Being back in Berlin is different compared to the first time around. Last time we had something planned that was going to take us back home and back to ‘reality’. This time feels more real, more permanent and much more terrifying.
We’ve been in Berlin for about three months and we still don’t have a place to live. Although it has been fun being able to experience completely different districts of Berlin for 1-3 weeks at a time, it does come with some drawbacks.
For instance, when you move to Germany (or even if you are a German national), you have to register for something called an ‘Anmeldung’ whenever you move into a new place. This basically means that you have to apply for a registration certificate to confirm that you are living at a specific address. In order to get this certificate, you have to present signed confirmation from the landlord which will be checked to make sure you definitely have a contract with them.
As you know, we don’t have a permanent residence and therefore cannot obtain an Anmeldung. The problem with this is that you then get put into the emergency tax bracket and your income (and in this case Jordan’s income) gets taxed 53%. So even though he’s getting nearly double the yearly salary he was getting in England, he’s coming out with less per month because of the crazy amount of tax because deducted.
On top of that, we can’t get comfortable anywhere we go as we know we’ll be moving somewhere else as soon as we do. I’ve been wanting to start my own Etsy shop for months now but that would mean I’d need to buy supplies and carry them around with me every time we move. We have so much stuff here with us in Berlin, too much stuff. Since making the IKEA trip back in Salzburg when we thought we had finally secured a flat, we have triple the amount of stuff we originally brought with us.
If there’s one thing that has made our lives easier it would be the storage container we rent in the outskirts of the city. It’s practically half of the price that we used to pay to keep our car here and it fits so much more of our belongings with extra room for more.
Now although these things are annoying and are making the move a little bit harder, it’s all worth it to be able to live in this beautifully diverse city. Now that the sun is started to make an appearance, Berlin is really coming to life. With beers on the grass, street festivals and legs starting to show more and more, it really is a summer city. Plus, the sunsets were beginning to look so beautiful every evening, it was hard not to stay outside.
We had the opportunity to spend May Day in Kreuzberg, dancing in the street and witnessing my first full-scale protest. I’ve genuinely never seen as many police in one place but since it was the 30th anniversary of annual (usually violent) protests, I’m not surprised they were out in force.
It’s taken a while for the sun to come out and stay out. May Day was the coldest in years but hopefully now, it’s out to stay and we can start to plan for some summer activities before the snow comes back again.