Moving to Berlin? You may wanna read this before 😉
Can’t believe I almost lived here for half a YEAR now, yes thats right. So after a lot of experiences I’ve been gathering here, I wanna share it with you, and hopefully give you some useful knowledge. Especially for you guys who are planning to move here.
Why did I want to move here? Hmm, I guess it stood between London, Paris and Berlin. London is an amazing city if you ask me, as the great Primark freak I am (or was, thank god, I have only been there 2 times since I moved here). But the prices…uuuhhhh…no thank you señor! And Paris, baaaaouuui! But no, unfortonately, Je ne parle pas français 😦 . But Berlin – the city that never sleeps (although its horrible if your brain is like mine – set in the shopping mood every sunday, and every sunday you realize that every shop is closed. I will never get used to that), that sounded like an amazing idea! Parties, cool people and of course, to learn the language. But there was a few things I should have made some more researching about before I moved here, I guess some things would have been running more smoothly then… So now I would like to give you a helping hand!
The first golden rule:
ACCEPT that everything is complicated and a pain in the ass here. Get yourself a thick skin and sharpen your elbows if you didn’t already have that and just accept that Berlin isn’t the city of friendlieness.
Where to find a place to live?
This is a really annoying thing about the city. Because it wasn’t just me who wanted to move here. Oh no, it feels like the whole world wants to do that aswell! And persons who say that Berlin is sooo cheap and yada yada, they don’t know NOTHING (John schnee lol). I mean the food etc etc, yeah thats affordable, but to rent a room – A ROOM, can cost you a FORTUNE if you want to live in the central parts. And the competition is hard. Since everyone wants to live in Friedrichshain, Kreuzberg and Neukölln. When I moved, I was quite lucky. Found myself a room through the Facebook page Svenskar i Berlin like 2 months before I even moved here. And I lived there for 3,5 months, and didn’t really think it would be an issue to find a new place. How wrong I was… Well yes, it can be easy to find a room if you are willing to move around every 2 months, from room to room. But that kind of living is way to stressful for me, so now I’m looking for a longterm place to stay. And I think my WG (Wohngemeinschaft) career is over. I guess I could write another blog post about the WG theme. But lets keep it short and concise. I wanna have my own crib. But good luck chuck… And my advice is that you better get a proper lease, like a Mietvertrag, so no weird situations will appear…hrmm…
Here are my personal suggestions regarding finding places to stay:
FACEBOOK! There are soooo many different pages regarding rooms in WG, apartments. Theres probably also a page for your country. There you could ask all kinds of questions regarding what so ever. I asked like 20 of different questions, and I always get smart and friendly answers! 🙂
WG-gesucht – Ah, such a classic! But let me just warn you, this is really an energy sucker. Because for every, hmm 15 rooms you search, you get invited to maybe 1 or 2 ”castings” to the rooms. What is a casting? You might wonder… I personally HATE this phenomenon in this city called WG-casting. It is like you’re running for the german Idol or whatever. So the people already living in the WG are sitting there like a jury, asking you if you can dance, sing, juggle…. Crazy? AGREED!
And of course, just google it, and you will find websites like immobilienscout24, craigslist and a lot more. But for me, I’ve been using FB and WG-gesucht. Not with great success every time though..hehe.
What kind of documents do I need?
This is certainly not my favorite subject, as you may have noticed. I’m almost getting angry only writing about it. But that’s why I’m writing about it! Every single person who thanks to me, doesn’t need to sit and sweat inside an old Amt for hours, is a personal victory for me! And I can only be helpful to people who are EU-citizens, I’m afraid
Make sure you are bringing your European health inscurance card when you’ve decided to put your feet on german ground. Else, it could get expensive.
Go to Bürgeramt ( *pukes* ), or better up, make an APPOINTMENT at Bürgeramt (so you won’t get the honour to sit there and sweat like an onion for 3-4 h), and just tell them like ”-Hiii! I’m a new cool cat in this city, will you be so kind and help me getting registered on my new adress? smiling of hopefulness and expectations due to the fact that you just arrived to the city, and that you are ready to explore it Aaaaand very soon, the Bürgeramt will give you a slap in the face, making you realize that becoming a part of the german society is not a dance on roses! Well, it is a dance on roses, IF YOU ARE BAREFOOT, JUMPING ON THE ROSES’ THORNES UNTIL YOU BLEED. And also make sure you do it within 2 weeks. Or else something bad will happen! (Of what I’ve heard)
Set up a plan. What are you doing here? What are your goals? For me, the first three weeks was like a vaccation. But I can only recommend that. Take your time to explore the city and just take in all the new impressions. You will be exhausted due to the new atmosphere. Actually, I could use another three weeks just to get more settled here I guess. Anyways, after those three weeks I signed up for a language school. I think its a good way to get started. And make sure it is a school that you will get money from your country’s government. I guess it is very different from country to country, but in Sweden, you will get around 200 Euros every month for it. While you are doing that, you will have time to figure out wether you want to study, get a job or whatever you want to do. And while we’re at it talking about the language, be prepared to invest time in learning it. The german language is not something for the weak! Haha, I was talking to my friend, and he compared it with this scenario: It feels like you are juggeling, and you are so afraid that you are gonna drop everything any second. Due to all the verbs. You know, when 5 verbs come in the end of a scentence? Haben müssen sollen wollen etc etc ETC…. I get a headache about it. Grr. But there are a lot of different language schools. I went to Hartnackschule. Its affordable and they actually offer some really good teachers. Actually, I’m just one month short of getting my C1 certificate, which means I SHOULD be fluent ^^. Hmpf…
Become a member of a german health inscurance company (Krankenkasse). There are a bunch of them, so just ask the peeps on FB what they recommend.
Next time, I’ll be writing about some more easily digestible stuff, like clubs, restaurants, attractions and stuff like that. But whatever you do – don’t forget to enjoy the city! IT IS AMAZING!!! 😀
WILL BE CONTINUED!