5 Major Adjustments When Moving From Asia to Berlin

It’s been two months (!!) since we moved to Berlin and I thought I’d share an update on how it’s been. We’re slowly settling in and getting to know the city. So far so good! But I thought I’d share with you some adjustments we had to face when we first arrived.

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No complaints in being this city since I’m now really enjoying it. However, I want to share some realities with you in case you’re thinking of moving here or to some other city in Europe as some bits may be applicable. Just to avoid a teeny bit of shock and hopefully, help you adjust faster. 😉

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Random Thoughts and Happenings 2

Things that have been happening lately compiled into one blog post. Get ready for the word vomit! 😉

Home Alone

The husband is off to another work trip and this time, he’s going to Davao, in the Philippines for a couple of days. I’ve always been an independent person but I don’t think I will ever be used to him going on work trips and being gone for days. Knowing that he won’t be coming home for lunch and at around 7pm (yes, the people at the Philippine Embassy in KL work long hours) feels weird for me.

Also, I do tend to worry and I’m not that used to sleeping alone anymore. The teddy bears on our bed are actually there for a reason, you guys. 😉

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Adjustments

Now I don’t really remember anyone saying that moving to a different country and starting a new life (read: from scratch) was easy. That’s because though it’s fun and exciting, it’s no walk in the park.

It’s been 13 days since we arrived in KL. We have finally moved into our new apartment – a two bedroom, three bathroom unit with its own storage room. It’s huge for just Alvin and I and I feel like it’s empty most of the time. And that’s because it is still quite that – empty. We’re taking it slow when it comes to buying furniture as we want the condo to look exactly the way we’ve been planning without breaking the bank.

So far, we’ve purchased the essentials and we’re predicting my decorating plans will take about 3 months to fully materialise. Let’s all keep our fingers crossed that I stick to my deadline and that I am able to have everything running by then as guests ranging from family and friends will be arriving in just a couple of months.

We were told by most of the people from the Embassy that KL is a post where you would definitely be getting lots of visitors due to its proximity to Manila. No complaints there, I say. As most of my friends and our family (even the ones in the Western part of the world) are already making plans to come over and it would be nice to show them around.

Speaking of visitors, the Ambassador recently hosted the son of one of the DFA Undersecretaries who was on a short trip to KL with his friend. We had dinner with them that night and shared lots of great stories over food. I had the pleasure of getting to know the Undersecretary back when I was part of the media, covering the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) back home. The Undersecretary’s son is fun and smart – just like his dad. My husband and I had fun pointing out their similarities as he seemed like the exact (only younger) replica of his father.

Had a great time last night due to awesome food and even better company. Thank you, Amb. Malaya! 🙂 #twitter

A post shared by Carol Ramoran Hamilton-Malasig (@carolific) on

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Hello from Kuala Lumpur!

Hello from Kuala Lumpur!

We arrived in Malaysia on Wednesday afternoon and I am loving Kuala Lumpur so far!

We’ve only been here for over 24 hours and we’ve already reserved a condominium unit where we’ll be staying for the next couple of years – all thanks to Alvin’s new colleagues at the Embassy. They’re all so nice and welcoming which basically completes the package. We’ve been discussing how lucky he is to be selected for this post (and his first posting at that!) as it’s one of the Philippines’ most important. The relations are multi-faceted, our Ambassador is a very intelligent and hardworking man, the city is beautiful, everything here is just so convenient, and the cost of living is actually lower than other posts.

So basically, he will be learning a lot from his new boss and colleagues while enjoying the perks the city has to offer. He will be very busy though because he will be swinging between the embassy’s political and economic sections, handling important issues. But that only makes him more excited due to all the things he will learn and the training he will undergo by working with some of our country’s top diplomats. I’m so happy for him!

As for me, I’ll be very busy in the coming days, making our place liveable. This weekend, we’ll be going out to buy our first batch of furniture. We’ll be renting an unfurnished apartment so I will be able to go crazy on furniture and decor shopping.

To be honest, prior to our move to KL, I have already set my sights on a couple of prints we’ll be hanging in the living room. I saw the prints online, fell in love with them, and was just too happy when I found out that the shop that makes them is right here in KL. I don’t need to have them shipped anymore, costing me less money! Yay! We even received beautiful photographs from a friend’s photographer boyfriend which I will have framed in the coming days – I will be using them to decorate the guest’s room and dining area. I’m just too excited that I’m already blabbing about my domesticated plans.

Kuala Lumpur’s City Centre is basically a huge shopping complex. Not really a shopaholic but it’s nice to know that they have 3 major sales here annually where malls go crazy when it comes to dropping their prices. The next one is this July and I’m already seeing signs that say “Sale”. Great! Just in time for our furniture buying spree! I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled and my fingers crossed for beautiful, discounted pieces. 😀

But first things first. We’ll have to submit papers, photos and other requirements for the stay, open bank accounts, get local phone connections – and do other errands that will make living here in KL official. Everybody at the embassy’s been so helpful, Rommel from the political section and his wife Grace who works at the cultural section even showed us around a bit today. We all had lunch at Din Tai Fung and Pavilion where I over-ate and then we had dinner at one of Alvin’s bosses’ house – Ms. Tonette. KL is like food heaven and we are being fed like crazy (Filipinos bond over food!) so I really need to find a yoga studio soon or start running at KLCC park as soon as our running shoes get unpacked.

More later,
Carol

The First of Many

Why hello there. 

This blog which has been existing for quite a few years now was happily rotting away with thoughts of my 18 year old self. I decided it was time to do some spring cleaning and revive this blog – from scratch, however.

It’s 2014 and so much has changed. I believe that the past two years were the most life-changing for me. I even got married in October 2013 and it feels like I, together with my husband, are re-starting our whole lives. This time, with each other. It’s the start of a beautiful adventure. So I guess now’s the time to start anew and create something that should be more mature and lasting. Something that I can use as a small space to keep some memories as we move around different cities.

Here’s to a wonderful year (and many many more) ahead. I’m excited.