Thursday, 12 February 2009

Russian Saga

Is there really any other kind?

Today we submitted our Russian visa applications so that we could re-schedule our show in Moscow for later this month. We tried to look serious for the photo, but the result shows the transparency of our true feelings- anxiety with the Russian authorities and this whole experience, in general.

There's relief in now knowing it's completely out of our hands and up to the various consulates, so we could concentrate on the other pressing matter at hand: finding our own apartment here.

There are no for rent signs here in Berlin. It comes down to agencies, luck, and nepotism. We've almost exhausted them all and we'll have to make a decision by the weekend, but we're easily swayed. Coming from more than a decade of Toronto-dwelling, neighbourhood snobbery has a foothold in my criteria. Almost everyone we know and have met in this city lives in either Kreuzberg or Friedrichshain. We've stayed in both neighbouring hoods since we arrived and we know our way around. The lady at one agency urged me to take a look at places in Pankow and Wilmersdorf- we did and they were just sooo far away- and too small to justify it.

Today, however, we took a look at something we both kinda love. A huge one bedroom with massive living room, sunroom off the kitchen and a balcony on the edge of Kreuzberg, near Gorlitzer Park (and a few other parks). It's in the process of being renovated and will have nicely cleaned up old wood floors, original doors and ceiling moldings (yep, I'm one of those people that cares about that), and pull out sofa bed in the living room. There's one catch. It's a little bit more a month than we were looking to spend.

So we've got to decide if we want to live the bohemian dream in a dream apartment while we're here in Berlin or take a little more dough home and end up paying double for a probably not nearly as nice a place in Toronto. hmmm...We've got a couple more leads to follow up on so I'll let you know by the weekend if you have a balcony to take your coffee on when you come and visit.


sweetie pie press said...

i don't know how useful this is, but i imagine you tried this:

i think they offer schmucks for sale, too. hopefully yiddish and german don't share as many words as i had thought.

leah buckareff said...

ah yes. craigslist has been good to us- we're currently residing in a find.

in fact, it's surprising how many germans don't know about craigslist, so we've been lucky. the current beauty was found there. i think we might take it- you should come visit!

sweetie pie press said...

oh, i ache to come visit. but i have never been more poor in my life.

Anonymous said...

Pop and I think you and Aidan should splurge on the bohemian apartment since you are creating a lifetime memory. Pop says, "What's the difference? You're gonna come broke anyway! Enjoy now, pay later." Might as well savour life in the moment. Besides... this space you're considering makes it awfully tempting to visit... - e

Laurie said...

Simon and I had to make the same decision when we lived in Nottinghill for 5 months. Do it! It's so worth it. :)

leah buckareff said...

Thanks everyone! We took it.