The house of no laughter?

This is a blog post without any of the photos I took the last days because I wander around the city with my laptop trying desperately to find hot spots where you can go online for 30 minutes. And those are not good enought to upload photos. Ah, what a wonderful life.

On Saturday at 6 am, Annika and I started driving down to Nienburg to the 30 m3 storage where all my belongings were stored. I was driving the biggest car you are allowed to drive with a regular license and when I had to pick up that car (or truck, as I like to call it), the evening before, I thought I would lose my mind: in the full rush hour, in an unknown city that I cannot navigate at all, after a year of not driving at all, completely on my own, in a car that does not have a back mirror. My phone gave me directions that I could not take at all times because I was unwilling to execute any daring maneuvers in full traffic when I felt I did not see everything in my mirrors. Surprisingly enough, I did make it to my new apartment and I even found a parking lot. Other people run marathons to feel accomplished, I drive rented trucks.

After having arrived to Nienburg, sold off and given away 15 m3, we drove back to Hamburg. Thanks for my helpers Anja, Francois, Wiebke and Annika as well as my parents, we had all the ugly furniture of the previous tenant in the basement and all my stuff up within like an hour. And that says a lot given that I live on the fourth floor. The work obviously does not end there and we spent an entire day dropping off the car, buying building supplies, putting up furniture and unpacking. My mom who was simultaneously trying to clean (I have never found a place that dirty, apart from Flogsta kitchens, and my mother confirmed that this is a case for “Bref Power”) had made soup for everyone which was the first meal to be eaten at the blue table.

Everything could have been nice if we had not left the car right in front of the door where we had needed it to unload everything. The caretaker (that is constantly at least salongsberusad ) rang my door bell and started to scream at me, threatening with both calling the police and the landlord. Despite our putting away the car within a minute and my apology, he refuses to greet me any longer. As if this does not already give a very welcoming feel, the doo bell rang again at 23:51 on Saturday when Annika and I were going to bed. The neighbor from below was standing in the door way in her pyjamas explaining that she REALLY HAD TO SLEEP (I mean, of course, Saturday night before midnight…) and we were just making too much noise and that this had been going on for two weeks already. I did not really know my talking to myself was that noisy (that is the only thing that could have made noise the ten days I have lived there by now) but I assume my laughter on Saturday prompted by the amusing company of Annika (who sits down next to Stockholmer Louise who holds a bowl of candy, saying: “I will sit down next to the Swedes” (this works better in spoken language but I wanted to honor Annika who was so pleased with her own joke that she laughed tears), that my laughter is simply too loud for the house where you literally hear everything. When my next door neighbors watch TV, I know what they are watching and what they think about it. When my above neighbor moves a cord on the floor, I hear it. Needless to say, I am slightly worried about living there – will it be the house of no laughter?

Luckily, my friends are very innovative so when I said I don’t see a housewarming party happening here, they came up with the idea of a silent disco: Ingrid brings her Bluetooth stereo to which everyone connects their music device and headphones, you are forced to wear rubber socks and communication is done by Whatsapp and text. Sounds like a fun night, doesn’t it?

The Holy Day


I am moving to Hamburg today! On this sunny, calm Sunday. Of course I do plan ahead, so at the breakfast table I said, “I guess I will take the afternoon train because I probably should do some grocery shopping so that I have something to eat tomorrow morning”. I had pictured myself navigating through the new city straight to the Rewe supermarket – or rather Lidl for tradition’s sake – and buying muesli, joghurt, apples, you know the usual menu you get at Helen’s Awesome Crib a Monday morning. In my head, I already saw myself paying half of what I always pay at home in Stockholm. And then my mother breaks the news to me. “What do you mean, do grocery shopping? It is Sunday. The only groceries you will get are at Hamburg Central Station”. And those are certainly at least as expensive as in Stockholm. It is the holy day today, the day God used for rest. The day German law still protects. The day families go for walks in the woods and teenagers cure their hangover. And I have entirely forgotten everything is closed. In Stockholm, I would probably be at Åhléns right now worshipping consumerism. I haven’t quite decided whether or not I like Germany’s closed-Sunday-law. But I hope mom will give me a box with muesli for tomorrow.