Last week I w(h)ined a little about … everything. It’s occurred to me why people don’t just pick up and do international moves despite the many people who told us, “We would love an opportunity like that!” Let’s just say that once we’ve set up shop, I’ll be hoping to milk that for all it’s worth.
Here are some photos from our move. It was a quick 3-4 hour affair with four men moving us in. At the end of the day, our overwhelmed selves looked at each other and laughed because we realized they’d been speaking Russian the whole time. The language thing is so overwhelming that it took me a full hour before thinking, “Wait a minute. They’re totally not speaking German.” So, Yes. The Russians moved us in. They were good workers.
So, what have we been doing all week? Brian has been researching cars. Our awesome friend Delia got us registered with tax IDs. We’re almost all insured for health beginning August 1. We now own a microwave, vacuum, drill and a power transformer so that our appliances work with double-the-strength German electricity. Today, I sent my first letter. (You’re welcome, USPS, for the hand-written change of address form. Crazy policies.) Brian spent all of today making an amazing light fixture out of beautiful birchwood and rope… because he’s amazing.
Oh yeah. In Germany, you get zero light fixtures. When you move in, there’s literally wire hanging from the ceiling. We have no fewer than 14 light fixtures to buy and install. That’s not a small amount of work. (Thankfully, Brian’s a pro.)
But, the light (har har her) at the end of the tunnel is coming. We spent a morning being kid-focused and enjoyed a park as a family. It was smooth sailing interactions and fun for everyone. That was a big deal.
Work and school for the kiddos starts one week from today… but we’ll work a bit part time in order to attend Kita with the kids as they begin and adjust to full-immersion German preschool. Today I made bread, granola bars, and dinner. I went shopping with Rowan and finally bought conditioner! (Apparently most German women use only shampoo or 2-in-1 because conditioner is super hard to find… ACK.)
I’m learning all sorts of shopping tidbits like sandwich ziplock bags are a no-go. I can’t find them. Also, Germans must shop all the time… When I check out I feel rude because every other person has 2-5 items and my 40 items take up almost the whole check out belt. And baggers? They don’t exist. Try checking out in German, keeping a toddler happy and bagging your items with no space after the payment counter (because why have a place for 3 items to sit after they’ve been paid for if the Germans just whisk them quickly away?)… It’s a feat. Oh! And I found peanut butter! And another type of salsa–we’ll see if this one is any good–because the last one wasn’t. And soy sauce that’s not as small as a travel tabasco sauce bottle- win win win.
In other news, I love having a kids’ playroom on a different level of the house just as much as I suspected I would. And we have a door between the kitchen and the stairwell! My new goal is to teach the kids to clean it at the end of every day. This photo was taken several days ago and it’s been a danger zone ever since. (Yes, this photo represents the “clean” side of the spectrum!)
The big battle is continue to learn the language. I can now apologize in German, say I want a kaffee, and say, “Do you have ______”. This is progress! But, I’ve got a long way to go.
Thanks for tuning in! Start planning your trip–we’re getting our home all ready to host you! Tschüss!