I have to tell you, first off, that Germany is a very beautiful country. It hasn't even been a full week yet and I am in love with the greenery, the quaint little villages and towns, the vineyards that line the hills and red roofs from homes that dot everything in between. The villages are small, and in most cases that we have seen, the Church Steeple is the tallest point in all of them. It's a simplicity that you don't see back in the states, and a much more casual way of living. Mixed in with the simplicity and history, you were reminded of modern times -- I am in LOVE with how Germany embraces alternate fuel sources -- wind mills & solar panel fields everywhere. It was amazing!
I have to admit that I am starting to get a little overwhelmed with all of it. Not with being here, necessarily -- we WANT to be here and wouldn't trade it for anything -- but the language barrier is a tad frustrating, and embarrassing. I have picked up a couple phrases and words here or there, and most people in our area speak English, but I hate to admit I hate asking them to so that I can understand. I will admit, there have been a couple dicey menu choices. I personally am on a mission to learn as much as I can. I feel that it will make my personal experience here that much better. We truly want the full experience in living here, which means learning the language as well. This is a large priority for me (and hopefully my husband) and I am grateful that we bought some "learning to speak German" discs before we left AND BROUGHT THEM in our suitcases! But all in all, people have been so kind to us. I think, overall. Germany has a reputation of not being very friendly. I have found that people don't smile at you when you are walking down the street, and they would rather barrel into you on the sidewalk if you don't get out of THEIR way instead of moving themselves. If you say hi, they won't say hi back when out in public. But one-on-one? Incredibly kind and helpful. At least what we have seen so far.
We are still figuring out the housing situation. Things are so up in the air, and from what we were told today, it looks like we will have no choice but to live on post. This is not our ideal situation -- again, we want the FULL experience in being here, which for us means living off-post -- but we are complete "make the best of any situation" type of people. I will drive off post every day with the kids if it means shopping on the economy, exploring, finding new parks and small cafe's to hang out in. I really cannot express how excited we are to take it all in. We want to leave here with zero regrets -- this means living as un-American as possible.