Jul 14, 2011

So Far, So Good!

We. Love. Germany. 


Doesn't it look good on us? 

Simple as that. We've only been here a little over 2 weeks and this beautiful country is already agreeing with us! Now, I won't say everything has been easy, because it hasn't. We've had our fair share of uncomfortable moments, but so far things have been much better than I had anticipated! Praise the Lord! 

We've got a car, we've signed a lease on an apartment (which unfortunately we cannot move into until August 1st...3 more weeks of hotel living! Ugh! More on that later.), we've traveled to Frankfurt and Braubach for some sight-seeing, ate at some tasty new restaurants downtown, and met some really great friends! We are really starting to get the hang of our new German lifestyle and it feels so good!

Next week we start our German language course. I am really looking forward to making more progress in our German speaking. So far, we've only ran into one person who couldn't speak English, but we were able to communicate anyway. That's what is nice about living in Wiesbaden and in the vicinity of so many military installations. The communities surrounding these installations seem very welcoming towards Americans and, thankfully, are full of English speaking Germans! Although this is nice for now, as I begin to learn and use the German language, I hope the German population will allow me to practice freely. Germans love to practice their English on Americans, so even though you may know enough German to have a small conversation, Germans often cut you off and start speaking English to you if you even so much as hesitate with your German (or look super American). If I want to REALLY learn German (and I do), I must resist the English as much as possible...after I've been properly educated, that is.

It's also been a heck of alot easier to train my brain to carry cash and use Euros instead of dollars than I thought it would be. It's funny...the other day D and I were moving some things around in our car and we found five 1 euro coins. Normally, when you find coins in your car, you only find a enough to buy you 15 mins of street parking time at a meter (a nickle, a dime, and if you're lucky, a quarter). When you find euro coins, you tend to find enough for a small meal at a fast food restaurant if they are 1 euro coins! It was awesome. The funny part was that we also found a quarter. If we had been stateside, I would have been stoked. But now, that quarter does nothing on the economy and is far less valuable to us. I'd take a load of euro coins over American coins any day! D had been stashing the euro coins away in a cup in our room like he used to stash quarters and other change in a jar back home. If he were to keep doing that with our euro coins, we might end up with over $100 in a small coffee cup! If it were full of 2 Euro coins, we've be even better off! Crazy how your perspectives change so quickly. I plan to collect a euro from every country that has adopted the Euro as their common currency. So far, I've got a German euro and one from Spain!

Traveling has also been alot easier than expected. Before arriving here, I had such anxiety about how to ride the train, read maps if they were in German, and find parking. So far, D and I have learned the train system and where all the big train stations are located here in Wiesbaden and in Frankfurt. The GPS we bought has been a huge help in locating almost everything here and it also finds open parking garages and parking areas for us! Best purchase yet! I guess I was worried about all of these things simply because of the language barrier. The thought of reading a train stop map in German was completely daunting...but as long as you know where you are and where you're going then it's just like reading anything else. D and I still linger at the map a little longer than most people just to triple check we're heading in the right direction, but that's ok. I guess I don't mind looking like a tourist in that respect.



One thing that is for darn sure is that my "American radar," as I like to call it, is on high alert at all times now! It's like I have bionic senses, because I can hear and spot an American from a mile away! For example, we were getting ready to get on an elevator at the Main Tower in Frankfurt and my radar went off as soon as I saw the teenage boy step off the elevator in front of me. He was wearing an American Eagle t-shirt and following right behind him were his Mom, Dad, and little sister, all of whom were talking in hushed voices as not to stand out too much, I assume. The hushed tones made no matter, I had spotted them and it made me smile. I was just happy to see we weren't the only Americans fumbling around in Frankfurt (that's what it feels like we are doing sometimes, fumbling). Every time I see/hear an American, I always snap my head around as quick as a I can just to find that sense of comfort again, even if it's only for a second. It makes me feel not so...alone. I know I'm not completely alone...I have D...but alone in the sense that when we are traveling around, we sometimes are the only English speaking people in a sea of Germans and other nationalities. It can be a little scary sometimes, but that feeling is starting to fade away as we begin to travel more. One thing is for certain, if I want to feel at home, I just walk on base and inside the Commissary or the BX...then I'm right back in the good 'ol USA again! I'm trying NOT to do that so much. We are here in Germany. I want to get as much out of this experience as I can!

Another milestone in our journey to adjusting to Germany is that we've made friends!! WHOO HOO! That's always the worst part about moving to a new place, overseas or otherwise. It's hard making new friends, especially ones that you want to have as friends. As friend seeking people, we tend to cling to the first sign of human life we find when we are out of our comfort zones. As a military family, you can fall into that trap really easily having to move around so much. But you must resist the urge to find friends too quickly and in the most convenient places. Often, you find people who aren't a good fit for you but cling to them just because they are there. That is no way to make friends. It just causes problems later. I've learned over my 3 years in this military life (and just growing older in general) that I've got to choose my friends wisely. You make friends fast in this lifestyle and you need them to be worthwhile and fulfilling friendships. So far, we've been able to do just that. Sponsor 2 introduced us to a group of good, Christian people who live and work in Frankfurt (no military association whatsoever). We went to a going away party for Sponsor 2 last weekend (he's PCSing to Korea) and fell in love with his group of friends! They are all so nice and were so unbelievably welcoming! They all have such good hearts, similar backgrounds and values as us, and share alot in common with us. SCORE! Not to mention they are super fun. We are heading back to Frankfurt Friday night for a BBQ with them! We are also going to be a part of their bible study lounge that they hold once a week. God truly had His hands working in this meeting of friends. We couldn't have picked them better ourselves.

Here are some photos from the Going Away BBQ we went to for our sweet Sponsor #2:

How many men does it take to build a grill??

Apparently just two. They were lucky this time. :)

Showing off their good handy work. Too funny.

Sometimes I'm not too sure about my husband. Hmmm. ;)

It was so incredibly windy that day. Trying to cover tables with paper was almost impossible to do!!










Enjoying some most delicious food!



Happy Birthday!! Party served dual purposes.

This kid is too cute! His cheeks are so squishy!

Enjoying good company!

More food...Croatian goodness! 

Sponsor 2 about to give his going away speech.

The whole gang!

We owe him BIG! He helped us survive our first 2 weeks here in Germany. We will be forever grateful!

Oh those military boys. :)

Last photo with all the ladies. Rawr!

So, for now, life here has been pretty good to us. Things are starting to fall into place and we're growing to really love our new life here. While we both still miss home and our families, it's a good feeling knowing life can work for us here. It's also nice knowing D and I are tackling this on our own...just the two of us. This is as independent as you can get! Well, actually, if D deployed I'd have to get a whole lot more independent...but here's hoping that doesn't happen just yet. We've got enough to adjust to here now. Thanks for all the love and prayers! Keep 'em coming! :)

4 comments:

  1. Looks like you're having a fantastic time. I'm jealous you're getting to explore somewhere new.

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  2. Well it looks like you are adjusting well! That is great!

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  3. I'm glad you like Germany. I have only been gone a few weeks, and I miss it already! At least I moved to a place I am really enjoying :)

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  4. Hola from Spain! Just saw your post on Facebook like half a second ago posting your link to the Military Spouse Magazine page. We're living in Rota and are planning to head up to Germany sometime sooner rather than later. I'll keep reading to see what cool things Germany has to offer!

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