August 14, 2011

I gave them a thumbs up.

I need to learn German. STAT.

I forgot how overwhelming the first few days in a new place can be. I feel like a seasoned pro when it comes to packing, long-haul flights with a toddler, unpacking, and getting settled ... and grocery shopping was super easy yesterday; I wasn't even intimidated when I got to the checkout - and there are very few things that stress me out as much as checking out at a grocery store in Europe. It's like a mad dash to get things out of your basket or cart, onto the belt, and then back into your bags as you pay. I literally break out in a sweat. Every time.

But I am never, ever prepared for the first time someone strikes up a conversation with me, thinking we speak the same language. I am always a deer in head lights.

In Italy someone would say something to me in Italian, I'd try to process it in Spanish, and blurt out some sort of Spanitalian. It wasn't smooth but nine times out of ten, it worked. When I left Germany last fall, I had the basics down. I understood greetings and directions enough to get by, and I was learning more and more by the day.

On the flight from Philadelphia to Munich, I flipped through my Rick Steves' German Phrase Book and Dictionary, thinking I'd jog my memory. I thought I had a few things down but ...

Apparently it's all gone out the window because the first time someone asked me how I was doing yesterday, I gave them a thumbs up. A thumbs up! Linden speaks better German than I do at this point, no joke. Plus, he's cute so when he says "tschüss" or "danke", everyone just melts. When I say those things, I get the she's definitely American look. Nicht gut.

But aside from my embarrassing thumbs up moment, all is well here. Our apartment is fabulous; two bedrooms, one bath, a washer and a dryer, and lots of natural light. We are within walking distance to the zentrum (city center), a Rewe (grocery store), and the train station. They even managed to provide us with an automatic vehicle.

Unfortunately, that little head cold of mine kicked my ass, let up for a day, and then came back for round two. As a result, I have been in an (over the counter) drug-induced haze. Linden developed a fever of 103 on day one, so we have had sleepless night after sleepless night. We're not on schedule but we'll get there!

We're here. We're (relatively) healthy. And generally speaking, things are off to a good start.

I am a very tired, but very happy hockey wife.

14 comments:

  1. How exciting! Glad you are settling in well!

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  2. LOVE YOU!!!! This is gonna be a great year for ya sister, I just feel it :)

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  3. I feel your pain, daily. Yet somehow never do anything about it.

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  4. since you have once known the basics of german, it shouldnt be a problem to get it back into your head.. it will only take a couple of days, dont worry :)

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  5. So exciting to be in the right place, everything is falling together for you guys. Go get your language on. Yay for Germany :)

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  6. Good luck getting unpacked. Hope you can pick up some phrases quickly. I hate learning new languages. It just doesn't come easy to me.

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  7. I speak German. Not fluently, but adequately. My family lived there for almost 30 years. So, I am going to test you with the following:

    Wie gehts? Wie laufen dein Deutsche hinzukommend? Es wird schon gut gehen. Einfach bleibe dabei und du kannst erklaren.

    Also, if you need an online resources for translation: quickdic.de

    Viel gluck!

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  8. Happy the move went well for you guys!

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  9. Welcome back to Germany!!! Glad you guys arrived safe.

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  10. How great are Rewes?!?! Love it! If you have a Kaufland (which may only be in the south) nearby, you would love that too! So glad you are liking everything. The German will come, I'm sure of that. If not, have Linden translate for you! haha. So glad this year in Germany is shaping up to be much, MUCH better than last!

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  11. So glad you all made it safe and sound!! And your living situation sounds great!! :) Always makes things SOO Much better. Sorry to hear you're still feeling like crap :( ugh.. hopefully one of those german drugs will knock it out for you and Linden! Good luck w/ the german speaking haha

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  12. Hi from K-Town! We love living here and we hope we can extend for a 2nd tour. My German is pretty bad too. :-(

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  13. If you think about it, having a cold (or your children having a cold) when you first get to a place a million miles around the world, is probably a blessing in disguise. It MAKES you stay at home and rest, and you sleep all the time so it's easier to fall into a schedule. Yeah. That.

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