Across the River Banks & Home
So, there I stood. Bags packed, passport in hand and ready to depart, or was I? I had seen this day many a time before in my mind - a fresh start was now finally at hand. I wasn’t really able to get any sleep the night before. But It was really happening, I was going to move back to Munich in Germany, from Helsinki, Finland - where I had grown up, lived, studied and worked most of my life. It wasn’t so much the travelling part that kept me awake, as I had gotten used to that over the years, but the adventure, the thought about the unknown ahead of me, like for instance my future accommodation. The only thing I literally carried with me, alongside my luggage and my back bag, was a confirmation letter from the film academy in Munich. I was finally on my way to become an actor!
Yet, I still had absolutely no idea where I was going to stay. Friends and relatives were going on about what a “nightmare” it’d be to find a place to live in in Munich. And little did I know…
At first, I didn’t really give it that much of a thought. To my mind they were simply trying to have a laugh with me, maybe keep me from going away, who knows, even trying to avoid losing a friend, a dear person and a valuable part of their daily lives. However, I started to get more restless by the day, when I finally had to concede defeat. In 3 months prior to my departure I wasn’t able to find myself a place to live in. That was odd to say the least. I had travelled to many a city before, yet never encountered that much of a difficulty in finding a proper accommodation.
The plane touched down, and for a moment, the restlessness subsided and gave way to my curiosity. Booking.com had ensured me with part-time accommodations for the next two weeks to come - at least something – and for the time being for a more or less reasonable fee. However, time was of the essence now. The Oktoberfest was at hand and prices for living spaces of any kind were just about to skyrocket from 70,00€ up to 300,00€ or more euros per night. I had to find something before that happened. I had to find work and get to settle into my new surroundings as fast as possible, or so I thought, while looking out of the window from the S-Bahn that was en route to the city I would call my home from now on.
For weeks I surfed the internet, updated my CV, and went from visiting one apartment to the next. I must have sent out more applications for apartments than I can count. Christ, I think they surpassed my job applications by far now. I was growing frustrated. 80 applications and perhaps 15 responses out of which half of them turned out to be scams. However, the city kept throwing its beauty at me on a daily basis, which luckily, made it hard to let oneself become discouraged. Perseverance and patience, I learned, are the main attributes required in order to succeed in hunting down a flat in Munich.
Nonetheless, slowly but surely, I started to run low on time and resources, becoming ever more restless. And after many a week of filing one application after another, I decided to take a break and explore what Munich had to offer me. I heard the call of nature and let myself get carried away by the beautiful river banks in the very heart of the city. I started my stroll down the Southern side of the “Englischer Garten”. I walked for hours until I arrived at the picturesque old town in Munich, at Marienplatz. I could get lost here forever, I heard my heart whisper. It was about 28 degrees Celsius and all the locals and tourists were flocking around the city fountains to cool themselves - and who could blame them, really.
However, I kept walking on, slowly distancing myself from the city center, exploring the outskirts of the city. I got into the Underground and switched to the Tram. I took the bus and exited it only, once I saw the next best grocery store and bakery right across the street. It was time to get myself something to drink and a bite to eat. After a while, I left the bakery and continued my stroll following the main road onwards, when I literally arrived at “the SPOT”. I got curious. “Serviced Apartments”, it read on the sign. At a first glance oftentimes mistaken for a coffee shop on the outside, The SPOT is a crossover between Hotel services and the autonomous flare you get from living within your own four walls. Free Wifi, a kitchenette washing room and even weekly housekeeping give you your time back to do all the things you want and need to do. However, it gets really interesting once you stay for 30 nights or longer. That is when the magic starts to happen as you meet new people and neighbors while having a smoke or morning coffee on one of the two public terraces. You cannot help but to get immersed in the very international ambience that The SPOT radiates inside out. This is not least reflected on the two friendly faces greeting you at the reception every morning - of which one is nowadays mine. Finally, I was home.
- Andreas Langegger