Onwards!

The list of accomplishments is growing! We have a bank account, flat, bed, washing machine, fridge (with beer in it!), internet gets connected on monday. Oh, we might even have health insurance… not sure about that one. By the end of the month our stuff from Japan should be here, and we’ll have a kitchen. It’s getting increasingly survivable.

Getting a 70kg fridge up a rickety, narrow, spiral staircase is not a great deal of fun. The German idea of delivery service is to take the goods to the first appreciable barrier, and give up. You’ve basically paid ~€50 to have a man unload a lorry. At this point you’re down to negotiating a price for the service for which you thought you’d already paid… When you’re used to Japanese levels of service, where two men will carry a fridge into your house, removing their shoes along the way, this can come as a bit of a shock. That said, once payment has been agreed, these chaps are nothing but enthusiastic in the efforts.

It doesn’t seem possible but there are still a bunch of stuff that needs doing. I’m guessing Germany is never going to run out of bureaucracy…

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10 thoughts on “Onwards!

  1. Well, you lived in Japan. I think you should be filled with knowledge of how to sneak through bureaucracy 😀

  2. The German idea of service is that the customer is mostly a disturbance hindering you to do decent work. In the case of delivery they expect you to be available 24/7 until they fulfilled their vague promise (“Wir kommen nächste Woche.)

    • the question is, what would they rather be doing?! I don’t get why they send a single man to deliver something as big as a fridge… what would they do if it was a little old lady? Seriously, this dude didn’t even attempt to take it out of the street – left it by the first step into the property.

      I get the ‘saving money / stack em high, sell em cheap’ thing… but service is service, no? no.

    • German service sounds not dissimilar to New Zealand service. Here, take the week off work and we’ll probably turn up at some point with your delivery.

  3. Yeah, the taking off of the shoes *while* carrying hundreds of pounds of stuff is a rather impressive bit. I must admit, I was surprised to see that the first time around. I wish that level of “service” would extend to melting nuke plants but perhaps that is just too much to ask.

  4. Well now. There’s a first for everything. My own experience of similar services here in London come out quite well in comparison, despite very low expectations beforehand.

    My recent renovations and house move involved a good deal of heavy-hefting by men with shoulders many times the width of my own puny examples and every time the deliveries arrived (when they said they would, incidentally), the chaps completed the job without a grumble or a stumble. None of them were native Englanders though, which may be a relevant factor.

    The carrying of replaced items out of the house was achieved slightly less artfully though. The bath, sink and dishwasher were hurled out of the first floor window. The dents they made when they hit the lawn are still there…

    • My primary mistake has been, you will no doubt be amused to hear, to be a cheap bastard. Shopping for a fridge on the internets might get you a decent price, but the payment is extracted there after at every step along the road to enjoying your first cold beer…

      Was very nearly on a plane to old London town. The passport system for us emigrates has almost ground me will to dust. Looking forward to catching up soon.

Wise words...

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