July 8, 2014

Germany -- One Week

It's hard to believe that we have been here for one week already. Time really is going quick, but at the same time, feels like it is moving so slow (thank you, hotel living). M started inprocessing today, which means that work will start soon, and we can start getting on a more normal schedule. The time change has messed with everyone, the kids taking it pretty hard and Max taking it the hardest. Being in a hotel makes adjusting especially difficult, since having any sort of schedule is rough. Lucas, especially, thrives on a schedule, so not having one has been a bit of a rough go for the poor kid. On top of that, both caught some wicked colds, so we are dealing with the pitifulness that comes with that, as well as everything else. But aside from it all, we are making the best of it and getting through the day. I have done more walking in the past week than I have done in some time, and I foresee Germany being very good for my waistline (my FitBit thanks me!) We have also drank more beer and wine in the past week (my husband more than myself!) than we have in quite a while. Counter-productive, I'm sure!

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.

Over the weekend, we loaded up the family and headed to Trier, which is the city my Mom lives in. It was nice to get out of the hotel for a couple of days and enjoy a little more space, as well as see the area my mom has called home for the past year. Trier itself was beautiful. It was nice to see my mom's place while also getting to see another setting for a couple of days. Driving into the city, the hills are filled with vineyards for as far as you can see. The Mosell River winds through the city, which happens to be the oldest in Germany. The Dom, a Roman Catholic church that dates back to Roman times, is home to the Holy Tunic, a garment with a recorded history back to the 12th century, in Catholic tradition said to be the robe Jesus was wearing when he died. There is a huge Roman history within the city, including one of the most well-preserved Roman city gates (the Porta Nigra). Just a few blocks from my moms home, there are exposed ruins that were found during the excavation for a new building. It's an amazing city with some amazing history, and we barely scratched the surface during our time. I cannot wait to get back and visit again, and see all that we can before my mom moves to the Rammstein area at the end of the year.


Lauren said...

I love Trier so much! Great antiquing there! Glad to hear you are sort of settling in. :)

Jen said...

Everything looks amazing!

Anonymous said...

Love reading about your exploits. Regarding your comment about beer and wine...the entire time I was stationed at Patch Barracks (86-89) was a beerfest! PROSIT!!!

J o s e y said...

This is so fun to read about!! Good luck learning the language - it will make all the difference for sure. I can't believe you're living half way around the world! :)