“A German – once a friend, forever a friend” – true story…
It had been almost a year in Germany and by now I was certain of one thing – Germans are straightforward and honest people. Period.
I was proven right time and again for the same on many occasions by all my friends and acquaintances of this land. So naturally, I believed them if they told me something. But that is not the right thing – and I learned that the hard way.
Searching for a new place to live in a country where you are foreign to the language can get really difficult, especially if your trying to search in a city where you know absolutely no-one. We all have been through home (sorry room) searching phase sometime or another. This was my 4th time in one year and this is what happened.
I managed to get a place for a month and by the time I settled down, I had to move to this place in heart of Stuttgart. It was barely 10 sq meter but I was so excited, since I would be right in between all the people and the idea itself was fun. After my awesome meet with the FSG officials and Oktoberfest at its peak, I packed my bags and started cleaning the room, when I received an email and what I learned from that mail was that I wasn’t getting the new room. Reason – the person who is living in this room was not ready to move out! (What rubbish! As an owner you should have informed that person way in advance and also made sure it’s empty when you know someone else will be occupying that room the next day!)
I made a call immediately to that person and expected no more – obviously he would not answer any of my calls. I admit, I was afraid. Not only for the fact that I didn’t have a clue what would happen but also for the fact that I had to give the keys of present room on Monday morning. All I had was a beautiful Sunday ahead where “everything” in Germany is closed and that is not the time when people are in town (most of the times).
Trying to maintain my annoyance and anxiousness at bay, I started calling up all the people I knew at Stuttgart (more or less in any way possible) and at the same time started searching for hostels. Well, I had forgotten that Oktoberfest was its full swing and no room was available for less than 80euros/night (screwed!!!). Nevertheless, my new friend from work whom I met during the trip to Austria picked up the call and he told he would arrange something and let me know by night. The problem was, he was also moving to a new place that weekend, and I knew it was too much to ask for. But the call was made and I couldn’t take back my request.
I did relieve a call from him and he informed that it could be possible for me to at least have a place to sleep from Monday onwards. He had moved into an apartment on 4th floor and there was a room in attic with a couch above that. Hearing those words was like blessing to me at that time. Although there was one more tiny problem – no heater,water or food possibility until I stayed there. Nonetheless, I gladly accepted this wonderful help.
Monday began with leaving the room, submitting the keys, moving to new room in attic and reached office the next day. I cannot stress enough how happy I felt when I was at work. My colleagues, the HR department, and all my acquaintances – a big thank you for all the support you provided me with during one of the most tough times I faced in Germany. Thank you ‘Vector Informatik GmbH’ for all the help and support when I needed it the most. Not only did I get a lot of people willing to share their unused room for temporary purpose, but also they started searching for places for me. I did that too, all day that day. By evening, I wasn’t in any mood to go back to my room, it was to sleep and I just wandered around the city, trying to figure out what was next in store.
That was one of the longest, more depressing walks I had taken in this city. Although I had a roof to sleep under, a wonderful home back at India, I felt homeless. (Literally and figuratively). I wished no one ever went through that. Now that I think of it, maybe, for some of you it may not be a big deal. But, at that time, for me it was my first big hitch and I had to face it (no choice).
Next day, after half day of work, I started calling up all people who had posted their room for rent and after 165 calls I got one positive reply. She asked me to visit the room that evening if possible. Not wanting to let this slip by, I asked my friend (who’s place I was currently living in) to join me if possible. And after work, we left to see that place.
It was a small decent place, with basic amenities, no kitchen, shared bathroom and building where only old people lived (all floors possible), except the young lady who was showing me the place. It was her mother’s and she was not in the country. I asked my friend’s opinion, he told it was nice for the price I was gonna pay. I payed the caution deposit immediately and she handed me over the keys. Done. I had a place again!!!
He helped me move all my things in his car that night itself and after 96 hours, I finally had home cooked food and got amazing sleep.
There is something in store for everyone and someone’s always watching over you…=)