We’ve officially been in Germany two and a half months. In some ways it feels like we have been here way longer than that. And in other ways it feels like we’ve barely been here two weeks!
Although we are officially moved in (and almost completely set up!) in our new apartment, I thought it would be fun to share with y’all about Month One on Liskircherstraße. If you want to read more about Month Two, our new apartment, celebrating the holidays here and all that good stuff… I’ll link to those here as I publish them!
Liskircherstraße is what we lovingly call our temporary apartment because that is the street it was located on. When we saw the listing online as on option, we both immediately agreed that this was the best option BECAUSE IT HAD TWO BATHROOMS, Y’ALL!
Well…. You can watch the video to see more.
While our little flat was sufficient, we were SO ready to get out of there! The kitchen was tiny, the bed was literally ON THE FLOOR. Plus, the laundry was down in the Kellar (cellar but pronounced with hard “c”) and I refused to look anywhere but straight ahead when walking down there for fear of finding a dead body.
Our First Month in DE
I feel really bad because I totally meant to blog much more frequently to share with others about what we have been up to since moving here, but oddly enough, quitting your full time job just means you find more time for other stuff you want to do- it doesn’t mean you get less busy!
So I’ll give a quick run down of our first month here!
We left the States on Thursday October 11th with three suitcases, three boxes, and four carry on pieces of luggage. My parents and older sister took us to the airport, helped us unload, and sent us off with hugs, kisses, and some tears.
We arrived in Munich around nine AM on Friday, got our car, and headed to Regensburg. Only this time, we didn’t get lost and driving the car was a little bit easier! We also did a better job of sleeping on the plane, so we were much more awake when we got here.
That night we found an Italian place right by where we were staying and went there for pizza. As we were trying to figure out what to order and the German waitress was helping us, two American men happened to hear us talking about wanting pepperonis. They politely interrupted us and told us that here pepperonis are peppers, not meat.
Fast forward, we find out they are Americans living and working here. They invited us to eat dinner with them and that we did! It was a little reminder from God that was like “hey, I’m here, I’ve got you!”
Saturday morning we wound up at the Farmers Market which was so perfect. The weather was gorgeous, fall leaves every where. I thought I was in Heaven.
And I, of course, made Cody take me to IKEA so we could get a few essentials.
Our First Trip to Czech Republic
Cody started work on Monday the 15th.
And by the afternoon on the 16th we were in a car with another American (Dan) headed to Trutnov, Czech Republic. The drive to Trutnov was about five hours from Regesnburg. It was a beautiful drive and because the men talked shop the majority of the time, I got some quality reading done!
(The signs here are tiny, but that is the Czech border sign.)
We spent four days there while Cody worked and I hung out at the hotel working on The Simply Organized Teacher.
The first night in Trutnov Dan took us to a local Czech food place. We were told we needed to try garlic soup and steak tartar. I wasn’t really sure what steak tartar was, if I had known I would NOT have eaten it.
The garlic soup was not bad. The steak tartar was pretty dang good. Especially because they pan fry the bread, then give you fresh garlic to rub all over it. OMG THE BREAD!
Anyways, I then proceeded to order ribs. So needless to say…a very hefty meal.
I have never felt so sick after a meal. I won’t go into gory details. But here’s what happened. We began our walk back to the hotel in what was likely 40 degree weather. I was sweating. I was sure I was going to pass out. I felt so incredibly nauseous.
Dan wanted to take us on the scenic route back. But I had just met this guy. I couldn’t tell him I needed to go back because I was practically dying. So we walked. But Cody, being the good husband that he is, noticed that something was not quite right.
He ended the night tour of Trutnov quickly and got us back to the hotel room. To Cody’s disappointment, I don’t think I have ever taken my clothes off as quickly as I did when we walked in that door. In about .73 seconds I was wearing a bra and my underwear sprawled out on the bed.
The next night was a work dinner that I got to tag along to. We went to another local place and I ate a much more simple meal that night. There we learned how hard the Czechs can party and I spent the whole next day trying to figure out how to cure a hangover without Whataburger.
Friday afternoon, Dan (the American!) took us to Ardspach. It is basically a park of huge rock formations. There were a TON of stairs and we were exhausted by the time we were done. The views were pretty spectacular.
Plus, we treated ourselves to a couple glasses of wine, three pizzas, and some bruchetta afterwards!
Saturday morning we drove to Prague and did a quick tour since Dan had been there multiple times before and I was heading back in a few weeks to meet Allison there.
And when I say quick tour, I mean we walked 26,000 steps!
We made it back Sunday afternoon and had enough time to rest before Cody started back at work Monday morning. That evening we headed to the bike store to purchase our bikes! Mine is super cute and I love her.
I sent Cody into a tizzy as I debated for about twenty minutes on which color to get.
“Do I do navy blue? Or gray?” “The gray is cute but it has a scratch.” “The blue though, everyone has that color.” “Do I wait two week for the teal color I want?” “The gray color will look super cute in instagram photos.”
I asked Cody. I asked the German sales guy. Then I sent a video to my younger sisters (cause they are hip and know everything that’s cute). No one answered, so then I tried face timing.
I finally settled on blue!
And I walked up to the cashier and was ready to hand over my credit card. I felt all kinds of buyers remorse and I hadn’t even bought the bike! So then I knew I really wanted the other color.
I wheeled the bike back to the German sales guy and asked him to rewrite me an invoice for the other one. Finally I was ready to head out with my pretty new bike!
Plus, the nice sales guy threw in our bike locks for FREE!
But in all the mess I created just trying to get out the door with a bike, I forgot it. And didn’t realize it till we made it home. Then Cody had to turn around and bike back to get it…Luckily I cooked a pretty good meal but I still think he was slightly annoyed with me!
I don’t think much happened this week other than I started German lessons and we went apartment searching. We saw two different flats. One was actually more of a house- three bedrooms, a living room, a kitchen, an eating area. It had a “garden” (aka yard) but no fence. The only reason I wanted a yard was so the dogs could go out when it was freezing and I didn’t have to. But, I would have still had to with this yard. Plus, it was a twenty to twenty five minute bike ride to town. NO THANK YOU!
We looked at the second apartment a few days later and said yes. And then I spent about the next three weeks second guessing our decision.
Well, I guess technically we said yes to wanting the apartment. Then our relocation manager (IDK what else to call her?!?) had to fill out paperwork “applying” to rent the property. Then we had to wait for the official “yes” from the landlord that we were approved. That came this week.
But again, not much going on other than me working on The Simply Organized Teacher, German Lessons, and trying to figure out how we were going to decorate our new home!
This was a crazy week because I came to Germany with no intention of “working.” My plan was to work on TSOT full time and do some contract work for another Teachers Pay Teachers Author.
Then, a girl posted in a facebook group here in Regensburg that she had to return to the states and needed someone to cover a few of her classes for her. I messaged her and within about four hours I was setting up an appointment to meet with the Language School.
I went for an “interview” but it was more of them telling me what I was going to be doing. My favorite part of this whole story is that the secretary of the school who was “interviewing” me asked if I spoke German. First question she asked me. ‘Shoot,’ I thought…’Well, this is the end of that…’ but then, her response to me “Oh, well that’s okay, it’s not very important.”
I started teaching that week. The school is more of a tutoring service. I met with three students a week in a one on one capacity and did one group class once a week. It really was a breeze and such a nice break from teaching twenty plus kids at a time.
This is me (and my bike!) on my way to my first English class! Two sisters- ages 5 and 3 (I think!?!?). They were absolutely precious and filled my teacher heart up SO much!
Again, a reminder of God’s goodness. A prayer I never really prayed, but was answered. I didn’t really want to work, but this has given me an opportunity to get out of the house, earn a little extra money, and most importantly…TALK TO PEOPLE OTHER THAN CODY!
I covered for those students for about a month. In January I will start with my very own students. However, this time I’ll be working only one day a week for several hours a day. I feel like this will be a better use of my time than going once a day three days a week.
On Sunday we got the keys to our new apartment and began the process of moving stuff in!!!!! Four flights of stairs. No elevator. Cody just kept saying “When we move out, we get movers!” I think it was his only motivation for carrying another load of sh*t up the stairs!
What I HAVEN’T mentioned about our first month is the amount of trips to IKEA. I can’t really tell you how many times we went to IKEA. Or how many times I went to TK Maxx.
Cody, trying to catch me spending all our money, created a spreadsheet of all the stores we (I) spent money at shopping for our new home. He did his engineering thing with an Excel spreadsheet and pulled our bank statement. There was a column for all the stores and the amount of money spent at each store totaled up next to it.
He was hoping to find that the number next to TK Maxx would be really high. Lucky for me, TK Maxx had a rather low amount next to it’s name. (Also lucky for me, he hasn’t ran the numbers again since 😉 )
During Month One I also spent an ungodly amount of time at the grocery store. I would say my first trip to the store was around two hours. These two hours consisted of biking to the store. Walking around the store trying to figure out where everything was. Then translating what’s on the list to German. Then trying to find it in the store.
One time I spent about fifteen minutes staring at the isle with “broth” on it. I could NOT find broth. Finally, I picked up a package of what I translated to be chicken broth (but was really just a can of powder stuff), then tried my best to translate the directions on the back. This is when I learned in Germany their broth is all powder and you mix it at home with boiling water. Who knew?!?
Then once the list is complete, I check out. And bag my own groceries. While trying to pay. While the cashier is talking to me in German. And most of the time, while a line for five to seven Germans is waiting behind me. Staring at me because WHO BUYS THAT MANY GROCERIES AT ONE TIME?!?
AMERICANS DO! THAT’S WHO!
Then I figure out how to load the groceries into my bike or carry them as I bike home. It’s an adventure to say the least….
Our last trip to the store we were in and out in under an hour!!! I call that a win!
So that’s it. That is our first month in Germany!
Until next time,