So we've been in Germany for a month now, and I'm surprised at how much we've done and learned so far!
We've traveled to Austria and Switzerland for a few days, Rick worked, the kids and I explored! We moved into our new home, got our air shipment after about a week and a half, and our sea shipment after about 4 weeks. Living out of a suitcase for almost a month is not fun! Rick had a business trip to Amsterdam and I stayed home with the kids and got around on my own for 4 days (which sounds pathetic, but it wasn't easy!).
We've learned so much this first month! When we first arrived in Germany we went to the grocery store just like we would anywhere. A wallet full of credit cards, maybe a dollar or two in cash, and a cart full of groceries! What we learned is that credit cards are not "everywhere you want to be"! Stores here do not accept credit cards, cash only! After we were finally able to pay for our groceries, we realized that bags are not provided! You can buy them in the store, or bring your own, but they will not give you bags for free! I thought bagging your own groceries sucked, but now I have to bag my own groceries in my own bags! What's next, pay for my cart? Oh yeah, you have to do that too! 1 euro for a cart. You get your euro back when you return your cart, but if you don't have the Euro, no cart for you!
I could go on and on about things that are so different here! Some good, some bad. So instead of rambling, I'll make a list!
Thinks that I DON'T like about Germany:
Paying for my shopping cart
Bagging my own groceries
Remembering to bring bags every time I go shopping
Not being able to get tap water at a restaurant
No ice at restaurants...and if you ask for some, they give you 2-3 cubes
Water costing about 3 Euro per glass at restaurants
No kids menus
Having to go to 5 different stores to get what's on your list...no "one stop shop" like Target
No Mexican food
Separating all of our trash...we literally have 5 trash cans in our kitchen, not joking!
Things that I LOVE about Germany:
Bike trails and bike parking everywhere you go
The dogs! Dogs are everywhere, they are so friendly and accepted in stores, restaurants, etc.
The pizza! Salami pizza is to die for!
That beer is the same price as coke or water in restaurants
The people, they are so friendly and helpful and genuine!
The weather (so far at least)
The cars, you see nice cars everywhere
The autobahn-at first I thought it was going to scare me, but it's very entertaining. We typically drive about 90 in the middle lane and cars will fly past us! Then you'll enter a town and everyone obeys the law and goes the speed limit...then you'll see the no speed limit sign and everyone takes off! But people are very good drivers despite the speed. You don't see people changing lanes like crazy, the fast drive on the left, slow on the right.
The perfect concrete roads...no potholes!
The wine and cheese selection
I really could go on more, but you get the point. My list of things I like is longer than the list of things I don't, so I think we're off to a good start. At first glance, Germany is a little scary, but once you realize the language only SOUNDS mean, and the autobahn is not a death trap, it's pretty great! Yes, we miss our families and friends so much, and we are looking forward to having visitors and visiting "home"!