We successfully moved into our real apartment last week on Halloween! Halloween isn’t a holiday in Germany but you will see some celebrating it here with costumes or having parties as an adopted holiday.
The apartment doesn’t have internet yet hence the brief hiatus on the blog and not calling or emailing anyone back (sorry! or Tut mir Leid!) so I’m able to write this brief note by tethering my phone for the short time I am able to get service.
The Process: Find the one spot on the patio I get cell service in 3G, leave my phone there, go back inside (it’s cold!) with the laptop pressed up against the glass window to get the most bars (maybe 2) and type as fast as I can until the phone dies or the service is lost.
Fingers crossed Kabel BW (the best service provider in Stuttgart according to everyone we asked) calls to schedule our install appointment by next week. We heard that internet install could take a month or more, but we didn’t really believe it until now. I had no issues calling them to request service to our address via phone with the little German we now know so I am hoping the installer will also be able to understand us.
The Lights: No fixtures, only bulbs hanging down. We had planned on going to the store to pick them up and knock it all out at once. We were both off and could take the car on the Saturday after we moved in. That day was November 1st which in Germany, we found out, is All Saint’s Day. Everything of course was closed when we got there, almost all stores and grocery stores close. No worries, there will be another day, but hopefully before Thanksgiving. Or better yet, on Thanksgiving, our German friends can help us hang them! Just kidding-sort of.
Induction cooking is awesome. Not in love with a flat top compared to gas but it literally boils water in 10 seconds. No joke. The downside is the only pans that will work on the surface have to have a magnetic bottom like steel or cast iron. We did the test on all our pans with a magnet and have 4 that work so all good! First chicken in the oven: check!
Aside from moving, slowly still unpacking the small stuff we didn’t have the movers do, and figuring out how everything works living on the German economy, we are also now in German language school 4 days per week for 4 hours per day at VHS (better than the USO class for sure!). It’s practically another full-time job complete with homework but we are doing it no matter how much time it takes out of my decorating plans and travels. Everyone says, “Everyone speaks English, you’ll be fine.” but it’s not the case when living on the economy and when looking to work in the City. German is essential. We are the visitors.
I passed up on an amazing trip to Hong Kong for this language class so you know it’s serious. If you miss more than 4 days of class not only will you be completely lost, but you’ll also be dropped from the class understandably. The next available slot to take the class wasn’t until February! Once you’re in, it’s best to go or lose your spot for months. The good thing is, when you finish and want to continue, current students are guaranteed in the next level class too. I am planning to continue in January.
In the class there are 18 students with 2 teachers that rotate days and only speak in German. It’s good but also really hard when we have no background of the language at all. The teachers speak a little differently in their pronunciation of some things. We are told it’s the difference between North (Berlin) and South (Munich) German dialect even though they are teaching the “correct” way to speak. The other students in our class are from Syria, Albania, Croatia, Macedonian, Brazil and Hungary. We are the only people from the US that speak English, therefore what we learn in class is the only language we will all understand or get to know each other by speaking. Pretty cool.
What time I do manage to have, I am currently planning out the garden so any advice for shady plants please let me know!
Stay tuned! Next trip will be to Luxemburg and France.