Growing Pains…

I want to preface this blog post by saying that I wrote it right after arriving in Germany following what was a treacherous (to me) move.  I was jet lagged and in pain.  The feelings were real, but even now, on day 7, things are looking brighter.  (Sleep and pain relief will do that. 🙂 )

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Day Two

I feel like I’m in a dream.  I can’t believe I have actually moved to Germany.  To say that I feel like a fish out of water would be an understatement.  I think it’s even more jarring because the move beat the crap out of me, physically and emotionally.  I have a bad back and chronic pain issues and had to push through all of that and tax my body to the max, every day for a week. I now feel like a heap of aching joints. It’s even hard to walk. For my friends and family that are familiar with The Spoon Theory,  I’ve used up reserve spoons through next Christmas.  The 11 hour flight with the dude in the seat in front of me, reclining down into my lap, didn’t help the situation.  OK, I see where this post is going.  It’s going to be a bitch session.  Sorry, that’s just where I’m at right now.  Of course, I’m happy and grateful to have the opportunity to experience a different culture and travel to many places I’ve always wanted to go, but right now on day 2, all I can see is that I am in a strange apartment with no internet, sitting on hard rental furniture, can’t take a shower because 2 of 2 towels we have are dirty and the washing machine takes 3 hours and the towels still aren’t dry.   And…….. all my stuff is on the ocean somewhere right now and won’t get here for approximately 2 months! Whaaaaa!  I want my bed!  Whaaaaa!

The best news I got the today was that my daughter is coming to visit us in September and my French Exchange daughter (she lived with us for a year in the US in 2014-2015) might be coming to visit in a few weeks.  I’m so excited to see them both.  I’m also looking forward to a visit this summer from our U.S. next door neighbor/friend. She is German and will be coming in July to visit family and we’ll be lucky enough to get a visit from her and her daughter too.
Trial and error has never been something I’ve been fond of.  It gives me a lot of anxiety.  I am a bit of a perfectionist and when I don’t know how to do even the most simple of tasks like how to separate the trash (it’s a thing  here-German Recycling Rules), get a cart at the grocery store, how to work the washing machine, etc, it stresses me out.  I’m not a big proponent of Artificial Intelligence, but I absolutely could go for a “Welcome to Karlsruhe, Germany” robot that would follow me around and explain everything and translate for me.  I’m sure that will be available at some time in the future.  You heard it here first.  😉
I’m hoping this first post will stand as a marker for me and something to look back on and chuckle about how I was a mess the first week and how everything is so much better now.  (This is one of those times I wish I was Samantha from Bewitched and could twitch my nose to travel through time).
I’ll end this entry with two wins for today.  1.  I found that condensed milk is a decent substitute for coffee creamer.  2.  I learned how to work the key to the front door of our building.  Yep, even that couldn’t be easy.  I’m a pro now though.  Yay me! 🙂
Bis später!
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7 thoughts on “Growing Pains…

  1. Willkommen in Deutschland!! All will be well. I had the same issues you do with the washing machine (I actually took notes as my husband explained what to do), and I couldn’t even make myself a cup of coffee if the machine needed attention (empty the thingy, clean the other thingy, de-kalk the big thingy…) I just sighed, switched the blasted thing off, and waited for my husband to come home for lunch (no café in our village). In time you will love the routine at the grocery store (no chatty baggers to waste your time, no plastic waste because you’ll be damned if you’ll pay 10 cents for each bag you need, and eventually you’ll be quicker than the checkout lady throwing your stuff back in the cart as she scans it.

    Jet lag stinks no matter what, and pain besides…ugh. Get out and enjoy the sights and smells of springtime in Germany as often as you can. You picked a great state to live in! 🙂

    Looking forward to hearing about your adventures.

  2. I am here since August and every time I do laundry I feel frustrated about the time the washing machine takes! When my American friends heard about my struggle they were like ‘What?! 3 hours?!’. I hope you will feel better soon and will get used to the new environment!

  3. I have back issues and chronic pain as well. Fortunately we had movers that helped us when we came to Germany, but I know that’s really tough to deal with when you’re already limited. I hope you recover as quickly as possible!

  4. If you need a field trip and English books, DVDs, etc., I work at the German-American Institute in Heidelberg and we are often a sort of welcome center and safe haven for ex-pats (Americans and others) in Germany, we’d love to welcome you and help with the transition in any way possible!

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