Friday, February 27, 2009

Moving Day

Not even two months in my Kreuzberg place, which by the way I really liked, and already I've had to move again. I would have stayed, but I'd only arranged for January and February and the guy I was subleting from moved out for good. I'm back in Prenzlauerberg which seems to be where I've lived about half of my time in Berlin, even though Graefekiez really is my Leiblingsbezirk. PZLberg is more affluent and, as such, it's easier to find sublets from Berliners who forsake the city for months at a time, particularly in the winter. Subletters can't really be choosers; we have to fill in where the demand is, often on short notice.

It's become impossible at this point to escape the fact that there's something about this that is quite simply extremely abnormal. In the last week I've been called both a nomad by a German and a culo de mal asiento by a Spanish friend, which I'd have to translate with a great deal of poetic license as having "ants in my pants". For those not fluent in English, the later is mainly used for little kids who can't sit still. There is, indeed, a certain truth to it. So, let me see, I've come up with a classification scheme:

1) Has possessions scattered around the world, in friends' and families' houses. One point each for the number of cities involved. Bonus point for more than one country. Two bonus points for more than one continent.
2) Has sold/gotten rid of cars, furniture in recent years. Three points per car and one for each room of furniture.
3) Has accomplished at least one international move in the last three years. One point per move.
4) Has cell phones from more than one country. One point per country.
5) Uses a Skype number for voice mail. One point per number. Bonus point for this number being in a different country from the cell phone(s).
6) Has at least one post office box. One point per box. Two bonus points for having never checked the box personally.
7) Has a paid storage locker in at least one country with the full intention to move back there at some point.

Let me see, with 3 continents, 4 countries, 8 cities, cell phones in two countries, a Skype number in a third, a PO box that I've never checked personally and one storage locker, I have a score of roughly five thousand out of a possible twenty. But somehow I think I prefer the term nomad to ants-in-my-pants.


Anonymous said...

Well, "culo de mal asiento" is not used for little kids in Spanish. It's more a word for grown-ups who do many different things, or/and change job or/and move to a new house in a short space of time, people who are always on the move. Hope you don't see in this colloquial expression anything contemptous or derogative!!!

Katchita said...

Not at all, I was pleased that I managed simultaneously to free associate AND poke fun at myself at the same time. I'm starting to feel like the proverbial kid who just can't sit still in class. Mine is not an easy head to live inside, but it's the only one I've got!