This is going to be my last blog post as “New Momma Overseas.” Don’t worry, I’m going to keep blogging (hopefully more frequently!) but the ‘overseas’ part will be no more.
Without further ado, here’s my history with a country that didn’t mean all that much to me at first, but now has a very special place in my heart. I’ll finish it off with a top-10 wunderbar and not-so-wunderbar things about Deutschland.
First, my history with Germany:
I chose Germany on Post Night, one day in Feb. 2007, because I wanted to travel the world. Being from a small town, I had only been to Canada–a mere two hour drive from home! But West Point changed all that. I got to go to Norway, France, and Korea, all in one summer, and all were completely Ah-mazing. And so I thought, when will I ever live overseas, if not now? I was 21 at the time. By the time I got to Germany about 10 months later, I was fresh out of officer school and ready to explore Europe. Unfortunately, the company I joined deployed 4 months after I arrived, so I didn’t get to see much at first, just Luxembourg, the Black Forest, Munich, Switzerland, and Paris (all with my parents, and/or JC 🙂 )
Then, I deployed for 15 months, and my apartment with all my things waited for me in Germany. I missed two summers in Germany, never got to go to Oktoberfest (Iraq in 08, TDY to Hood in 09, pregnant in 10), but otherwise, I have no regrets. I met my husband, got engaged here, and got married (in Denmark, because the Germans are oh-so-slow with paperwork–and Internet set-ups! ha) I gave birth to my son here. I got my two lovable kitties here. My mom’s side of the family is from Germany too, which may be why I’ve felt at home here. Amazingly enough, Germany feels like home to me. It’s been 3 years since I arrived, but I haven’t lived here even two because of the deployment. Still, it has been a truly unforgettable experience, and I’m going to miss this place a lot.
I’ll start off with the “Top 10 reasons why Germany is wunderbar”
- 1. The beer! Favorite type Paulaner Hefeweisen, followed closely by the Radler)
- 2. The food!! A few favorite dishes: Flammkuchen, french fries, sausage with sauerkraut, baked potatoes, and the salad dressings)
- 3. Going along with #2, the bakeries. Favorites: olive bread, kaseplunder, and schokocroissants from Grimminger’s.
- 4. The running trails. Best spot I found was the Exotenwald in Gorxheimertal (turn right by the public pool and there’s parking), amazing views of castles and awesome hilly trails for running or hiking, or even biking but I never tried it.
- 5. Going along with #4, the races. I absolutely loved the way Germans set up their races. They are super supportive (spraying water on hot days), and super motivated (never have I seen so many old folks run so fast!) I only got to do 2 half marathons, 2 10k’s, and an 8k (which may sound like a lot, but I had so much more planned), but those races were completely awesome and I will treasure those memories.
- 6. The autobahn. I love driving fast and not getting pulled over for it. Enough said. I also enjoy roundabouts, and the way the light turns yellow before it turns green.
- 7. The cute, historic towns. The architecture is amazing, and it makes me think about how much Germany was bombed during the war, yet this country is so beautiful now, you can’t tell it was decimated about half a century ago.
- 8. German cars. Well-built, stylish, and fast… what more could you want?
- 9. Outdoorsiness. Germans love being outside, even if the weather is crappy. I applaud them for always being active.
- 10. IKEA. I know IKEA is worldwide, but the Germans love IKEA (don’t go there on a Sat. morning, you’ll be there all day!) And since I love IKEA… well, we have something in common.
I was going to do the Top 10 things I don’t like about Germany, but seeing how I’m in Georgia now, I miss more things than I don’t miss. So I will just say that I didn’t like not knowing German (way too tough to find the time to learn), I didn’t like how Germans have no concept of a personal bubble (and don’t know how to say “excuse me” when they run into you, which is often), and I didn’t like how some things were so inefficient–like the internet set-up.
I’m going to miss Germany. I already do. It will always have a special place in my heart. But it’s time for the next chapter to begin… stay tuned 🙂
Bye bye Deutschland!