Exactly three weeks ago I got on a train to Tuebingen, Germany, and right now I feel I can say that I’m settled in, which means it’s time for a post.
One of my goals when coming here was to concentrate on the project that I am here for. Therefore I wanted to spend as little time as possible on “settling in”, and although I can’t say I was 100% successful, I learned a few things that might be useful when moving to a different country (even if it’s just from the Netherlands to Germany).
Luckily, I was able to arrange a room beforehand, and the room was furnished. I assumed I only needed to get bed sheets, so I ordered those at IKEA and had them delivered to the house before I arrived. However, “furnished” does not mean “you have everything you need”. Here are a few things I did not really think about, and really missed in my new room:
– A sofa. A bed (though very comfortable) is just not exactly right if you want to read, watch a movie or relax without falling asleep.
– A coffee table. For the laptop that is getting too warm, or food and drinks to go with the movie.
– A coat rack and hangers. I’m not too organized when it comes to my closet, but hanging things up is easier than folding, and a few items (coat, bath robe) just don’t belong on a shelf.
– An electric kettle and a coffee machine. Tea and coffee are basic necessities and specialized tools definitely beat heating up water in a pot on the stove or in the microwave.
– Laundry “accessories”. There is a washing machine in the building, but laundry needs to be stored and dried somewhere as well.
About half of these things I bought second-hand (through Facebook groups or at flea markets), the other half from convenience stores. Now life is more comfortable 🙂 A few other things that I arranged as soon as possible, and that have been very helpful, are:
– A prepaid SIM card with internet. I’m using with my dual SIM phone. I would recommend Alditalk (great value for money), but not so much the phone (dual SIM is great, but it’s quite slow compared to my deceased HTC Desire S).
– A bank account. I did not really want to get one for the few months that I’m here, but the German bank card-operated washing machines thought otherwise.
– A bus pass. I only need to worry about which bus I get and where to get off, not about having the right amount of fare.
– A bike! For all the times that a bus is not that convenient, AND it feels just a bit more like the Netherlands now 🙂