It’s crazy how much substance a few months can add to a person’s existence.
October 2nd marked 3 months since I arrived in Germany. My Favorite German Find of the Week is the feeling of familiarity.
“It seems like only yesterday and yet it seems so long ago…” That’s one common way of saying it. On the other hand, for weeks now I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the phrase in Jacob 3:13, “And a hundredth part of the proceedings of this people, which now began to be numerous, cannot be written upon these plates;…” That scripture makes more sense to me now.
The other day, I found my way to the Stadtverwaltung (city office) via Strassenbahn+10 minute walk and paid my 15 euro parking ticket. After the Polizei helped me, I stepped back and felt a drip on my leg. My purse was leaking. For the next 15 minutes I was wiping the Mezzo Mix off my purse contents in the city office WC (water closet/bathroom). When I got home and cleaned everything more thoroughly, I lay everything out on the table to dry and recognized how most of the contents were representative of my everyday life in Germany, all of it now very familiar.
Moving clockwise in a snail pattern, starting with the culprit.
1) Mezzo Mix – It’s a Coca-cola brand twist of cola and orange Fanta. Sounds strange. Looks strange. Now trumps Coke. But the lids… must be careful to seal the lids tightly.
2) Apartment Key on blue University of Maryland lanyard (school I plan to attend here) – Gets me into my building and my apartment door. Hearing me grab it is a sign to Woody that we’re going out. He proceeds to hide under the bed. We then do our best to bribe him with treats, leave without him to fake him out, whatever we can think of. It’s our routine. We’re not sure why.
3) Cassis Berry flavored Katje brand Gummies (the purple and white package) – I don’t often leave home without them.
4) Sunglasses purchased at H&M in Aldstadt for 5 euro.
5) A few dollar bills just in case I need them on Post.
6) My copy of the beautiful new Daughters in My Kingdom book which I received three days earlier. It made for great Strassenbahn reading material, but it no longer looks very new or as pretty with cola stained pages.
7) Wallet, ID, Passport – Have to have the ID ready for every entry on to a U.S. Post. I haven’t had to use my passport yet, but I look forward to the day I do (this weekend, maybe?)
8 ) Purple Plastic Doggy Doo-doo Bag – It still gives me anxiety that a German will catch me letting Woody go potty within the neighborhood. It happened two days ago. But I’m less afraid to tell them that I always clean it up, unlike their fellow Germans. I keep coming up with all kinds of comebacks in my head, comparing my cleanup to their leaving cigarette butts and other trash all over the ground. Or something like: “I’ll stop letting him go in the neighborhood corners and picking it up with a biodegradable bag if you take away his anxiety of Grand Central Doggy Potty (along one of the busiest streets in Leimen).” I keep trying to take him out to GCDP, but then I’m secretly proud of him when he refuses to go in the disgusting sewage left to pile up among the weeds.
9) White Papers – Shopping lists, written addresses for the GPS, directions to get there in case the GPS is wrong (which it sometimes is), Strassenbahn train #s to take, transit system map, library books to check out, post office mailing customs form receipts. The white with orange is my stamped “Bezahlt” (Paid) parking ticket.
10) Cell Phone – I’m almost over my bitterness of not being able to get an iPhone. Pre-paid plans sure do make you more conscious of using your minutes; $15 lasts me a month! We use mostly email to communicate around these parts (Relief Society meetings, reminders, requests like sisters needing a ride, visiting teaching appointments, dinner appointments with friends, etc.).
11) iPod Ear Buds – They might be handy if my iPod would stay charged. I’m afraid the 220 volt has done something to the old girl (going on 6 years). And, by the way Weston (I know he doesn’t read this, but since I’m thinking of my nephew’s track record with headphones), these are the original set of ear buds that came with my iPod.
12) Loose Euro – Need a few at the ready for a shopping cart deposit, an Eis (ice cream), a Brezel (pretzel), or a Mezzo Mix.
13) Fingernail Clippers – An item from the pre-German life as an active duty Massage Therapist. They don’t come out every other day like they used to.
14) Lip Smackers Acai Berry lip balm – Can’t find my usual Cherry Ice here–bummer.
15) Strassenbahn Ticket – I kept the first one I ever got in my purse until it became a stack of them. I’ll save my last one for my journal before I depart this abode.
And that, my friends, is an average composite, 3 month life span of an American feeling comfortable in Germany…
also known as: The day my Mezzo Mix made a mess of my purse mayhem.