Last week while trying to plan our schedule, I glanced at the calendar and realized that it has been over three months now that we are living in Germany with our in-laws. To say this time has been easy is an absolute lie. I don’t even feel like the time has flown by. It has been a hard few months. We knew when we made this plan last year that these would be the hardest months of our life, and our marriage.
This is the longest I have ever been away from Texas. This is the longest I have ever been a guest in someone else’s home. This is the longest I have ever nursed one of my children. Those three things may not sound related but if you have ever moved with small children you get it. The roller coaster of emotions has been barreling along on the edge of insanity.
We realized that we are over the half way mark. We are approaching the time when our home is completed and finalizing many things in the meantime. We are buying new furniture and setting up our kitchen and by the end of the year our home should be complete and our move into it finished as well. So what I want to do for the rest of this post is talk about the things I have learned and some things to note so far.
American Food Stores are few and far between here and the costs are over the top but if you are homesick enough you will justify a €9,00 bottle of Mrs. Butterworths and a €7,00 pint of Jiffy Peanut Butter.
You will justify the exorbitant price for items you can get for cheap in HEB by telling yourself the shipping and having to beg someone to get them shipped to you are factored into the cost making it cheaper to pay for that.
You will promise yourself you will not buy it again but are already planning your next trip to see what is in their upcoming shipment.
Germany is a hard language, not an easy one to learn at all, but nevertheless everyone does expect you to learn it.
Finding German classes is hard and expensive and you will swear that no one actually wants you to learn the language despite their insistence you have to, but once you find a place such as this, you will feel right at home with the wonderful people!
Getting a drivers license in Germany is hard and expensive at 18, but if you have a valid license from a reciprocating state all you have to do is pay for the license and it will get issued to you. This process is wildly complicated if you do not have a license from a state with reciprocity.
Driving in Germany can be very hard and confusing, but those open highway speed limits make it all worth it.
There are something like over 100 different road signs, I don’t know if I will ever learn them all.
A lot of customs for driving, recycling and other things require Germans to honor the systems, and they do for the most part.
A good VPN app is worth its weight in gold when you want to watch Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, Paramount+, Apple TV, and Disney+ without being restricted to the country you are currently in.
At some point I am sadly and under protest going to have to cancel all my streaming subscriptions.
There are some truly disgusting foods that I cannot for the life of me understand, and if they didn’t make me want to puke smelling them it probably would have been much funnier to learn about this strange one. See Handkäse mit Musik .
My kids are surviving on Fleischwurst, brötchen, cucumbers, salami, pasta, and occasional Schnitzel.
The ice machine which requires manually adding water, we got on sale the first week we were here is single handedly keeping me sane and in shape.
I go through approximately two liters of water a day in ice alone.
American brown sugar is hard to find here, but I was able to procure molasses from Amazon and make my own.
Learning to read military time or a 24 hour clock is actually not hard at all!
While going to the washeteria seems like such an inconvenience, it sure is nice to be able to wash and dry 8 loads of laundry all within two hours.
The time difference sucks for keeping in touch with friends.
Tax being included in the price is actually very nice.
While our container was delivered, we are still waiting for the delivery of our 40 overflow boxes, which should be delivered next week.
German furniture stores are an awesome outing on a Saturday, you can eat well and for cheap, and drink a beer, shop for everything from housewares to lawn furniture to kitchen supplies, toys and baby gear, and some of them even have giant playgrounds to run off some of the kids energy.
German furniture can take anywhere from 9 weeks to three months to be delivered and even then when it arrives you may have to assemble it yourself.
Nearly every park here has a zip line for the kids.
I am far too old and out of shape to show off/try to ride on the zip line.
I have cooked a total of four meals here, and from what I can tell, I am the best cook when I haven’t had my cooking in months… OR I am just incredibly homesick and everything I taste is a bit skewed by that.
I have King Ranch Chicken on my list to make this week with some €20 for three packs of 20 home made corn tortillas and I can’t wait! Here is the recipe I am planning to use!
I will try to keep writing more like I was in the beginning, its hard not to let my emotions get in the way. I enjoy these posts when I take the time to do them though.