Deepa took some really nice photos when she visited our empty flat in Berlin. It really captures that moment right before or after a move where it always feels like we are camping. We lived in an Altbau that had really high ceilings. It’s my favorite home so far, despite the weird little things like the little room on top of one of the bathrooms and 3 doorways coming out of our bedroom.
Old building completed before a certain date, usually more than 100 years old. “They live in an Altbau.”
I was honestly a bit embarassed by it, but I’m glad that we were able to capture this moment, because it shows that a diplomat’s life is not just parties and being fabulous. There are real people with real struggles of moving on a budget.
Below for example we were sleeping on mattresses and a rug that we purchased from IKE, while we were waiting for the actual bed to be delivered. It took about 2 weeks for IKEA to deliver our bed.
Before we were able to go to IKEA a fellow diplomat lent us 2 duvets and some pillows that we could sleep on, on the floor. I am not embarrassed to share this because this is part of the realities of our nomadic life.
The emptiness of our flat is good to remember because it is also a testament to the effort we make to create homes and spaces that we love, no matter where we are posted.
One of the most amazing features of our new home was the gold hardware details and the clawfoot bathtub in our master’s bedroom. It was also a little strange that there was a door going to stairs that were going to the courtyard. We just never opened it.
Most of the apartments we saw in Berlin were going to be quite costly because the owners only invested in them to rent out and did not want to spend so much. Most…
- Did not have a 2nd full bathroom.
- Did not have closets, so we would have to buy and have them installed.
- Some didn’t even have a kitchen installed. Only a room with exposed wires and plumbing that you need to install everything yourself including the sink and stoves.
So we were very lucky that the owner of this home actually lived in it. For the first time in my life, I have a walk-in closet and a kitchen island. It was really amazing and I will never forget this home.
If you would like to see the intricacies of finding a flat or home to rent in Berlin head over to:
All photos taken by Deepa Paul