April 2011. We love Australia. We love it’s people, it’s weather, it’s pace, it’s mentality, it’s places, it’s energy. We love how we feel here. We want to stay. We dream of settling in Australia.
Visa regulations turn the wheel
The Visa regulations, though, let us decide otherwise. Tired of thoughts of what to do or where to go next, we choose a simple solution: we book a flight to Europe. On our way there we leave Adelaide for an Easter celebration in Esperance, stay once more in free-spirited Freemantle, and appear in hot and humid Kuala Lumpur before mounting our plane to Paris. Three days later we arrive to Vilnius. It’s May 2011, and it feels like someone rewound a movie that had started 2 years ago.
Lithuania – shall we settle?
We find ourselves back in our lands of origin. Home. HOME! 😉 We enjoy staying with Augustas relatives, meet old and make new friends, enjoy Lithuania’s beautiful nature, eat delicious traditional Lithuanian meals, and simply enjoy the joy this place brings to us. Should we settle here? We love the place, yet we hesitate to take further steps. Also, one question continues to linger in my mind: Does Berlin still feel the same to me? Would life be as great as I imagine when recalling the years I had lived in this vibrant city?
The Universe takes over
In July we visit our friends in Dresden, where I become god-mother of precious little Tara. In Gera we’re received by my sisters. In Leipzig I embrace my mom strongly, spend time with my niece and nephew, and meet for the first time my cousin D. I love being back in Germany, which prompts the Universe to turn our visit into a stay. After six years of nomad life we suddenly register in Germany. And what a surprise: we are in Berlin 😉
Freedom or …Freedom
The unemployment office offers help for settling. Upon submitting papers the civil servant speaks sharply, “Think twice! Upon registering here you must seek permission before leaving town!” I swallow. My voice dries up, my thoughts are raising. ‘What the hell am I doing here?’ I am attempted to run away. Then, I find myself argue, ‘It’s worth a try!’ We know we are free. We can always leave. We simply have to unregister then. I submit the papers.
Berlin – The application process
We enter an odyssey of three “homeless” months. Berlin has changed. Or has my perception of it? It is crowded, and apartments are rare. We slowly figure the application process: 1. Present yourself applying for a high payed job. 2. Hand out your complete application including photo and proof of personal income on high gloss paper. 3. Convince the agent that you are THE ONE. And, by God’s sake!, don’t mention governmental support. Agents are hyper-allergic to this term. Clearly spoken: GAME OVER!
Only 9 Euros to Paradise
The ‘Only 9 Euros to Dresden!’ (by bus) -subway poster makes me dream of visiting my friends in Saxon Switzerland near Dresden. All I want is rest, nature, and peace. After two months in Berlin I suddenly realize, “That’s the dream package we’re looking for!” Saxon Switzerland has it all. Why not live there? We fold up our tents in Berlin. I set Augustas aside at my mom’s in Leipzig, then move on to Heidenau, South of Dresden, where my CouchSurfing hosts Andreas and Hannelore care for me while I search an apartment. Once on the right track, things move smoothly. It takes a mere four days to find our new home.
A gentle reminder
I feel that’s it. Only the strict rules on size and price of an apartment allowed by the unemployment office make me vary. Thus, contrary to my feeling, I continue the search. Universe (re)acts instantly. I catch eye on an Aboriginal eating soup on a street bench in Heidenau. Can that be true? Distrusting my eyes I look back again for long. Too long. BOOM! At high speed I bump my head and knee forcefully into an iron street lamp. Completely shocked I sit down, forgetting about the aboriginal. I recollect myself only when my forehead begins changing it’s shape outwardly. Frozen spinach packs from the store nearby are a great first aid that help reduce the swelling.
A minute later I hurry on to the next appointment – with bump and spinach on my head. What had the Universe just taught me? “Stop! Stop! Stop! This IS the place! Stop searching!”