This post was written on October 2nd, 5:00PM
It's been a while since my last post, but don't worry, we're all safe and doing well. Unfortunately, as I noted before, the online service at the hotel was less than stellar, going out for one to three days at a time, and often randomly out at night as well. Very aggravating. The second reason is that since moving into our new home on Thursday, we haven't had internet service here at all. The instruction booklet for hooking up our DSL is in German, with one page of English interpretation which badly needs updating. Greg attempted following the directions and we got shut out of the internet altogether. The English speeaking operatorsraters at T-Mobil only work limited hours, so since Friday night we haven't been able to get any help. T-Mobil has a monopoly here; they don't have to worry about other competitors doing the job better, so they just do as they please. This is very frusterating, and we don't have any choice.
The internet is still not up but I've got a moment (Elijah is watching a video next to me here on the couch and Andrew is finishing up his nap) so I'll just post this whenever I have the chance to.
So. Enough with the bitching.
I LOVE our new apartment. Interestingly enough, it's the largest one in the building. We have the entire third floor, and the other two floors are divided up into two apartments each. One thing that is bad is that I have to climb two flights of stairs every time I come home from somewhere, along with Elijah and whatever else in my arms. Thankfully, this seems to be a very good area (as in, not shady), so I can throw things into the community laundry room as a holding place (which is where we keep the strollers) if needed while I take care of the boys.
We are on the main street of a busy, smallish town. Our building is set back in a courtyard that has a narrow driveway entrance, so it's the best of both worlds: a few steps away from the heart of the town, yet removed from it a little so that we don't walk out into traffic when we exit the front door.
A walk down the first two blocks of the street reveals at least 5 bakeries/pastry shops. When my family moved from New Jersey to New York, the main cultural/area thing that I missed was accessable bakeries. At our house in NJ, we had a similar bakery situation that I have here; they were everywhere. In NY, the only place to get any decent baked goods is Wegmans, which is a half-hour drive from my parent's house.
Directly across the street from us are two of those bakeries, a natural food store, and an Eise Salon (Ice cream shop that also serves liquors tea and liquers). I cannot even say how much of an ideal location we live at. The only unfortunate thing is that we haven't been able to find a playground yet. Andrew really wants to meet other kids, and playgrounds tend to be a good place. Also, running around in the house (even though it's big) or running errands on foot only expend so much creative energy for the little guys. They still feel the need to run on grass and such, so I'll have to find something.
Every day, I memorize German phrases that will assist me with my errands for the next day, and then each morning the boys and I set out into the town to try and get things done. It's invigorating and challenging to learn to communicate in a new language (broken German with bad sign language is my current mode), but people have been very patient with me so far, which is great. In the US, I appreciate so much when people who immigrate there make an effort to learn our language and culture, and don't expect me to just know theirs, so I feel like I'm honoring the Germans in the same way. If I'm going to be here for three years, I'm sure that I'll get to know the shop keepers at the different places and they'll be glad to see me meat out my German vocabulary before I have to leave.