We’re here! We’re finally in Germany!
As you can see, Li is overwhelmed by the excitement of being in a new country. Or maybe just tired.
It’s probably that second one.
It has officially been a week – we landed last Monday, and have been settling in to the furnished apartment we were able to snag for the next six months.
When I talk to my family and friends from back home, I’ve been getting the typical questions- what are you seeing? What are you eating? How do you like it?
The first couple of questions are easy- not much more than the German countryside right now and a few military bases, and mostly food we’ve made ourselves. The last question is a bit tougher.
Because honestly? I’m not sure if I like it yet. I’m overjoyed to be back in the same house as Brisket again, but am missing my family and friends. And with working remotely, it seems like my days are a weird combination of familiar and foreign all at once. Things don’t work the way I expect them to work (wall plugs, shopping carts, our clothes washer). I can’t (yet) understand most of the everyday conversations that occur when we’re out in public (but I can at least apologize in German for not understanding!). I can only read some of the signs- and the drivers kind of scare the crap out of me (Seriously. I thought Chicago drivers were bad…they have nothing on the Germans).
But then I get an e-mail for an emergency at work, and I’m right back in the U.S. I see a family with their children and dog taking an afternoon walk, and it could be my own hometown. Li snatches a toy out of a little boy’s hand at Ikea, he starts screaming the universal toddler wail of indignity, and it’s like we’re at Ikea at home.
The first few days were a bit of blur because of the culture shock…but it’s getting better. I’m trying to pick up more German day by day- which I think will help. I have already learned about a dozen new phrases…most of which are our various washing machine functions, but if I can just incorporate them into my everyday conversations, I’ll be set.
By the way, did you know that the wool setting in German is “wolle”?