I arrived in Berlin yesterday safe and sound and all by myself. So far things are going great.
I kept myself awake until 10pm last night here and woke up at 7:45am to the sound of glass being dumped into a trash truck from a recycling bin. Definitely not my usual wake-up to the pitter patter of tiny girl feet or a tap tap tap "mama, it's your turn." I just had an amazingly German breakfast, complete with a latte machiatto, broetchen, cheese, cucumber slices, tomatoes, and an apple. It was amazing and only 3,70 Euro. I really like the hostel where I'm staying. I'm in a room with 4 beds and a bathroom with a shower and everything. There are 3 girls from Ottawa staying in the same room who are really young and just started their adventure. I made their beds while they were out partying last night and they were ever so grateful. Little did they know, I really just did it to both keep myself awake at the time and to allow them not to have to turn on all the lights when they came in late. Sneaky and nice! The hostel also has a bar on the 7th floor roof with an amazing view of the city at night. I can see the TV tower from my room and from the top you can almost see the whole city. The hostel is filled with a wild bunch of Ozzies and Kiwis who seem to be partying their way around the continent. I met this amazing Aussie named Jess yesterday who had the most amazing stories about traveling to Greece, France, Spain, Portugal, Morocco, Belgium, the Netherlands, and now Germany in the past 3 months. He and his Kiwi friend Duncan are both traveling around after completing their studies, and are "blowing off steam" here in Europe. They both seemed to be having the best time of their lives and were ever so fun to talk to at dinner in the kitchen of the hostel. They also thought I was 7 years younger than I am, so that was nice too. :-)
Today I'm planning to look for apartments online this morning and then head out to the neighborhoods where I'd like to live to actually look on foot. Hopefully I can find something soon or at least make some calls to schedule appointments tomorrow. I've sent several emails and not heard anything back yet, so hopefully actually being here will help. I'm trying not to get too frustrated with the whole thing and to just keep remembering that it will all work out in the end as it has so far. Finding the apartment is my goal this week, so I really need to focus all of my energy there for now. The apartment is a BIG domino that has to fall before I can do several other major things such as registering at the Einwohnermeldeamt (Residents' Registration Authority), and also at the Auslaenderbehoerde (Foreigners' Authority). I have to register at these 2 place before I can even open a bank account or purchase a permanent sim-card for my cell phone and get a plan for the year. Of course, I also cannot get an apartment without a bank account, so all of this is a little difficult to navigate right now for me. I may register at the 2 places now with my hostel as my address and then go back and change my address with them when I find a permanent place. I'll see how today goes and hopefully be able to take care of all of this paperwork stuff early next week. All of this is really confusing, but I'm just trying to remember why I'm here and get down to business.
I keep vascilating between feelings of "this is so exciting and I'm so happy to be here" and "oh-my-goodness what the hell have I just done." I'm not too worried, as I'm sure this is what everyone goes through. At least I'm in this amazing city and surrounded by lots of people with a passion for travel and lots of stories to tell. As my mom says, I'll have the best stories for the home. Right now I miss Andy and the girls soo much that it hurts and I'm still pretty tired. I'm going to push through today and try to soak up as much of this sunshine as I can.