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.