Yesterday, my Yahoo horoscope said it was a good day to face a task you didn't want to do, because it would prove easier than you thought. That was enough of a goad for me to sit down and start putting together a budget for this move. I divided it into three categories: Berlin, Trip, and Montpellier. The first is for expenses I'll incur here, the second for the forthcoming Berlin-Fes-Montpellier trip, and the third for money I'm going to have to have once I get there.
Weirdly enough, the figure I came up with is very, very encouraging. I don't have all the money yet, but I'm working on that. And it's a worst-case figure, in any event: I spent an hour the other day paging through websites dedicated to renting, very much like the one I used to find this place, and discovered that even if I have to use a real-estate agent, which, given everything, I may not have to, my total move-in would be around €2100. That's rent, security, "charges," and agent fee. I'm going to have to not only raise this by June 16, when I start looking, but I'm going to have to figure out a way to get it after I hit town. I do not want to go running around the Fes Medina with a couple thousand euros in my pocket.
Another encouraging thing was running into someone whose friends had just moved from Berlin to Brittany, and who remembered how much the moving van cost. It was far less than I'd thought: around €1500. But that brings up a question I haven't figured out yet: how much the last day costs.
Let's say I get the movers in, they empty the apartment, and now what I want is to be at the new place when they get there. How on earth am I going to do this? It's at least a 14-hour drive, and I don't want to do it alone. In fact, I can't do it alone: if I rent a car, the drop-off fee would be equivalent to actually buying one! Plus, of course, when I did drive, I took two days. That's too long a haul for me.
So what are my options? Can I ask the movers to hold off a day? Flying is prohibitively expensive, but taking the train isn't: I can start in Berlin at 8:32 and get in at 9:48 in the evening, but where do I go? To a hotel overnight? The apartment will be utterly empty, as only a European apartment, devoid of lights and everything else, can be. But I'm equally sure the movers won't move me in at ten at night.
This is where I'm stuck. As soon as I can calculate costs for the last day -- and for the movers more accurately, since I haven't actually called any yet -- I can come up with a solid figure.
I guess I should also start looking for a Nachmieter, someone to move in here, but I don't want to do that until I secure the next place, although interested parties should get in touch. With any luck, by the third week of June, this should all be worked out.
Then comes the next stage. Scary. But I think I'm up to it.