We've been in Germany a week already? How is that possible?!
Or I should probably amend that to say HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE AND I HAVEN'T BLOGGED ABOUT IT?!
Quite simply my head is spinning.
And we love it here. (I can't wait to tell you why, but that's for another time.)
You can imagine what it's like organizing a life to live in another country for a year. While my husband has borne the brunt of that responsibility, there have been countless details for me to attend, too. Couple that with the emotional toll of leaving my babies for a while (though they're perfectly fine under the care of those who love them) (for those who don't know, my babies are high school/college age).
We're sponges in Germany, absorbing as much as we can; but because EVERYTHING is new, the simplest of tasks demands mental, emotional and physical energy. Like grocery shopping; the same but different. Imagine shopping where you can't read the labels and distinguish between product differences AND you don't know the numbers yet because you didn't realize how important it would be to KNOW them (banging my head against the wall for that!). Yes, many people speak at least a little English and they're very forgiving and understanding…but it's still taxing.
And frankly, intimidating.
A few notes of interest:
1) The temperature has frozen between 3-19°F since we arrived. It only sounds worse in Celsius. Though I've already expressed exuberant affection for my Eddie Bauer Red Lodge Parka, I had no idea how IMPORTANT it would be to have a good, insulated coat. Plus, it makes it even easier for Germans to spot the new American expat. As if opening my mouth weren't enough…!
2) Remember those old, grandfatherly stories "When I was your age, we walked three miles in the snow to school"? Well, God bless him, my husband is riding a bike three miles in the snow to work. I would've driven him to the entrance this morning, but the bike wouldn't fit in the car.
3) You know that thing people always say when it flurries in the South: "Southerners don't know how to drive in the snow"? It's 'cause we don't have no stinkin' snow tires! Today, one of my new German friends agreed to help me run a few errands. When she arrived, she told me I had to drive IN THE SNOW (with gas about $6/gallon, I would have happily handed over the keys to my car so she could drive it, but she wanted me to have practice)! I've never driven in the snow before, but with the right equipment – snow tires, thank you very much – it was just fine! She also mentioned I should ask my landlord if I "could shovel snow for them," something I've never done before. Based on the delicious food I'm discovering, I NEED IT TO SNOW 10 FEET meters so I can get a great organic upper body workout, right?
4) Skype and Facebook are lifelines. Technology is our Very Best Good Friend. We've seen and talked with our children, and given many family and friends virtual tours. We're living in an age where an international job assignment doesn't mean total isolation. That means a lot!
So, much more to come, and I think I'm going to handle posts chronologically and topically and use pictures as much as I can; which might mean a few short posts daily. I'll also continue to write-write…because my head and heart are full and need release.
I don't want to bore you with news of our temporary relocation, but in part my blog will be a journal for my family to follow, for me to remember…and maybe to remind all of us it's a small world after all :).