After living for three months on Hannes' cousin's couchbed, Hannes and I have moved into our own apartment! It's exciting, but also exhausting - it's been weeks already and there's still lots to do.
Welcome to Courbierestrasse 5:
Moving into a rental apartment in Germany is a lot different than moving into a rental in the States. For instance, it's really common to have to buy your own kitchen - often kitchens come with a stove and a sink, but nothing else. Sometimes they don't even come with that. We were lucky that our kitchen was mostly there when we moved in. The only major thing missing was a fridge, which we bought ourselves (actually Hannes bought it - he's a refrigerator owner now).
Other things: instead of light fixtures, the apartment comes with wires hanging out of the ceiling. Good thing Hannes knows how to install such a thing, and also that he's tall enough to reach the ceiling (which I couldn't do even with the giant ladder).
Other ways I can tell I'm in Europe: there's no proper shower, only a bathtub. We still have to install something so we can have a shower curtain. Right now when we take a shower we pretty much just get water everywhere. Also, see that clothes dryer in what will become our guest bedroom/office? That's because we don't have a clothes dryer. Almost no one around here has one. One of my German teachers thinks that for the energy cost of using a dryer, you might as well take all your clothes to the dry cleaner (but I don't believe that can really be true). I do miss having a dryer - clothes can take forever to dry, we end up hanging sheets over doors, towels come out super stiff, clothes come out wrinkly - but I have to support the energy-conscious attitude.
Overall, the apartment is really enormous and beautiful and it's feels a little crazy to be living here. We'd never be able to afford something like this in any city but Berlin. We've had the neighbors over for a drink and Hannes's cousins over for dinner, both times when the place was an even gianter mess than it is now. I think it's finally time to have some real dinner parties and start filling the apartment with friends on a regular basis! I'd like to have a housewarming party too, but we have a few neighbors who are super sensitive about noise so we'll have to butter them up a bit first.