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Thirteen boxes and three bags: Summer begins with a move to Munich

I learned that moving box is not moving box. Here is video proof of moving box engineering.

The last weeks I’ve been pretty quiet on the blog. The simple reason is that I had lots of people coming over. The tallest of my friends made the beginning, then I hosted my brother for the first time in Italy (and my Mum for the third). My best friends reached me mid June and last weekend I gave a highlights tour through the North of Italy to a friend from Rotterdam’s PhD program, his wife, and their little baby boy.

Bare with me. Gadget- and sports-related content is coming up next. In May, I attended three stages of the Giro d’Italia. There’ll be a post and a video on that. I have a post in the pipeline on my long-term experiences with using the Garmin FR 935 as a bike computer. Speaking of which: it’s almost Eurobike and there are lots of new head-units approaching the market. I still want to convince you that OruxMaps is an awesome and free alternative to all these head-units.

Yet it will still take a week before some meaningful content gets back out there. Reason being that I’ll be involved in a move across the Alps. So far, I’ve only been involved in moves that crossed them North-to-South, but this time it’s a move that departs in Milan and ends in Munich. Not a major distance. Should be done in a day. If everything fits.

Who moves

It happens to be my own move.

I’ve never lived in Munich and I haven’t lived in Germany for some time. But Summers in Milan are hot and not very social. Everyone leaves the city. The last two Summers, I stood behind. Now, this year, I make use of an easy opportunity to escape the heat myself. Though I’ll miss the granita.

Turns out my best friend has a room free since his flatmate moved out and moved in with the girlfriend. It’s a simple room somewhere at the East of Munich. I take it as a welcome opportunity to catch up with some German folks. (Too bad we’re out of the World Cup – I’ve missed the public viewing tradition by two days.) Also, I’ve been swimming in all the big lakes of Lombardy this Spring. (Post on the best swim spots coming up soon as well.) I haven’t really tried many of those in Bavaria. I’ve cycled up and down Lombardy’s mountains. I know too little about the mountains of Bavaria.

On top of that, it’s an exercise in bringing my productivity forward. Summers are a good time to be doing research. Especially this Summer will be. There’s no teaching anymore and – for the first time in years – there won’t be in September. There’s just me and my papers. Mostly me and one of them.

So, I’ve packed up all my belongings. I remember that I had hired a full truck when I moved to Rotterdam. I was shocked that I almost filled it only with the content of a 40 square meter apartment. Furniture takes space. There’s no furniture anymore to take somewhere and after several moves within Rotterdam and from Rotterdam to Italy, there’s not much else left. I have two boxes for the kitchen and bathroom, three for books, two for tools, and three for bike stuff and three for random things. And then three bags with clothing. (One of them is dedicated to sports clothing. It appears I have almost more of that than of regular clothing.) Plus a TV and a screen and a lamp and two bikes.

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Who doesn’t move

There’s more to the story. You know, this blog ain’t a manga. About a year ago I started writing a blog again and then I explained that the blog’s name was a hint that the girl and I gave to our apartment. Because it was a German and an Italian living together and we had a huge burst in creativity when we came up with it.

The girl regularly featured here and there when I wrote about our trips. Oh, I even wrote about another move that I made when we opened a spin-off in Bozen that she needed for work. She then still spent much of her time in Milan, but Bozen provided me with an awesome retreat in Winter. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but recently the girl didn’t feature anymore at all. And Gertaly is now a fusion label for my own life between my German upbringing and my residency in Italy, but not anymore for our residence.

We’re still sharing moments of life together. For instance, we also met up when my best friends were here and we co-hostethe d baby boy and his parents. We’re great friends now. Pretty much like Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow. Kudos to them. I think they are setting a great example and I’m highly motivated to join their approach. I mean: we shared six years and nobody abused or cheated on the other person; why should we pretend to hate each other just because we realize we don’t work as a couple anymore? I’m very satisfied that we managed to maintain a connection even though at some point early in 2018 we figured that we should re-define what our connection is – and that it’s probably not a relationship anymore.

I didn’t think it was wise to make a big announcement back in the day. I’ve made small announcements to friends here and there. Now, as I’m moving to Munich for the Summer, I think it’s fair to just casually mention it and not leave you wonder as to why I move around without the girl.

And why I take thirteen boxes and three bags with me. It’s just more affordable then to keep renting the short-term expat apartment in which I had stayed the past months, when there’s nothing to do for me at Bocconi anymore this semester. Well, almost nothing to do.. I have to be back for some master thesis defense. Which happens to be around my birthday, so I make a hiking trip out of it and gift it to my Mum, who will also gift it to me – and everybody is happy.

It was a cute place, however. A bit noisy only. On Thursday mornings especially, when the garbage truck picks up bottles at 6:00, 6:20, 6:32, and 6:41.

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Italian/American vs. German/Dutch moving boxes and IKEA as a life saver

At this point then, excuse me but I have to leave. It turns out that the moving boxes which I originally purchased are a bit different from those which I’m used to from home. Here’s a video of how they look like in Germany and Holland.

Here in Italy, all hardware stores sell a slightly different version which looks like this.

I hate those. That’s technologies from the 1950s. Apparently, they are the dominant model also in the United States. Fun fact: also supermarket self-scan checkouts in Italy follow an inferior American example rather than, for instance, the common and neat Dutch solution. But here’s why I hate those.

First, I didn’t have tape and needed to buy it. Second, it’s a huge waste of tape. Third, they are never going to be as strong in carrying heavier items, because it’s just tape. Fourth, they don’t close well without even more tape. Fifth, once you’ve closed them, you can’t re-open them and re-allocate items across boxes, because they are taped.

However, I’ve figured that IKEA sells that improved model, and as I might be two boxes short anyways, I’ll just head out quickly and buy a couple of those. This is an advice to all Italians: Buy Jättene.

Wrapping the packing

Then tomorrow, I’ll go on a road trip. I’ll take a break in Bozen to get some goodies from Südtirol, and after a total travelling time of six hours I’ll reach Munich. On Saturday, I head back to Riva del Garda, where I’ll rent an e-bike on Sunday. Then I return to Milan to return the car and checkout of the apartment and on Monday afternoon this move completes with a simple flight. Quite some logistics, as always. My best friend happens to be a logistics engineer. Hope he’s proud of his new roomie.

In any case: next time a blog post goes life, it will be from Bavaria. Get ready for Kaiserschmarrn.

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