I’m going to make this one short and sweet: so far, I love Germany. It is beautiful. There is so much green and quiet here, which I never thought I would like but am finding that I do enjoy. A friend told me to “enjoy the simple life” here, and it is true. Things are simpler and more peaceful. The rain reminds me of living in Washington, which I also loved. I know that winter will be hard here, but I’m looking forward to snow and all the fun (and even the inconveniences) that come along with that. I thought I would compile my top 5 list of things I love so far about Germany.
1. Our neighborhood is awesome! Remember when you were a kid and your neighborhood was safe? You could play outside until dark, ride your bike in the streets, and socialize with your neighbors without fear? That’s how ours is here. I know, we live in Germany but are living in a mostly American neighborhood. One of the things we loved about Italy was living among Italians. But there is something great about sending your kids out to ride their bikes and not worrying about them being flattened by a car. Our neighbors are nice – the house across from us even made us muffins to welcome us. All the moms know each other from the bus stop and through our children. I LOVE IT!
2. Germans are friendly, even if they do not seem like it at first. I have not been to a single store, including H&M, where the store workers have not offered my children candy. They apologize for their poor English, even though I cannot speak German in their country. They are abrupt, brutally honest, and even stubborn, but they are still nice.
3. I love my house. It is almost too big, if you can complain about that (which I do, audibly, on cleaning day). It is the biggest house I have ever had.
4. Did I mention it is beautiful here? I always think that the word “quaint” is hard to describe, but it’s the perfect description for this area. Addie and I went to Amberg today to shop and explore. It’s my favorite thing to do when we move somewhere new – drive around, get lost, and figure out where all the good places are. Amberg and so many of the towns here, including our how, are quaint. We had so much fun today! We visited a few stores recommended to us, and there was a market downtown that we browsed. The city and the country are equally beautiful, and pictures do not do it justice. Here is one of our day though!
5. I want to learn the language. I was lazy with Italian (it’s close to Spanish, and I was working on my master’s. My attention was elsewhere). But for some reason, I really want to learn German. It’s a confusing language and frustrating to a newcomer. Anya and Lorelei are learning it in school, so I feel equally driven to learn it. I want to be able to talk to locals without a basic knowledge of the language. Side note: it is funny how much you pick up while living in another country. Andy never really made an attempt to learn Italian, so he thought he knew very little of the language. He was TDY down there last week, and he was able to converse with some people there rather easily. He was amazed at how much you can pick up just by living somewhere. While I know that is happening for me right now, I actually want to learn more about the language, country, and people here.
And there are my top 5 reasons for loving Germany. It may change after awhile (consult me after the 5+ months of winter) but so far, I am loving it here. Tomorrow, we hope to explore Nurnberg – post to follow!