Happy times and homelessness blues

Hallo meine Lieben!

Your Berlin SASA has been happily living in her destination for a few weeks now! Berlin welcomed me with open arms with 30°C and constant sun.The first day I came to the city, just a few hours after landing, I was lucky enough to get a room for September in the beautiful Prenzlauer Berg area. I even have the cutest sausage dog as a roomie!! Above on the left, you can see my utter happiness on the first morning in my lovely flat, believing in unicorns and all higher powers since I got so lucky and being sure it would be an equally easy task to find a flat for the rest of my stay. Oh boy, if I had known. On the right you can see my utter desperation after 10 days of furious flat hunting and viewings without any success. So, I will have to postpone getting back to the Berliner flat hunting biz with you, but I’ll give you all the deets eventually, I promise you that! It is a mess, but if my experiences can be of any help to others facing the same situation, I guess going through this will be worth it.

Otherwise Berlin has greeted me ever so sweetly and our honeymoon period is still going strong even though the weather has cooled down a bit. My neighbourhood is super lovely and I love it how there really are all kinds of people here, and somehow no one stands out. Grandpas and the cool kids play petanque next to each other in parks and dogs roam around freely with their bare-footed owners. After a week of just discovering the city (among the precious flat hunting), I started an intensive German language course at the Language Centre of the Humboldt-Universität. You can apply for the course at the same time you’re doing your application for the university, so that’s very convenient. Regardless of the nine years I spent learning German in school and spending nine months as an au pair in Nuremberg, I felt like my language skills are a bit rusty and some updates are in order for me to be able to cope with the whole academic German world. Most of my courses will after all be taught in German! Even though the course is quite expensive, 400 euros (about 340 pounds), I’d recommend you to do it if you have that extra money. It will give you so much more confidence before starting the actual semester. After a language test, I was put in level C1 and ended up in a super fun group. Our teacher is known for his method of teaching languages in a very encaging way, which means that we speak a lot and practice our grammar and vocabulary mainly through that. Also quite a lot of impro theatre included!

Regardless of the fun aspect of the course, the first week was quite tiring since I hadn’t spoken German in such a long time. It was the perfect time to travel down south to Munich for a quick 36-hour-trip to make it to the opening of the Oktoberfest, the biggest Volksfest in the world! Twelve hours in a beer tent in a Dirndl, drinking a couple of Maßes (the picture is of course staged no worries mama) and dancing and singing on benches and on tables with a couple of hundred happy people in their Trachten clothes create an atmosphere you have to witness yourself. Anyone planning on going to Wiesn, my main advise would be to go early – we went at 9 am so that we would be able to get a table in a beer tent, and it was no exaggeration. Remember to eat and have fun, and prepare your bladder for long toilet queues!

Now I should go back to responding to flat ads, my main and dearest hobby at the moment. Bis bald – and again, you can e-mail any questions to 2148464n@student.gla.ac.uk, and I’ll be a happy helper!

Liebe Grüße,
Miina

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