Renting until you are broken – the new city life?

Renting until you are broken – the new city life?

Can someone explain to me why rents are increasing as if there’s no tomorrow?

I mean, honestly, I understand fully that a landlord is not giving away his house/ flat for free and wants to earn some money with it. Some money, enough money to be able to maintain everything plus money on top for their own, I got this. What I am not getting anymore is why people who rent are seen as a luxury income. Hey, and I’m not writing about deluxe apartments or big mansions, I’m writing about normal flats, houses for families.

You can argue now that it is my very own fault if I decide to live in Munich and yes, you are partly right with it. Partly because I accept that everything is a bit more expensive here than in a small countryside city, but what I do not accept is that you pay a fortune for nothing.

I am checking offers since a couple of years now and the market is truly insane. People offer for instance a house which is in the state of the 1980’s, the bathroom is a disaster, kitchen not available (means you have to bring your own), carpets everywhere also from the 1980’s, the garden not maintained at all. The size is 110 square metres and they ask for either a monthly rent of 2300 Euro (without gas and water) or if you want to buy the price is 980.000 Euro.

If only I could tell you that this is a joke, but they are indeed serious.

What should a family earn in order to have a nice family home to stay in?

As a family we are willing to pay entry for the zoo, we love to go and eat outside, grab ice-cream on the way to the playground, buy local and support smaller shops in our area, we love the “hood” we are living in. But all of this would be impossible when we move to a bigger place because of these ridiculous prices.

Our current living situation is tiny, our place is small but we live where we want to live. Of course we wouldn’t mind to have more place and a garden, not at all, but not if we have to cut our visits to the museum, eating out or summer vacations.

Are cities only made for the rich?

Are only the top managers allowed to live here? Is it the newly rich clients you are looking for to spend their money here? A city will lose its spirit like this and a city will not have any more stories to tell.

Apart from ‘normal’ families, has anyone ever thought about the elder people? A 82-year old widow who would love to stay in the flat where her husband died but cannot afford it anymore. A 90-year old man who is half blind but knows all the ways he needs for his daily life by heart. A couple married for 60 years and rooted exactly where they live. There is a saying that you cannot plug a tree out of the soil and plant it somewhere else, the same counts for many of the elder. It breaks my heart if I see them shattered because they don’t know where their life will go on. I even forget about all the young ones (us included) because we could make it anywhere, still.

Munich has a history, like every other city, there are biographies of people who lived here and brought something with them. There are statues all over the city and every single one of them tells a story. We will not write further history like this. A city lives through the personalities and if these are all forced to move outside the city spirit will slowly disappear.

Every even little personality surely was not rich and famous by the time they left their footprint in the heart of this city. Some where, some were not, it has always been a good mixture and that is how it should be.

Greedy is the new normal especially when it comes to living spaces within a city. Who has the newest building, who has the best view, who is in the most expensive area,… Shouldn’t it be: who can help neighbours when needed, who can support the homeless, who smiles at strangers because life is a wonderful thing?

Instead of greed let happiness rule because it doubles if you share – at the end of the day that counts more than the number on your bank account, does it not?

The first weeks of 2013

The first weeks of 2013Just around two weeks have passed in 2013 and it feels like months already. I’m quicker back in my working routine than I thought. Where is the relaxation from before? Gone almost in the second I turned my computer on and checked the first emails. As I wrote in one of my earlier posts, I have no New Years resolutions but there’s one point I honestly have to think about. Either how I regain the motivation for my current job or how to change my life in regards to work to be motivated again, maybe another job in a different area. Let’s see what this year may bring.
It’s less than one month left until my parents celebrate their 60st and 66th birthday and if all goes as planned, my fiancé and me will be there together. At least my parents are prepared when it comes to food as I was the halal meat deliverer. We have a good halal butcher here in Munich and I carried eight kilogram of meat to them last time to put it in the freezer.
The January itself is not really exciting up to now. Besides working I meet from time to time my neighbor for coffee or tea, or for exchanging food. We made almost a habit out of cooking for the two of us, one day it’s her turn, the next mine, so that we have days off cooking and also get to know more recipes. As the weather is more than awful I spend most of my time in the flat. Even the newspapers were writing about the “depressive” weather, the last sunshine was visible in December, since then it’s only cloudy, rainy and grey sky. I’m definitely not a winter person and can’t wait for the first spring days.
The only good thing about this is that I have lots of time to read and watch the movies I wanted to watch and of course to update my blog! I’m in the process of collecting ideas and topics to write about and if someone would pay me for doing it I would say in the second yes and make it my daily job. This is more interesting and fascinating as I discover so many things I want to know more about. But for the time being this is just a dream.
My colleague told me one be careful what you wish for as it sometimes can come true. So I try to wish more, maybe I’m lucky – haha.
Never loose the faith!

Lonely in my flat

Lonely in my flatAfter my fiancé returned to Libya it was really strange. We were often outside for the already written about family visits and stuff like that but what we did is, that we did everything together!
The last weeks together in Munich we were painting my living room and made it more cosy for the two of us to enjoy every minute. My flat is now our flat, I emptied one wardrobe for his clothes and his shoes have a place next to mine at the front door. The couch area has lots of pillows on the floor which we bought together as well as two small tables where we sat on the floor to watch movies, listening to music and having tea or coffee. A bit of an Arabic style which I love so much.
When I returned from the airport it was a bit mean as there are so many memories in the flat. Not mean in a negative way because I love to have him around even if he is not here physically but mean when it comes to things like stepping inside and looking at his shoes. It gives the feeling of he is still around but he is not sitting in the living room.
Strange for me as I was so used to live alone after so many years and now it feels so wrong. From time to time I’m opening his wardrobe to smell him and after a few days I put his bathroom stuff out of the closet and put it next to mine in front of the mirror. I want to have him around me whatever I’m doing. Maybe that’s childish behavior but who’s making the rules? I feel better and so it is right for me.
In the end it’s just a matter of time until we are together again enjoying all this. He flew back beginning of December and probably will be back from work and back in Germany beginning/mid of February. I just have to go past the Xmas period and as I will spent this time with my family time will run, what’s left then is the nice month of cold, grey January and we are back together. Until then we bother Skype daily if possible and raise the missing. And to be honest, missing is something which is keeping a relationship more than alive. I don’t say that I want it for the rest of my life but for the time being we have no other choice and are making the best of it.
What is more romantic than waiting at the airport looking at each person coming out at the arrival gate until a bright smile covers your face when you finally see the one you were looking for. This is a scene replayed in so many movies – we are living our own movie.
Faith is keeping us moving on!

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Xmas with the family

Xmas with the family

This year (or to be correct, last years – 2012) I spent Xmas again with my family. The last years we hadn’t had a Xmas only with our inner circle family which means mum, dad, my sister and me. Sometimes it was me and my parents when my sister was with her boyfriend, or it was my sister and my parents while I stayed in Munich. This year all were happy to be together again. For me it was also a time to get some rest while doing nothing. Doing nothing is something I’m absolutely bad at. As long as I’m home I will find something which has to be done instead of just snuggling up on the couch and read a book or watch a movie. This is different at my parents as I don’t have to clean the house or do the washing. I was already looking forward to watch all the Xmas fairy tales on TV, feeling like a child again, no problems, no tasks.
It turned out that I really had a few relaxing days. There was lots of family gathering with aunts and uncles and their families but no stress during my stay. A bit of shopping, coffee with old friends, delicious food and lots of sleep.
Our Xmas tree was a cute small one this year and on twenty fourth we celebrated in the typical German way with potato salad and sausage in the evening, unwrapping the presents and family games for the rest of the evening. This year it was “rummikub” and I’m really keen to win those games. I started good but was the loser in the end – haha. But a saying here says if you aren’t lucky in gambling you are lucky with love. Keeping my love is worth losing the games!
On twenty fifth the traditional Xmas goose was prepared for lunch. If you never tried a goose you miss something, it’s so lovely!
And the last official Xmas day, the twenty sixth, which is also the birthday of one of my aunts we stayed in her house for birthday cake and coffee in the afternoon. All my cousins around and lots of chatting and laughing.
For New Year’s Eve I planned nothing, I just stayed at my friend and we had a nice dinner, lots of talking and TV and watched the fireworks from her balcony.
But like always, as soon as you feel a bit relaxed and would like to relax a bit more it’s time to get back to work. The same for me, directly on the first of January I had to drive back home to start working the next day.
The good thing about it is, that it was only one more month left until I can close my arms around my fiancé again, inshallah. As he told me before, the time will pass quickly.
I hope all of you had a nice holiday and a happy start in 2013.
I have no New Years resolutions but hopefully this year will be exciting with all our plans ahead.
Faithfully, Miss Faith!

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Finding halal restaurants

Finding halal restaurantsIt’s interesting about what you have to think if bonded to a Muslim.
I have no problems with all this at all and was buying halal meat in a really good shop here in Munich. For the home cooking I had no problems at all as I do lots of stuff with vegetable ingredients. For example sauces or soups where many use chicken stock or beef stock I always just used the vegetable stock. Gelatin if used from time to time can quickly be replaced by agar-agar, I quickly adapted to this and it’s not totally new as I also have Muslim friends. Alcohol is rarely found in my flat and I don’t remember to have used it ever for cooking. But what was new is to find a halal restaurant for kind of romantic candle light dinner or just a nice evening eating outside. I’m not talking about Turkish kebab which is found at every second corner, I mean a real restaurant with a menue containing starters, second courses if wanted, main dishes and desserts.
My fiancé is really easy when it comes to food and loves fish and seafood, which is ok in every restaurant, but from time to time a real piece of meat is nothing he would deny.
We agreed on eating out on my birthday and I started to search the web for halal restaurants.
Not as easy as I thought in a city which calls herself multicultural. I found a few and when checking the recommendations or websites most of them went off the list. One was left over which didn’t sound too bad and we made a reservation.
Persian food, lots of grilled meat, a surrounding which was really lovely, the only thing was that every piece of meat had the taste of lamb, even the chicken. People who like lamb won’t have a problem but guess who doesn’t like lamb at all? Me!
What a dinner…I extra ordered chicken and minced meat which should have been beef but after I had the first spoon in my mouth I stumbled. The dishes were full and there was lots of rice but what do you think the rice tasted like? Again lamb! I never experienced something like this before. The big salad I had as starter and the freshly baked bread fortunately didn’t left me starving but I was honestly disappointed. My fiancé order the biggest grilled meat dish they had and was fine, although he also told me that it was good but not something where he would jump up because it was the best ever he ate.
Nevertheless, until we find another one which is worth giving it a try we may go there again. I can order vegetarian food to be sure having no lamb anywhere.
If anyone knows good halal restaurants in Munich please let me know! I’m happy to try more.
Regards from Miss Faith

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                                      Amazon.de Widgets

What else happened during the past weeks?

What else happened during the past weeks?

There is so much to write about from the past weeks besides the engagement, the family visits and our islamic wedding that I don’t even know where to start.
Shortly after my love arrived from Libya he proposed to me and made me the happiest person ever. But after a proposal the planning starts and this is honestly not that easy. Two cultures, two countries, Europe and North Africa, Christian and Muslim, woohoo, lots to keep in mind and focus on. But some wise man one day said ‘love can handle everything’ so here we go on our journey to be finally husband and wife. For the legal part the first step was to ask just for informations about a wedding in Germany. To make it easy we choose the registry office in my birth town. It’s a small city and you don’t have to wait ages until they have a date for you but it quickly turned out that we have to check it in Munich as I’m officially registered there. The first sentence almost before the woman working there said hallo was – you have to pay before we start to review the fact sheet for a binational wedding. What a start, the first money already spent before we know anything. Next was that she was approaching my fiancé in German. And what a surprise, his German is not enough to consent to anything legal so even if he’s speaking clearly English and also is trusting my translations we have to bring a certified translator when we want to apply for the wedding. As if that’s not enough we got a full list of documents he has to bring translated and certified in Germany! It is not sufficient if the translation and certification was done in Libya and the German embassy there, no, we have to authorize a German agency. Sure we have because it is more expensive to do it here and my feeling is that the registry office is supporting local agencies but that’s just my thinking…
If we have all documents in place and applied for the wedding the documents will be checked at several departments. This hopefully won’t take too long as most documents will expire after six months, they cannot be older than that, otherwise we have to arrange again the whole paper stuff. If they agree within these 6 months, then the registry office in Munich will send everything to the small registry office of my home town and we can schedule a date with them.
This would be perfect as it is smaller, more intimate, located in a small park instead of a grey building and most important, we would have our families around. Belgium is not too far away from my parents, so his uncle could be there as well as my family.
Let’s keep our fingers crossed that it will work without major problems and we soon are also legally husband and wife!
Keep the faith and never lose hope!

Buying engagement rings

Buying engagement rings

Sealing the bond of life or at least entering the stage of planning it with an engagement is great!
If you ever have the feeling you found your soulmate, your second half, the one who’s fitting, who’s giving you the feeling of being the most precious person on earth, who’s loving you just the way you are, and if this person is asking you to marry him/her, do yourself a favor and say yes.
Beyond what you can imagine is the love which is growing in the second even if you would have thought before it can’t get more.
Being engaged is great, I love it and I’m proudly wearing my ring so that everyone can see I belong to someone special!
But buying rings was not as easy as I thought before. Sure, as a woman I had a picture in my mind of how it should look like but also a limit in regards to the price.
Tiffany has great stuff if you robbed a bank before but there must be something similar which is affordable without committing a crime.
I started to ask google because in the pre-Christmas season it’s not much fun to go window shopping in Munich. You cannot walk, you will be pushed in directions you never wanted by the crowd of people running for Christmas presents. The other thing was that we wanted to have as much quiet time for ourselves as possible for the duration of my fiancé’s stay in Germany. But what google has shown me was awful, trashy, glittery, immature, ugly, too kittenish or girlish.
I don’t want to wear a ring with hearts on it and colored imitation diamonds. Maybe a twelve year old is dreaming about it but not me as a grown woman. The next was that if they looked acceptable the only difference between the man and the woman was a small “stone” on the woman’s ring but I don’t want a male shape for mine neither a female shape for my fiancé’s ring. Maybe I have to clarify one thing, normally the engagement ring will be switched on the wedding day from the left hand to the right hand or as in Libya the other way round, from the right hand to the left hand. In our case we decided to have an engagement ring AND an extra wedding ring. The wedding ring can be pure with just a little stone but for the engagement I wanted something special.
Means I had to forget the pair couple offers. You will not find a pair where the ring for the woman has a special shape or form, they are all similar.
Fortunately my fiancé was already aware that I’m not the crowd follower, I wanted something unique and different. And who is making the rules? We, as I don’t want to be told by others what and where I have to wear a ring.
After I disagreed on almost all rings I found on the web we went to a tiny small jewellery shop and decided to buy silver rings, but not to choose them because the fit together, instead to choose what we like and what we want to wear.
Our rings are beautiful, for us, and we know what they mean to us, even if they may not fit together in someone’s opinion, we don’t care!
The most important thing is that we love them, gave them their meaning and are wearing them proudly.
They have names inside and the engagement date so they will always reflect this special day for us.
Keep the faith, once again, you can only be happy if you are doing what you like instead of pleasing others.

My favorite…body oil

My favorite…body oil

When I went to Parrot Cay back in 2008 we stayed at the Como Shambhala Resort on this island and that was the first time I got into contact with their own beauty series.
Besides the fact that I like almost all products my absolutely favorite is the “Como Shambhala Invigorate Body Oil”.
The scent is seducing, it’s a mixture of several essential oils, biological ingredients and it is smelling like a spa version of mainly lavender, sweet almond, peppermint and eucalyptus.
When the bottle was empty I was searching on how to buy it being back in Germany. As a shipment from the Turks and Caicos islands wasn’t my first thought. It’s not too cheap and I didn’t want to pay a fortune on it. Google helped and I haven’t expected that there is really a shop in Munich selling it. Lucky me! I don’t use it daily, it is something special and thats how I treat it. A 100ml bottle is lasting several months, sometimes I just pour a few drops into my body lotion which is neutral, this is a nice way to save it for a longer period.
But for all who want to try it also, my best tip is the following webpage: http://www.cultbeauty.co.uk/
This page is addictive as you find products there which are not available everywhere and this is something I like.
They don’t sell the body but the massage oil which is even better (ingredients are exactly the same). I just rub a bit onto my skin and the scent is surrounding you within seconds. For me always a short time-out and also nice to calm down before I sleep. I love this scent!

City or countryside?

City or countryside?
I will turn thirty-five in November and luckily met a man who’s thinking in the same direction as me about life.
I have a small flat in the middle of the city.
Perfect if you wanna have the complete city feeling. Cafés and restaurants are just around the corner as well as supermarkets and the green stripe of the river where you have the feeling to be in nature.
That was exactly what I ever wanted when I moved to this place.
My area has grown during the past years and is nowadays one of the hip places to live in Munich.
But why am I not satisfied anymore?
It’s not that I don’t like my flat, it’s still my home, my place where I’m feeling so comfortable but I’m starting more and more to miss the silence.
Not silence like taking earplugs and shut down the world around you.
No, silence like hearing no cars outside twenty-four hours, like not closing the window just to hear what they say on TV, like being outside and having only birds and bees and wind around you which makes sounds while hitting a tree.
A place to step out of the door and being in peace.
A place to slow down and also a place where you can imagine to raise up a child freely.
Am I getting old or is it just the normal way to settle down at a certain age?
On the other hand I will not completely loose the comfort a city has.
A wide spread variety of different restaurants, we have almost each country here and it’s always exciting to try some unknown food.
Shopping is also so easily done as you will find everything you can think of.
Meeting friends in a café especially in summer is awesome. Sitting outside and just watching the busy people around you is something I like so much.
But would I like it if I always see the same persons like in a small village?
For sure not because this was one of million reasons why I moved.
You have to decide what you want…
I want a quiet place with a small garden and nature around me but it should only take me no more than fifteen minutes to be in the middle of the city.
Also important is that it’s near to an airport as we will need in more often in future.
I need it from time to time as I’m not traveling too much nowadays but my future husband will not move completely to Germany.
He has his job which he likes so much and we may be able to start our life together in 4-5 week rhythms.
So what to look for?
I’m a person who always wants to plan and organize and know where to be when. But that’s not what life’s about.
Perfect would be a small house around Munich where we live and raise our children one day?
No, because where is the father – just there every four weeks?
Perfect would be a house in Libya?
No, as I haven’t been there up to now and I cannot imagine something I never saw.
Perfect would be moving to a country we both can imagine like UK?
No, as we don’t know how it work out with our jobs.
Too many No’s at the moment but where we have a big YES is the question if we want to travel the path of our life together and wherever it will lead us, we will make it hopefully or how libyans say, inshallah.
Keep the faith!
Countryside

What is high society about?

What is high society about?

Fame and fortune, money and sex, drugs and Rock’n’Roll, many think these are the key words for high society.
I see it differently and say it is superficiality.
 
Superficiality?!?
My impression and experience are saying definitely YES.
I had a very bad year in Munich.
(Ok, it were two but the second was a hard way back to myself, that’s another story.)
 
The first year had the overall theme “how to distract myself from the messy life I’m leading”.
 
A relationship where I wasn’t sure if it’s better to stay or to leave.
In order not to think too much about it I was putting myself in a surrounding of ‘so-called’ friends.
Friends who are always happy and smiling and who have no problems at all in their entire life.
 

The first superficial sign!

 
Any human being around the globe has good and not so good or sometimes really bad days. The ones who are hiding who they really are behind a certainly bleached smile are the persons I am writing about.
 
Of course I can only write about my experience. This is no social report about people in Munich, but I think you can find this phenomenon everywhere.
 
As long as you meet these society’s expectations you are very welcome on each and every occasion.
 

What means meeting expectations?

 
They want you to be perfect.
Perfectly dressed, stylish, educated, on the top of actual discussion topics, intelligent, always in a good mood, funny, slightly sarcastic, successful in your business (even better if it’s your own business), interested, and that is how the list goes on and on.
You should have, or at least pretend to have, the money to live an above average standard.
 
Adapt to these expectations is much easier for women, you only pay the drinks once and show that you could afford it and from there on it is definitely a self runner.
You will be invited most of the times – the only money you need is for the taxi back home (if you want to go home alone). It is not that you are invited by men who expect something in return, it is more that you become part of this society. Several persons just book half restaurants to celebrate something and you are invited. As soon as the “group leaders” know your name you’ll find yourself on guest lists for events, openings, charity concerts and more.
 

That sounds awesome, does it? But believe me, it isn’t!

 
I have to admit that I really had lots of fun in the beginning – me, grown up in a small village, in the society of “top” people, which are all successful in what they do and the world is just so easy. Just enjoy life to the fullest.
The dark site of this game is quicker there than you think.
All these people live something which they a.) cannot afford or b.) is a fake or (and this is the biggest mistake) c.) they think life is all about.
 
It’s a big society of pretenders.
They are all artists, singers, actors, high society ladies and so on but at the end of the day they are all poor human beings with low self esteem, lonely and without friends – until the next event starts.
They’re also not successful, the really successful people will not show up there because they know the game.
If you enter the community you will be pulled into it which isn’t good.
Fake Persons

Leaving this part of my life behind…

  I realized after a few weeks that you see the same faces, each and everywhere; why? Because they have no personal life and no real sense in their being. I intended to live this lifestyle because I was also running. Running away from myself, from lonely nights, from decisions which were long overdue and which I wanted to avoid. The difference is that most of these people, these always seen faces, lead their life in this way since years, sometimes more than decades.   I saw them all, if you start to look behind the scenes you’ll find the actor who has no engagements anymore, who drinks at night to survive the dark and lonely nights.   Or the old rockstar, who once was great, who was successful with his band for a year or two and who is still not accepting that his life is not the rockstar life anymore, and it will not return just because he dresses like one with over sixty.   The model from the seventies thinks she is not getting older because of botox and beauty surgeries.   If the curtains fall, then piece by piece you will find yourself in the middle of the rocky horror “people” show.

Is this what I wanted? NO

My decision was clear, leaving this life behind and face why I turned towards it. Facing the mess my life has been at this stage was the hard way. Running away is much easier, or better said, it seems much easier. Running isn’t easy too, maybe it is the sad way because this life is so unreal until they awake, if they wake up at all, and for some it will be too late by then. My hard way was the way to get back on my path, to find my values, what do I expect from myself and how do I wanna live.   A journey which is never ending and where you can never say I reached the goal until you die but at least I’m on the way to the right direction. But this is another topic, another idea for the next post maybe…

One book recommendation would be “An Elegant Madness: High Society in Regency England”. Enjoy