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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