So I have a flat/suite/apartment, whatever you want to call it, on campus for next year. I’m extremely excited. And it’s basically like a loft, so it’s one bedroom. Difference is, it’s not a loft above the main area. So I suppose loft isn’t correct, but it works as an explanation. I don’t have roommates. Which will be a bit weird after 11 months of 14 roommates, but I can get used to that as well. After all, living alone is great for me. It’s quiet and I can concentrate unlike with loads of people. And the ultimate bonus for me – not having to be stuck with 1/4 of the bill for any damages done by another roommate. Because I take good care of my residence. I don’t put holes in walls, or ruin things…not at all. But other people at my uni have been known to do things like that. And if I had roommates, I get stuck paying 1/4 of (in the 4-bedroom apartment) the bill. If I was in a 2-bedroom apartment – that’s 1/2 the bill. I can’t afford to pay for someone else’s bad behavior. So this is just doubly awesome for me.
It’s small. I have a small kitchen with fridge and small stove, and I can have a microwave (not allowed in all the other buildings on campus). I’ve also got my own bathroom, so I don’t have to share. Then there’s the bed, desk, table with chairs, dresser, couch-thingy and my favorite – a bookcase. The only problem with the bookcase is the fact that I own over 500 books. So I have to choose just a tiny number to bring with me. Good thing is that I’ll be living only 20 miles from where all my stuff is stored, so I’ll still be able to go and get things, it just won’t be right at my fingertips like normal. But it is small. I think only double the size or perhaps a bit bigger than my room right here in Germany, but I don’t mind. One of my friends was shocked when I said it’ll be just under 300 sq. ft. She thought that was tiny. I had to point out that her dorm room is smaller than that, so it’s not small at all. And I’m alone, so it’s even better, because I don’t have to halve the room with anyone else and their stuff. It’s going to be fun moving in I think. I have no idea what I’m bringing with me. I’ll worry about that later though I think.
But, since I’m all alone, I can actually set up a mini-altar if I want to. That’s possibly my favorite part. Because I don’t even have to consider anymore hiding what my beliefs are. It’s going to be small and probably portable, just because my studio isn’t that big to begin with. But it’ll be nice to actually be able to have my own space and not have to worry about it. Or be told that I’m “going through a phase”. Well, I’ll still hear that from my family, but since it’s my space, there’s not a whole lot they can do about any of it. I have a few small figurines, stones, and other things that I know for sure I’ll have with me there. Perhaps less witchy in nature, but very important are two things I’ve gotten here in Germany, and 1 thing that my grandma bought me for my 16th birthday.
- First one is the matryoshka set I bought in Strasbourg, France. Strasbourg is a really fascinating city. But…I went to their Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas Market) and I happened across a woman selling these. She’s said that all the sets she sells are handmade in Russia. I’ll agree with that. Even if they aren’t, it’s still gorgeous. See, I’ve wanted a real set of these since I was like 6, the first time I ever saw photos of matryoshka. Of course, I’m sure my obsession is also because I just find Russian culture fascinating. But…I love this set and it’s just nice. So it’s definitely going to be coming with me to my new home. Also, it’s bright, colorful, and I figure, I’m allowed to have whatever I want. The matryoshka is also just something that I enjoy having. And it’ll make my studio feel more like home to me. That’s the main reason I’m going to have these here with me. I bought another set as well, smaller, but that one isn’t quite as nice. I still like it, but this one is the set I’ll use for display and decoration, just because it’s bigger and more brightly painted. I love both sets, but I think that unless I have more room for displaying my things than I’m assuming, I’ll have to choose only one. If I can display both, then I’m doing that.
- Second, I have this wooden egg that I bought also in Strasbourg, except this was back in September.
The store I bought this in was a really cute little store off one of the main roads near the Münster (cathedral). Actually, I found it totally by accident while wandering around with another one of the kids in the program. I’m sure he thought I was a nut-job, but that’s okay. I mean, he did flat tell me that he’d never seen anyone take nearly as many photos as I did. And then, my strangely broad knowledge of Russian history he said was unusual. But oh well. This store was filled with really beautiful things. They had matryoshka sets, but the smallest ones, the same size as the set I bought at the Weihnachtsmarkt, were 100 Euro. Unfortunately, I certainly didn’t have that kind of money to spend. But then I saw this set of 2 little eggs. I could only buy 1 of them, but they were of 2 different cities. One was St. Petersburg. The other, this one, was Moscow. It’s got the Kremlin painted onto it, in case that’s not obvious. It also has, off to the side, St. Basil’s Cathedral. Really gorgeous, tiny work, absolutely stunning. I got this one because I’ve wanted to see Moscow longer than St. Petersburg. Also, the Kremlin and St. Basil’s Cathedral are my 2 favorite things I want to see in Russia. I still want to see lots of stuff in St. Petersburg, but I had to choose just one. But in any case, this is amazing work. Seeing it in person is just insane. I mean…it’s really difficult to even see how amazing it is here.
This is going with me though, because it’s pretty. Also, I suppose it’s a bit of a reminder for me about dreams. Because I seriously am planning my trip to Russia (hopefully in 2 or 3 years), and this is a way to keep dreaming. After all, reminders are always good. And this one is just absolutely stunning. My only problem is that I know what this art is called (the painted wood eggs), but I can’t remember it. I learned it years ago from a friend who’s parents had emigrated from Russia. But I was about 8 or 9 at the time, and I can’t remember it anymore. Still, even without knowing what it’s called, it is gorgeous.
- The third thing that is an absolute must for my studio/altar is a statue. It’s a ceramic figurine from the Lomonosov company.
My grandma bought me this for my 16th birthday. Mine has a red monogram, without any other words. Which, according to all my research into Lomonosov, means that it was made during the Soviet-period. Which was amazing to learn, and I was surprised as well. My grandma bought it for me, knowing I love Russian history and culture, and that I collect absolutely everything therein related if I can. This jaguar though, I absolutely love it. I have 2 more Lomonosov figurines I’ve bought since, but that’s because they’re difficult for me to find back at home, and I’m not buying them from online unless I can be sure that it’s genuine. Because I know a few people who have bought porcelain figurines from other companies online (say like one of the reseller websites – I seriously can’t remember what the big one’s called, oh well), I mean they bought what they thought was brand X figurine from an online seller, and the figurines turned out to be fakes. I don’t want that to happen, so I like to look at them. I’m sure I could still be tricked, but I at least like to hold them before I buy them.
In any case, I love this figurine. It’s adorable, stunning…and just absolutely amazing. Plus, I kind of feel like I’m closer to home when I have it. I don’t really know why. Perhaps because my grandma’s no longer here, so it’s a way to kind of connect. In any case, I love felines, and so I’m definitely going to need feline-esque creatures on my altar. And I figure, what better place to start than this one? Because this was the first nice piece of porcelain/ceramic that I ever got to own. Not to mention, wild cats are special to me. Not sure why yet, but they always have been.
So. That’s my only concrete plan honestly. I just know these 3 things are certainties. I don’t have any of the “usual” witchy tools like athame, cauldron/chalice, wand, etc. Never been allowed to, since it’s just “a phase” to my family, so they’ve always said no. Since I lack the more traditional tools, I can be more at home with my own little things. After all, I’m not really the most traditional witch/pagan out there, and I certainly won’t be able to – living on campus – have a lot of the normal tools. So I’ll make do and enjoy myself with things that suit me better. But I think that even knowing these 3 things makes me feel better. It’s kind of more relaxing and calming to think about moving into a new space when I know what I want to bring with me. So even just a super basic idea has me calmer and more ready to move into a new place when I get back home.
All in all – I’m actually excited to move on campus.∗