Home base is a vital bit of the human experience. It feels and looks different to everyone on the planet. Without a base to relax in and turn off the outside noise, “being” can be stressful. Andreas and I were feeling this stress last week. We did a lot of preonline apartment research and we thought we had a place before we moved to Germany but the owner flaked. When we arrived last week, we found a good place with a view of the water in a beautiful building and thought, OK, this is the place. However, the rental company we were dealing with promised it to another person while we were looking at it. It took them two days of scheduling meetings to tell us this. The other apartments we looked at were tired, beat up and or in the middle of a rehab. Pergo is the flooring of choice for a quick rehab here. Pergo everywhere. Most places smelled funny or of smoke.
Andreas checking room dimensions with a nice Syrian kid who was showing us the apartment with the water view.
Last Thursday, the day we were to leave the Airbnb and were getting a little freaked out about the prospect of walking around Bremerhaven with our gear and bikes, we made an appointment to see a place around the corner. The outside of the building wasn’t beautiful and we were still crossing our fingers for the water view place.
A view from our balcony.
“Don’t agree to anything,” I told Andreas, “Even if it’s good.” The owners of the apartment were very nice, a graphic design artist and an architect. Their children are product designers. The place was built in 1957, not much escaped bombing in this town during the second world war. The apartment is furnished, surprise, and not just “furnished” some of furniture is really well made. There is a small washing machine which is a HUGE plus. Just about everything we needed to move in was there. We are the first people to rent the place since the architect’s mother lived there.
Andreas figuring out the new kitchen making Sunday pancakes.
The apartment is big. Two good size bedrooms, a living and dining room, kitchen, bathroom and a small balcony.
The living room.
The bedroom had to be a color photo because I wanted to show the color of the wood. The landlords have since brought us another mattress.
It’s grander than anything we were expecting to rent. There is also some basement space to store bikes. We are above a Turkish/ Italian restaurant that has closed for vacation until the end of August. Across the cobblestone street is China Restaurant est. 1963. We are a block away from the main shopping area and walking distance to the water and the city’s museums. While we were checking it out and getting to know the landlords I slipped Andreas a note saying, please say yes to this place, please!
It’s been a week since we were handed the keys. We found Ikea and I built a guest bed without too much cussing.
Guest room with the new Ikea bed
Very tired me after building the Ikea bed.
We’ve been picking up a few other things here and there but it’s been minimal. I don’t know what we would have done or how we would have afforded to furnish a place. We are learning the apartment’s tricks and nuances, have claimed our individual work spaces and found a decent radio station. The neighbor below is elderly and very nice and the neighbors above have a new baby and a two-year-old named Conan with Squiggy hair.
It’s becoming home base. It feels safe, comfortable and there’s plenty of privacy. We feel incredibly lucky and are very aware how first world our stressors, problems and luck are.