Four months ago today, I boarded a plane in Miami to move to Germany. One third of an entire year has passed. It’s kind of mind boggling to me- the time has passed very quickly. I feel like I’ve been here no time at all. And I simultaneously feel like I’ve been here for so much longer than four months.
Since I arrived, I have:
- Survived my first three weeks in a hotel.
- Found an apartment.
- Learned to bank in Germany.
- Successfully navigated German bureacracy with help from my colleague Michael – I have a residence permit, permission to work, and a German tax ID and social security number.
- Equipped that apartment with furniture, mostly from Ikea, as well as an Internet connection.
- Worked a lot. I don’t really talk about work on this blog, but it’s there. It’s what brought me to Germany in the first place.
- Survived my first winter in Germany. My first winter anywhere, really- I lived in Florida for my entire life before this, so snow and ice is very new to me.
- Learned to grocery shop in a new country.
- Learned a great many food words in German, become fairly adept at reading menus.
- Tried an enormous amount of restaurants and bars in Regensburg. (Special thanks to Jenny for being my semi-constant mealtime companion. She has really great taste in food.)
- Become a regular at an Irish pub. (I’ve always wanted to be a regular at a pub. Neat!)
- Learned to navigate the alttstadt (old town) better than some folks who’ve been here for much longer.
- Learned how to use the bus and train systems in Germany. Acquired a Bahncard.
- Travelled on my own to a concert in Kempten, near the Alps on the Austrian border.
- Travelled to Munich to see an Orchestra perform the entire score to Pirates of the Caribbean.
- Travelled two Nuremberg twice, once with a friend and once on my own. (The second trip to Nuremberg will be a coming-soon post.)
- Met another American blogger who lives in Germany. (Hi, Heather!)
- Met a lot of people from at least eight other countries besides Germany and the US.
- Had a Russian girl named Elena drink me under the table. (My Russian ancestry cries every time I can’t keep up. Need more practice.)
- Learned and embraced a lot of very German customs and behaviors.
- Watched The Lion King and The Muppets in German. Also, lots of Big Bang Theory, Futurama, Star Trek, Family Guy, Simpsons, and How I Met Your Mother in German.
- Learned a lot of German- still not enough for a conversation, but that will come in time.
- Tried very hard to never fit the “stupid American” stereotype.
- Discovered the tasty, tasty addiction that is Butterbreze- buttered pretzels.
…and most importantly:
- Met a lot of really great people, and even made some friends.
Things that are still very much on my to-do list:
- By the time I’ve been here for one year, I want to have basic conversations in German.
- I still need to file my German taxes from 2011. D’oh!
- More blogging. Always more blogging.
- More travel. I still need to see Vienna, Salzburg, Budapest, Prague, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris, London, Cardiff, Barcelona, Berlin, Heidelberg, Zurich, and many other places that I can’t think of right now.
- Less McDonald’s. Having two McD’s within a short walk from here is somewhat lethal- when you’re really hungry and/or tired, it’s too easy to slip in for a burger and fries. It’s especially tempting after a night of drinking at the Murphy’s Law.
- Acquire a traditional Bavarian outfit complete with lederhosen. Maybe.