The countdown is on. My one-way ticket to Germany has been booked - I'm leaving on Wednesday evening 30th July and that's just over three weeks away. It seems to be going by very fast now and I have so much to do. Had another company it to quote for shipping my stuff and am very impressed with them so far - if their quote is not much more than the others I've gotten then I'll go with them. Hopefully they'd be able to take everything away in a week or so which would be a big relief. Because the house I'm sharing already had most of the basics in the kitchen etc it won't be too hard to live without all my stuff whereas the apartment in Germany will have absolutely nothing in it so it's better if I get everything delivered as soon as possible after arriving there. I was back over there last week to sign my rental contract and checked out my building again so was able to give the shipping guy a reasonable idea of what would be needed. I'll be living on a main street with trams passing by every ten minutes or so so they'll need to use a van that'll fit into the onstreet parking spaces without blocking the trams. However I think they're fairly used to doing things like that over there so hopefully it won't be too hard. My place also faces the street so they may be able to hoist stuff up and through the windows rather than having to carry everything up four flights of stairs.
So meanwhile I have been trawling websites and the Ikea catalogue but really need to just be over there to get the kitchen and other furniture organised. There's only so much you can do in advance. I plan to buy a sink, fridge, washing machine and cooker almost immediately, possibly also a freezer (or just go for a fridge freezer). Depending on funds I may wait for a washing machine and just use a launderette for a while and may just buy a two-plate plug-in electric yoke for cooking on. There is a canteen near work where I can eat a main meal at lunchtime (and I also found out that I'll get lunch vouchers for every day I'm in the office which is great) and otherwise for the first month or two anyway it'll be too hot to cook much and it'll be fruit and salads (and bread and cheese and wurst). I would love to be able to buy loads of tomatoes for bottling though so will have to wait and see how I'd manage that.
I have been offered a couch by a friend but she lives in Frankfurt and hadn't really thought about how to get it up to me so she's going to think about that and try and figure out with her hubby if they could get it into or onto their car. If I get that I'll sleep on it for a while before committing to a bed. I'm going to bring my air mattress over in my suitcase and sleep on that for the first while.
I also found out that the secretary I should be joining (there are two in the department I'm moving to) has decided to leave and so rather than having someone who already knows all the ropes there when I start I'll be going into a department which will have had, at most, one temp for the three weeks before I start and one secretary doing the work of two for five weeks before that. I foresee a lot of filing needing to be done in my first while there. Hopefully they'll recruit someone else soon and I won't have to be doing it all by myself for too long.