A foggy week

I do apologize for the lack of posts, and, in turn, this scattered bit of writing. In re-reading my draft, it would appear I have a lot to say, or, at least, I have lots of little things to say, as I’ve overloaded myself with footnotes, like I’m David Foster Wallace, or something.  Each side-thought probably could be its own post, but the chances of me fleshing out eight posts  tonight are slim to none. So I’ll let the footnotes stand. But before I get to my rambling, I’ll start with some pictures from this weekend, in case that’s all you popped in for.

Last week was rough for us in a few ways. For much of it I felt in a bit of a fog and unable to get out of my own way. I think we all had a bit of a letdown on the backside of our amazing London vacation. Plus we ran into several obstacles and brick walls that made us feel like it was one step forward, two steps back on all the things that are still left to do[1]. Throw in gloomy weather and a handful of other annoying things and we found ourselves in a little bit of a trough[2]. Usually Larry and I are Yin Yang. If one of us is blue, the other is in the pink. We usually balance each other and complement each other and help each other. But this week, for a couple of days, we both really felt beat down. I combated the worst of the days for me by forcing myself out of the house until the kids got home from school. I wandered Munich all day. I made like a hobo. I jumped on and off busses, trams, and trains with no destination in mind and no really grasp on where the vehicle was heading. I discovered new neighborhoods, new stores, and different areas of the city that I haven’t seen yet[3]. It was a good pick-me-up.

Since then Larry and I have both rallied and regained good attitudes and positive outlooks. We are back to happily being the family that does hard things. We received word that our sea shipment (aka all the rest of our stuff) will be arriving Wednesday. That alone was enough to snap me out of my funk. And yesterday we make excellent progress on hard decisions by ordering beds and wardrobes. Most stores are closed on Sunday[4], so we postponed our home goods shopping and instead spent half the day today doing our usual Sunday chores and the other half out and about on a beautiful spring day[5].

We took a family walk down to the Englisch Garten. The weather was close to 60 degrees and perfect for strolling. We chose today for a big milestone for the kids in that we had them find their way home without us. The key to both of their independence is in their comfort with navigating the city. So we talked landmarks and street names on the way to the park. They were both a little nervous, but they did fantastic. They found their way out of the garden and back home without getting turned around or lost. All in all, the weekend was a great combination of relaxing family time and punching through the to-do list. We even got to FaceTime with our families which always feels so wonderful.[6]

This coming week will be pretty busy. We have our German lessons[7], I have two appointments with other moms from the school, our stuff arrives Wednesday and Thursday, we have parent teacher meetings, and we have a dinner with other parents from the school who live in our area of Munich.  Then we will have another stretch of just working and living. Larry will be traveling quite a bit for work and I will be unpacking and making this house our home. I am so excited for that, I can hardly sit still.


[1] Obstacles:  The frustration and impotence I feel borders on ridiculous.  To me it seems crazy that so much stuff is still not working, not complete, not possible, or delayed. We went without a car for most of the week. The electrician came and was still unable to fix what’s broken. His promise of getting an IT person to fix what’s broken still has not come to pass. The damn elevator is still not working and the stairwell is under a perpetual state of undone. Yet there have been no workers at either the stairs or the elevator for a week. Our kitchen is still incomplete. We have duct tape where there should be a backsplash.  And for reasons we still cannot fathom, we cannot get a straight answer on a solution for getting the television to work. The internet connectivity in the house will not support four people working or recreating at the same time.

[2] A perfectly normal response, according to our cross cultural trainer.  Still feels pretty shitty when you’re in it.

[3] I am a huge fan of the public transit here in Munich. While it is not perfect, it really is very impressive. Clean, safe, reliable, ubiquitous, and the most sensible ticketing system I’ve ever experienced.

[4] So here’s this about that:  It is true that most everything is closed on Sundays here, with the exceptions being the biergartens, the ice houses, some bakeries, and some gas stations.  I have an observation that my friends in the northeast can possibly relate to. Because stores are closed on Sunday, and many places close by 4 0r 5 on Saturday, every week people experience a little mini bout of Blizzard Mentality. Every Saturday there’s this little clutching of the pearls and this little anxious vibe as everyone needs to stock up to get through till Monday. Or if you’re able to plan ahead and you have the strength to haul it all and the places to store it all, you may go crazy and stockpile on Friday for the ENTIRE WEEKEND {gasp!}  Then on Sunday, you hunker down, enjoy the spoils of your successful planning, and make you list for Monday.  But! I will also let you in on some insider info we learned today: the stores at the Hofbahnhaus are all open. You’ll pay a premium and I cannot vouch for any of the prepared foods, but if you are in a pinch you can likely find what you need there.

[5] I know it’s only February, and as things are very much like New England, I do not trust the weather here, but there’s no denying that the snowdrops are a week into their bloom, the cherry blossoms are all popping, and many of the trees and bushes are budding up. It’s a beautiful sight.

[6] Even though I did actually move to Germany back before such amazing technical advances, I still feel compelled to say I don’t know how we would do this move without all the amazing tools we have at our fingers. Google Maps, Google Translate, Duo Lingo, Face Time, FaceBook, Messenger, What’s App, Tripadvisor.  The list is long.

[7] German is going well but slowly. We love our teacher. We are trying hard. Larry is doing wonderfully with his effort and his communication. He is able to tell people (in German) that we’ve only been here two months so the language skills are still developing, and frequently he is complimented on how well he’s doing for only two months here (and it’s true).  I’m very impressed and inspired by his effort and progress. My problem is that apparently I can fake it really well. Ive been told multiple times by strangers that I have no discernible accent with certain phrases. Thus get mistaken for a German speaker and get lost very quickly when people rapidly speak to me. I wish the language was easier to learn (duh). I wish I could have a teacher with me every day, to keep me practicing and learning.


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