So once I shifted into another room, it was different all together. First thing I needed was to get grocery. I was informed the cheapest supermarket is Penny and then Edeka. Bent by habit of saving, I reached penny obviously. Now to remove the trolley, there’s a system (again), we need to insert a coin of 50 cents or more and then it unlocks. After looking at it for few minutes, someone came and told me how to use it. So without feeling embarrassed at all (yea sure), I walked in.
I was used to buying vegetables and so on from Reliance store back at home, this was gonna be simple. I did find things, but I couldn’t understand what they were. So I bought everything required by just looking at it and recognizing them. Names were different, with at least 5 varieties of each. And most importantly, after seeing each item and then its price there was automatic conversion from EURO to INR happening in my head (I was just imagining if Indian moms see that Gobi that is cauliflower is Rs.180 per piece, well that would be a sight that cannot be missed!) So I billed my things, bought packets, again not for free, and tried keeping the trolley back. Got my change back and off I went to room.
The first thing I made was french fries, rice and chicken wings. Since I had bought pickle from India and yogurt from Penny, this was a genuinely brilliant combination (or so I thought until I started cooking actual food). Didn’t have internet connection even then, since each room is registered for their unique mac address of the person who lives in that room. So I made use of my cheap calling plan by Vodafone and started talking to as many people I could, be it dadi/nani (grandmoms), chachu/mamu(uncles), chachi/mami (aunties), bua’s (I have a lot oft hem – aunts), friends and almost every person whom I used to talk to frequently back in India.
So first couple of days passed, met my German buddy a few times, and some Indian students while going or coming to Penny, and passed time by watching movies and TV series that were already existing on my laptop.
Finally after 3 full days, plucked out all the courage to just switch on Google maps and walk towards any nearest place to visit.
I accidentally found a really old church, it was wonderful to see from outside and kinda scary when I went close, due to its unused nature perhaps.
I heard that IKEA ( a name that I had never heard before) was the best place to buy any kind of things for room, be it from pillow to table and so on. So I thought why not check it out, so I put IKEA on the map application on phone and started walking. After walking for about 25 minutes, I reached a part of city which had some kind of furniture stores which only had an IKEA board for some marketing purpose( and Google showed me that!)
Later on, I was told that you need to change 2 buses and reach there. Which is about 22kms from where I lived (And I thought i was gonna walk my way to that place – even though I was jobless, I wasn’t that much!) Reached IKEA, and it is one of he biggest store for homes I have seen( the biggest I saw was Metro shopping place in Bangalore, and now Metro seemed like a ‘chai’ stall in front of this). It took about some hours(I lost track) to finish and finally I bought myself a 0,79cents pillow!
So the week passed with trial and error of making good rasam, maggi of course and lots of fried appetizers (all of it looks fascinating only for the first 2 weeks).
Finally, the day came and got keys to my new place! I was super happy because the architecture and the apartment was almost new(reconstructed building) and the room was big enough to play cricket for 2 people, until, I realized, there was nothing except walls, ceilings and windows in the room. I had to buy myself everything now! Starting from a mattress to sleep on, table and chair to study, cupboard to keep my things and most importantly – LIGHT! Yes, light is not a part of the room that they give here. Only light for common areas like corridors, kitchen and bathroom is already provided. Moreover, kitchen was not yet set up, so I was given hot plate to use for cooking until kitchen was fixed, and I had to wash vessels in bath tub out of all the things(craziness)!
Obviously, before I moved into this place, I had to find a way to get my basic things(at least to get some sleep)!
So i began the search…