Wednesday, August 26, 2009


OK Since we haven't done anything exciting in the last day or two, I thought I might back track a little bit and explain some of the major differences here to you all. From the moment we stepped off the plane, there were a few OBVIOUS differences that we saw!

First of all, as soon as I went to the bathroom, I noticed that NOTHING in their bathrooms look like ours...not even the stalls that you go into! The toilets are more rounded if you will and they have got some REALLY weird "handles." Most toilets have buttons that are not even attached to the toilet, but more like a button that is installed directly into the wall. There are some with handles, though, but not many and they also look different. In general, you also have a shower that is completely separate from your tub. The showers are teeny tiny stalls and the tubs usually have a shower hose attached as well although you can't really use it as a shower. I will post examples of this after we move into our house.

Let's see: the bedding. If you've ever been to IKEA, you might have an idea about what the bedding looks like. First of all, you have no fitted sheet, you have a flat sheet folded like a fitted sheet. Next, you have no flat sheet, you only have a down feather comforter and it is folded into thirds on your bed with a HUGE down feather pillow. Brent has come to like it, but when it's hot (and it is most nights right now because they don't have air here either) I prefer a flat sheet to cover up with. If you don't' the monsters will come and get you! :0)

Next, one of the most interesting differences in my opinion is the fact that most of their tv programming is American shows that have been dubbed over in German. I truly find it hilarious that most of what they watch has people talking and their mouths moving at 2 different times. Why I find this funny, I don't know, but nonetheless, hilarious! One show that they have UNEDITED and in English but with german subtitiles is MTV. I think that's funny, too. Even though there's not much on MTV that I like, I have been watching a good bit of it just because I get some english in! Also, they have a CNN International channel that is in english. Most of the music on the radio has a good bit of English on it as well.

Let's see....plugs, kitchens (almost non-existent), heating systems, cars (and driving), food (boy is that a big one), malls, people smoking...well, just about everything to be honest is different in some way. Let's break a few of these down. In one of the houses we looked at, there was not even a kitchen. We were going to make a deal with the landlord to install one and then pay an extra amount per month to pay for it.

Cars... First of all most people drive some sort of small car and secondly, Germans are so nice when they are not behind the wheel, but boy do they ever get aggressive once they are behind the wheel. They love to pass people and on top of that, they will pass you with the smallest amount of room to do so, they get so irritated if you actually slow down to make a turn, and boy do they ever FLY down the autobahn. Since I first started writing this post and things got so unbelievably crazy right before moving, I have driven on the autobahn thank you very much! I don't see myself doing it very often, but if need be, I'll do it. I only got up to about 120 kilometers per hour and that's around 80ish in the states. Seriously I got sick at my stomach the first time Brent was driving and his just above 90 miles an hour! People will pass you like you're standing still, too.

Food....ahhh, the food here. I have been losing a good bit of weight since we've been here and I can honestly attribute it to walking a lot (because that's just what you do around here) and also to not eating! Don't get me wrong, I can eat the fool out of their ice cream and bakeries, but anything else and you've pretty much lost me! It doesn't help that I don't have a clue most times what I might be ordering! When we first got here, we went to breakfast the first morning and were served the traditional german breakfast of a plate full of mystery meats, cheeses, and a basket full of the best, most fresh bread you can get. We were also given jam and butter. Lastly, you're given a partially boiled egg. Brent took one for the team and ate them on occassion, but I just couldn't stmach it! They also drink a lot of coffee and man, it's the best!

The malls here are very different. They are partially indoors and partially out and most have a grocery store right in them. There really isn't a food court persay, but there are restaurants here and there. It's really hard to describe this because they are just different here. They have grocery carts which you can "rent" (kind of) and take into the regular stores as well.

The only thing I need to say about smokers is that they are EVERYWHERE! It annoys the every living crap out of me that someone will light up right there by my babies! They all do it and they all do it right there in the presence of their kids and in no way attempt to keep the smoke out of their precious little faces!

As time goes, hopefully we'll be able to blog a bit more about the differences here!

Monday, August 24, 2009


Let me just start this blog out with a brief explanation as to why we have not blogged before now and then we'll proceed to our first OFFICIAL entry. Ok, so, from the first night we got here up until about 2 weeks into our journey, I had been blogging, but I was not writing my blog on here, it was in a program on this little lap top because initially we did not have internet in our first hotel. Okay, so fast forward to our desperate desire to talk to some family and we decide to get an I Phone that has free (included) calls to the USA because we have finally accepted the fact that the whole first month over here is going to be in a hotel and we can't wait to get a land line to talk to family. This little computer does not have some of the programming needed to register our I Phone. This of course does not surprise us because very little has been easy on us since we got here. Brent, in trying desperately to get this done for us, ends up erasing our ENTIRE blog! I am so mad, I really do think I may have been producing some smoke out of my ears! He offers to re create the blog which I find completely and utterly hilarious because he was offering to write 9 or more pages of script that had taken me almost 2 weeks to create! Hilarious. As you all can see, the blog has not been re created. I do hope to go back in my free time (ha ha ha) and try to get some of our thoughts down here in the next few weeks. Here we are today, though, so let's move on and start anew!

Let's first start today's blog off by noting that Brent an
d I aren't really outside of the box people. I really like to have my schedule pretty typical from day to day and Brent just flat out dislikes change, so this whole move has been HUGE for us! I mean, I rarely order anything but chicken fingers at a restaurant, so to rarely have that option, I've just about been beside myself!

Okay, so our morning started off pretty typical of how it has been going lately. We all got up, ate breakfast, Brent went in to get a few things done, and then he comes back to get us from the hotel. From here, we go to post to eat at the DFAC (dining facility) and from there, the launderette. T
hese two things are also VERY typical of us lately. I first really knew that I was homesick when I started craving the DFAC every day and got thoroughly upset at Brent when it looked like we might miss it (it's only open certain hours for each meal). The food is not the greatest, but man it sure seems like it when you have sat down at many a table with either mystery meats, cheeses, and a half cooked "boiled" egg (during breakfast) or tried to stumble your way through a german menu with no dictionary! Anyways, after completing the laundry, we head back to the hotel to get Mason ready for his first soccer practice! He's so excited and so are we! It's at this point, though, that the tides begin to change (about like they do at least once a day). We show up with Mason at the soccer fields and lots of other kids are there, too. We, however, talk to the 2 coaches that are there and neither one has Mason on their roster, so we talk to the Sports coordinator which is also there and she calls his coach. He has apparently decided to cancel the first practice and we never were notified of this. This is ALWAYS our luck! They quickly put Mason into one of the other practices and all is well. We're hungry after his practice and decide to go to the mall. Keep in mind that Sadie has been fussy all day long and right after practice Mason somehow gets turned around backwards in one of the MASSIVE slides at the playground and comes out backwards hurting himself, so he is whiny, too. We get to the mall and almost immediately have to take Sadie out to calm her down. As we walk into the mall, Mason already has his food from Burger King so Brent and I don't have to worry about trying to find something kid friendly. We decide to pass our old faithful Italian restaurant and go down a bit further to see what we can find. Once we get down there, we're stopped in front of one restaurant and Mason stands up out of the stroller and in doing so, his ENTIRE drink spills all over the floor. We get that somewhat cleaned up and head back one restaurant, decide to get something to eat there, and Sadie loses it! Brent can't settle her down, so we swap places: he in line and me with the baby. Next, Brent goes fumbling through my wallet because he can't find the money, the lady is laughing at him (knowing we already spilled our drink one store down), I get up with a screaming baby to show him the money, he gets our meal in turn, and as he reaches the table, one of our GLASS cups falls and bursts into about a million pieces. Not long after that I sit down to discover that I don't even like the sandwich that I ordered. That's what we get for going outside of our little box! The bad news is that most days, something overwhelms us or is discouraging, but the good thing is we're learning a lot and each day is new and we have high hopes for a better day with each new day! This whole moving out of the country has by far been one of the most physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting experience we have ever had, but at the same time, we have already experienced that which most people will never have the opportunity to do and we're enjoying every minute knowing that someday soon things will settle down and that someday we'll look back on this with so many fond memories, we wont be able to count them!

Mason's all ready for his "first" soccer practice!

Even though his coach had cancelled their practice, some of the other kids in his age bracket still had practice, so they let him play with them. I'm glad this lady is not his coach because she just threw them into a mock game and although they all ran around and loved it, not many really knew the concept of soccer and she did not explain it very well!