Pardon My American

Every once in a while I remember to pull my head out of the all consuming nature of adjusting to my foreign surroundings and acknowledge the reality that I’m in Germany.

I say it in my head and out loud. “I’m in Germany!”

I don’t know if I’ve adequately described how these past three weeks have been as challenging as they have been adventurous and fun. Shock and awe.

But for some reason something clicked inside of me today. Maybe it was the déjà vu I experienced while Woody and I were on our walk. It happened while looking for details about my neighbor’s yards I missed last time I passed by, then coming across restaurants on streets I had not been down before. It was an unearthly feeling, like déjà vus are. Afterward it felt like I had been stuck in first gear and suddenly there were enough RPMs to shift up to second.

(This gear shifting has nothing to do with the fact that I passed my driver’s test today -yay!- because I haven’t even driven yet.)

Whatever flipped the switch, Germany is feeling more like home rather than just a place I’ve been visiting.

The most difficult things to get used to, however, are (for the most part) the things I miss from the States. Like American TV and DVR. And an oven. My cell phone, Netflix, movie theaters, my computer and my piano. Oh and my family, my cats and my clients. And Instant Breakfast (I keep forgetting to check to see if the Commissary his it).

You know I miss you all more than TV.

Here’s the deal—

Oven:  I like to bake. Thought I would try some German pastries. It’ll have to wait for a larger apartment which we will be on the list for in a month or two.  For now, this two-burner cook top is what we have to work with. Oh, and a microwave with a grill setting where its ceiling heating element glows red and blows out heat as well as something black from who knows what. (I’ll try not to cause another fire in my building!)

“And what excellent boiled potatoes. It’s been many years since I’ve had such an exemplary vegetable.” They were yummy!

TV: We have two English speaking channels, CNN and BBC News. American movies are on all the time, but they’re dubbed over in German. We attempt to watch one now and again–hopefully pick up on some German… We switch the channel after a few minutes.

Since we live off post, in order to get American TV we have to buy a satellite dish plus a receiver, plus blah blah blah, all costing the small fortune of 500 euros.

We don’t miss TV that much.

Movie Theaters: Select theaters play select movies on select days in their original version of “Englisch”. I just learned about one and I will definitely be making the 25 minute journey there.

W W W dot: The World Wide Web isn’t quite what it seems when there’s an ocean between land masses. Netflix, Pandora, Hulu? Bye bye. That’s why I say, “vey vey vey poonked!” with great gusto. It makes me feel better. Even though all I’m saying is “www.” in German.

Cell Phones: We’re only here for 1 year. A 2 year contract is required for a good phone with a decent plan. Our only option is prepaid cell phones. Archaic.

I assumed that Germany would be more advanced in their technology than the U.S. They are in other areas–like cars, right? BMWs and Audis are cheaper here. Why aren’t TV, the internet and cell phone plans keeping up?

Oh well.

Is this spoiled American complaining? Why, yes, I think she is.

Entschuldigung. (“Excuse me.”)

Did I mention that we can drive to France for lunch?

And these hibiscus are behind our building.

In fact, they’re everywhere.

I know none of you felt sorry for me for one second.


3 thoughts on “Pardon My American

  1. Nope. No pity here. Instead of TV you have ancient ruins to look at and castles to explore and WRITING of books to do with the time you used to spend watching movies and TV. That’s my problem too.
    Loved your blog! You are always delightful to read!!!

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