Monday, October 12, 2009

Here we go...

After much agonizing and failed attempts, I've decided that I'm going to finally publish something on my blog today. Ripping of the band aid is always the least painful when you do it quickly, right?

I've started something like seven different blogs entries, but most seem like incomplete stories that still have yet to come to an end. So I've decided I will wait to post them until they do come to a logic end. Most of these entries concern different obstacles that I have run into while setting up the apartment David and I will live in at some point. More on this subject later, and onto today's topic.

So here I am, sitting in my in-law's attic, my home for the past few weeks, trying to decide what to write about. Maybe I'll just start with a few observations about living here in Germany...

1. It's cold here. I've always known that air conditioning doesn't exist here, but I was pretty sure that once it got cold here that people might turn on the heat. I was wrong, apparently cold is a matter of opinion. Right now, it's 50 F outside, and 60 F in the warmer parts of the house like the kitchen. My Germany family, could not be more pleased about the weather conditions outside. They can still wear their short sleeves inside, and outside too if they will only be out for a short time (less than 30 minutes). In contrast, I am wearing a long sleeved shirt, sweater, wool socks, and a scarf...and that just inside. I've even caught a cold from being in a cold house all the time. Oh how I miss climate controlled 68 F living, I don't think I ever fully appreciated the thermostat until now. To make this whole situation even more humorous, when my in-laws were in Georgia during the heat of summer, they all caught colds from being inside in the air conditioning. The nice thing about having a cold, is that it is a good excuse to lie in bed and read. Nothing better than snuggling under a blanket with a hot cup of tea and I good book. Yesterday, I did just that. I passed the time with The Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett and a cup of green tea. So I guess, the upside to being cold is that I get to read more. I've read 4 books in the two weeks I've been here. If I keep going at the rate I'm going to run out of the books that I brought with me. I was so worried about not being able to buy books in English here that I brought 10-15 books with me. I am hoping this supply will last until Christmas, but at the rate I'm going, and the rate that the temperature outside is lowering, it probably won't. Oh well, at least there is a library here for american books. I will admit that I'm sort of afraid that it will just have weird random Agatha Christie. Most of my relatives here, when they read books in English, will read dective novels or mysteries or Dan Brown. I'll see. I'm hoping to make it to the American library soon, but soon means whenever David gets a chance to tell me how to get there. That being said, soon will probably be something like two weeks to a month. Oh well....

2. Space is a luxury not a right. For the last year I shared a 1352 square foot condo with my husband and two dogs. Now I'm sharing a 130 ft room with the husband, two dogs, eight suitcase worth of clothes and shoes and the contents of my in-laws attic. It is tight living, but that seems to be the norm here. Granted, most people don't live in attics (which is only temporary for us) but still, living quarters are cramped. No matter what window I look out of I can usually see two to three other homes. This is an intrusive feeling for me. I'm used to the wide open countryside. Okay, maybe not wide open, but at least not living right on top of other people. While I am used to living around neighbors, it's a little different here. In my old neighborhood in TN, I lived amoungst retired people who spent their days sitting in their garages watching what was going on in the neighborhood. What was going on was usually my husband and dogs walking around the neighborhood. Whenever, we were gone for a few days someone always noticed. It was actually a bit creepy in a way. Here, things are a little bit different. People are used to living around other people, and your privacy is a given. Whenever, I sit on the bus to go down town, or I go out to the supermarket, people are always careful not to make eye contact and to give you your space if you need it. I think it's nice. This type of privacy is prevelant in big cities around the world, but coming from the small town southern USA it's a luxury. Funny how the closer people live to one another, the less they seem to care about their neighbors. Considering, the fact that my German is not very good, I'm grateful that every cashier at the store, doesn't feel the need to ask me about my day or comment on something I'm buying. No need to make conversation, just do their job. It's different, but still nice.

I think that was a good first attempt. My apologies for the lack of structure, but at least it was something. For my next blog, look forward to the ins and outs of buying a sofa in Germany.


  1. First off--cute title. It brings to mind Gene Kelly. *happy sigh*

    I can just picture you in your sweater and scarf typing this in between sips of your steaming mug of tea. Although, I'm also picturing random curls poking out of a ski cap, so I don't know how accurate my imagination is at the moment. Four books in two weeks!? Wow. Note to self: books for all presents from now on (or gift cards to amazon where you can choose your own books).

    As far as the space thing, I know you're not exactly a chatterbox like myself, but it's not lonely or anything in a neighborhood where everyone avoids contact? Gosh, that just seems so...I don't even know...foreign, for lack of a better word. I would seriously go stir crazy and just start chattering to randomers on the street (although you know me and you know my dad and you know exactly where I got this from. "Big gulps, eh? All right!")

    You'll have to send pictures of your new place! Especially when you get all moved in and settled. And I look forward to the ins and outs of buying sofas, but mostly, I just look forward to hering about your adventures in Deutschland.

    Lots and lots of hugs to you both (but especially to you just to keep you warm),


  2. Great observations, Amy. I'm looking forward to more. Even talking to you biweekly, I don't get this intimate view of your life. Keep it up!

    Love, Mom