My flat here in Berlin is super cute- it is one big space- they call it a “One room” flat. We would call it a Studio apartment. It has a small kitchen off the side, and an entrance hallway with a bathroom off of that. Super cute!
I need/needed a few things for the space. I wanted to personalize it after the original owner took most of her personal décor items to her new place, allowing me to make the space mine. I wanted one or two area rugs, a futon, some curtains and then whatever else caught my fancy.
The problem is I thought IKEA was my best bet, small space solutions etc- but IKEA is intimidating even at home where I speak the same language! (You ever see the NAMES of some of these things?!!) Now I was determined to traverse the great warehouse halls here in Germany where I really do not speak the language at all! (I DID learn how to say “Oliven und Wießwein, Bitte” and figured knowing how to say “Olives and white wine, please” would be enough to get me thru the summer! LOL)
I talked about it for weeks. Lamented that I didn’t speak German and it would be nerve wracking, tried to convince a few of my guy friends to come- thinking maybe they could help “carry” things and also translate and help me navigate the whole process… but I had no success (and really is it surprising that MEN did not WANT to go to IKEA with me???)
So, off I go. OY!
The futon I thought I wanted just didn’t feel right. It’s boring and a little big and my place really needs something a little softer. I sat on one I decided I really liked but it was a lot more than I wanted to spend, so I took a paper about it and kept moving.
Bedding, I would like pillows in a size that I recognize and a firmness that will actually hold my head up off the bed… yeah good luck with that! At least once a week I text a photo to my BFF of a pillow department with the words “This is not how this works! This is not how ANY of this works!” Bedding here in Germany is distinctly different than in the US.
So- I am looking at a nice feather bed mattress topper- but uhm, I have no idea what size my bed is, and they don’t have nice names for their beds- twin, double, Queen etc… No- this is Germany- they are too logical for that… they have the literal centimeter sizes… I have NO CLUE how many centimeters my bed is. So I cannot buy the mattress topper today. Nor can I buy a duvet cover, and I most certainly cannot buy a pillow because they just do not MAKE or SELL pillows or cases in a size that is recognizable to me- and today I am being stubborn and I want what I want!
OK- so No futon, No bedding, Maybe curtains? But what color? I am not feeling anything. I am cranky and very much out of my comfort zone.
What’s that? The café! YES!!! I grab a pudding cup and a white wine and sit and relax for a minute. Take a few deep breathes. I look at the cart and there is NOTHING in it. (Sigh)
After a nice little rest, I go down to the area where all the stuff really is! Here we go, I must be able to find SOMETHING here…
- Metal “cup” to put my larger kitchen utensils in
- Metal shower caddy to replace the rusty one currently in my shower
- Two hand towels for the bathroom
- One 4-inch house plant
- Three 2-inch succulents
- AH- here- seat cushions to replace the nasty peach colored ones at my table. Some color ideas coming together maybe?
- Swedish Fish (needing a sugar high for the tram/subway ride home)
Total= 56 Euros
I walk through the warehouse section- soooo glad that I didn’t try to figure out how to have big items delivered to my flat today. I already feel so drained and emotional just from navigating this much.
Next time- Baby steps. I also think I will try to recruit my girlfriend to go with me, she will know the bedding stuff and the whole process, and sometimes being with someone gives you just that much more confidence!