We are settling in OK. I think Oskar is still struggling with city life. We are starting to develop a routine of taking him down to pee. Our apartment is on the 4th floor so it is kind of a hassle, plus there is so much snow still on the ground that he isn’t quite sure where to go when he’s out there. I think I was scolded by our neighbor yesterday. Our building has 7 apartments in it, two on each floor and our on the top. When we first arrived here on Thursday there was an old man peering out of the 2nd story window as we loaded our stuff in. His wife is equally as nosy and it so happened that Oskar pooped on the stairs as I was bringing him down to do his business. I thought I picked up all of it, but as we left the apartment an hour or so later I saw a turd right on the first step outside this lady’s door. I picked it up, assuming no harm done. The next morning when I was coming up the stairs after another Oskar session, she had the door open and said something to me (she is German so I couldn’t tell if she was yelling or not), pointing to the dog and saying the one word I understood “hund” (dog). I did the whole “Sprechen sie English”? But she waved me off and closed her door. So I am not sure if she was saying something about the crap on her step or the dog is cute, there’s supposed to be no dogs in this building, or what. I saw her today when I was outside and I waved to her. She waved back, so I guess we are on good terms.
Our apartment is nice! We are happy and comfortable here. It is in a modern apartment block…there are 6-8 other buildings surrounding us that look exactly the same.. There is a courtyard in the middle that has a playground and large grassy area, which will be nice in the spring. It’s covered in snow right now though. It is fully furnished, pots pans, everything but more than 1 roll of toilet paper. There are bed sheets and cleaning supplies. The slanted ceilings have been an occasional nuisance, but we are getting used to them. The oddest thing is the shower is installed under one of the slants, so there is hardly any room to manuever..it's not a shower I will be hanging out in. Mayzie has adapted well to her room…the single bed in there dwarfs her and we brought her comforter with us, so she has been comfortable. We even have cable TV, although only 2 English stations, CNN and MTV. Too bad, because it looks like there are some quality German shows on…one day maybe. So we have relied on crappy news and reality shows. They show subtitles so maybe we can pick up some German…when talking is going on, I can’t pick up anything. We got our DVD player hooked up and our portable Bose system. Can’t get a wireless connection going for the computer, so we will have to spend the money for a connection. We found out how to do it, but we need a German bank account before it is possible. I am meeting with Bettina tomorrow to go the immigration office to get registered and to open up a bank account and then to a meeting with my new colleagues at High End Engineering in
Bettina turned out almost like I imagined her—an energetic, young lady. She is so helpful, it really is amazing. On Friday, we went into
The language thing has been a challenge, but everyday we are gaining confidence. Nearly every encounter has been awkward. We can say something in German but as soon as the answer comes, we have no idea what they are saying so we revert to sign language and English. Younger people inevitably know English, but older people seem to not. We went out to Ikea when we had the car still and it took two cashiers to realize that they do not take Visa or MasterCard…only cash?! Crazy. Getting on the local bus here in
Sorry this is so long. Jenna said I should stop…people wont read this much haha
Oh yeah…it’s true, German beers are cheaper than water! 75 cents for a 1/2 liter of good beer, $1 for a 1.5 liter water in the grocery stores….. HAPPY!