlin, not seeing it. We are unpacking heavy boxes instead of even-heavier suitcases. Instead of delirious jet-lag my mom and I had come down with a summer cold and we can now get on the U-Bahn to a certain destination without consulting the map three times. And I know for a fact that I now know more about IKEA than I ever knew or thought I would know…

Your average shopping trip at our nearest Lidl...

Your average shopping trip at our nearest Lidl…

Since purchasing our beds, closets, and various other appliances that are either Siemens or IKEA, we have been working hard at putting them in place. After building and un-building our stuff countless times, my father knows more than all of us about the distinctive IKEA building style. So we threw the picture-comic instructions aside and went on our intuition, which, with the aim of the directions and assembly being “simple”, wasn’t all that hard. Everything was packaged in long packages of cardboard, and so I am weary to say that I have broken down and folded and squashed and jumped on and bullied more pieces of stubborn cardboard than I ever care to admit. After 9 hours of screwing, drilling, alan-wrenching, and hammering, we collapsed into a package of tortellini, bought as a last-second attempt to make food at home and not go out. Everything looked great – save for ourselves and the fact that, due to our uneven floors, my tall closet was leaning forward at a scary angle until we remedied the problem by shoving broken pieces of wood under it. IKEA is all about accessorizing right?

The movers came on the 8th of July with a fat truck full of our boxes. They also had all day and therefore weren’t in a monumental rush to haul all of the boxes up the 4 flights of stairs. Instead, they slowly rolled their lift up until they reached our window and started loading boxes that way, thereby avoiding a whole lot of stairs and sweat. They offered the lift as an extra cost and seeing as we weren’t the ones moving everything, we naturally declined the 450 Euro add-on. Of course, they brought the lift anyways. Only after making absolutely positively sure that my parent’s mattress did not and would not fit through the window did they haul something up those dreadful stairs, which ended up being the first and last time. As the day wore on, the “we’ve got all day” attitude ended and we scrambled to unpack every box.

Faster - Faster!

Faster – Faster!

The packers in Chicago packed us. And so the unpackers here in Berlin had to unpack us. And take the packaging material with them – which we were grateful for. After climbing the fence of the next door school to stuff our squashed boxes from IKEA into their paper trash dumpster multiple times, we were not in a hurry to have to somehow hide mountains of packing paper, stacks of bubble wrap, and oceans of Styrofoam peanuts in someone else’s trash because the puny containers in our courtyard are not enough. Apart from the fact that our apartment looked like it had just exploded and we were completely exhausted, it was a pretty productive day. Since then, our days in Berlin have been a little less intense, and the apartment already has seen an exponential decline in the amount of boxes sitting around. In fact, we are unpacked and it’s starting to look  like home.

The first (or second) batch of hot chocolate in the new kitchen.

The first (or second) batch of hot chocolate in the new kitchen.

Home is where the heart (and toys) are.

Home is where the heart is… and where the toys are.

Change of Plans…

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There is only one thing constant in life and that is change.

Over the last couple of weeks many things have changed.

  1. We are not moving to Berlin.
  2. We are staying in Chicago for one more year.

That’s about it. My mother visited Berlin before us, planned on finding an apartment, which she did, and exploring the city, which she did also. However, as she biked and biked and biked, she couldn’t shake her intuition telling her this was not the place for us, long-term. So after much back and forth, she came back to us in Chicago. Our goal is still to move to Europe in the end – for all of the reasons stated in the previous post; quality of life, education, family… It has been a dream of ours for a long time, but we weren’t ready to just settle down anywhere after Berlin didn’t work out. So, the choice we made was to stay in Chicago for one more year and during this year we can explore our options in Europe further.

We moved into our new apartment recently, found the day we made this decision. It’s almost surreal to unpack boxes I packed up 2 years ago, when we moved out of our house and downsized, before the trip was even mentioned. I am happy we get to stay, and I get to keep the friends and community we have here for one more year. But I know I have to leave again, and that puts a little dollop of sadness into our chaotic soup. I have one entire year, so I will just choose not to taste it.

The first thing that came to mind when we decided on this news was the school – my sisters will go to my fantastic elementary school, AG Bell, but I am now in High School! It’s crazy, I still can’t get over it myself. I was accepted on short-term to Lincoln Park High School, into the IB program. The International Baccalaureate allows me to study at hundreds of universities around the world where it is recognized. I am very excited, and a little apprehensive, (isn’t everyone on their first day of something new?) to be starting High School. And I am sorry to say I will have an exorbitant amount of homework so I will probably not get to blogging as often as I should (this gap was crazy enough, but I wanted to be sure of every most things before I publish it for the whole world to see). However, I will try!
As for where we will end up – no one, least of all myself, knows. But not all who wander are lost… It’ll work out!

PS: Audrey left for a 3-week trip to Europe! Our family in Germany generously offered to take her to Switzerland, Munich, Sardinia… She is coming back September 2 (2 days before school starts!). Hopefully I can convince her to be a guest-blogger here – I would love to share more travels with you.