Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Treasured Trash


The new love of my life has arrived. Last week it was my kitchen, and now it's my brand new washing machine that Christophs parents got us. Now my poor mother in law doesn't have to wash our clothes and that is good for a couple reasons. I don't think I have ever met anyone who can make laundry smell as good as she does. When I first met Chritsoph there was a specific smell he had that I was always wondering where it came from. Come to find later when I visited his house, a step in their home is like walking into a valley of flowers or hugging the Snuggle bear. Phillipp, Christoph's brother could be working all day in construction, come home and still smell like a princess from 10 feet away. Anyways, I tried out my first load yesterday and it was nothing like how my mother in law made it smell, and it literally put me in a bad mood. So many times I think, "I can do it like the Germans" or "I can be organized too." but it is always falling short. I guess I have to remember I am just not German, and there are some things that never change. I do have to say that I am 10 times better at...

a) cleaning b) washing dishes c) organizing d) taking care of my cat d) calling people back (maybe that's because I only have an average of 2 people calling me a week) e) eating. Last but not least I would like to believe I am way better at cooking by now. I am learning, slowly but surely. When we were repacking all of our stuff we left at the Gruener's home over the past year, I opened a cabinet full of my clothes and was appalled at myself and how I stuffed everything in there. It's good that I see that now, whereas before I would think that is completely normal.

When I was little I used to put trash in boxes and stack them neatly in my closet. My mom didn't find out until she looked under my bed and saw all of my dirty laundry stuffed to the point of no end which made her further look in my junk yard collected closet.

It was maybe five years ago I used a bag of frozen lima beans to ease my shin splints after soccer practice. Two weeks later I smelled something rancid lingering. I finally cleaned up my room and found a bag of rotting lima beans under a pile of clothes. Friends, I am only telling you this because I want you to be proud of how far I am have come, and this sentence is mostly written for my mother. Mother, I no longer hide things in dark places. My kitchen is all white and I keep it looking like a Mr. Clean commercial shoot.

I am always admiring how the Germans are so organized and always getting things done. But there will always be some things I will never understand, and that's not their fault it's just the way everyone has learned. Let me give you an example and it starts with locking your garbage can.
The other day we had to register our new place of living from Gerstetten to Ulm. Now, coming from the States I am very used to filling up your garbage as full as you can get it, put it out on friday morning, fill it up again etc... Well not here! We had to go to some government official building, change our residence, and go to a special desk called "Muell", which means "Trash" and pay for our yearly fee of our gallon sized trash bucket we can only fill up once a month. Don't get me wrong we can still have a special bag for plastic, another for paper, another for glass, and so on to recycle. I am all for recycling to a certain extent, but now I know the reason why people have locks on their garbage cans, so that no one else can sneak any of their trash in there. Yesterday Christoph said he needs to start eating more so that we don't throw extra food away. Now we are both gonna get fat just because we can't leave any leftovers to throw away. I said to Christoph yesterday, "It's amazing that people don't start throwing their trash out of their car windows." He said, "We were trained really well I guess." I believe that if Americans were given the same regulations a great many horrible things would happen. a) our streets would be knee deep in trash b) There would be a new police department specifically for trash called the "Trash Brigade" and c) Mary J Bleige and P Diddy would come out with a new song called, "Look at all the Trash."

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Crooked walls

Well, after hard work and a lot of decision making we are finally staying at our new place! I am going to post pictures soon, because I want you to see how gorgeous our place is. I have never in my life ever imagined living in a cute little newly renovated house that is older than America, in the most beautiful part of Germany. We get two great features in one....The feeling of an old unique building that is hundreds of years old, and the newly renovated inside so that nothing is falling apart. It's fantastic! The walls are all crooked because they just covered the old walls with new walls. And what makes it really special, is they left one wall open with the old wall, and you can see all of the old stone shingles from the olden days. You will see it better in all of the pictures soon. The problem is, it's currently a huge mess right now so no pictures for a bit still.

Well, just wanted to let you all know we are finally at our destination. We only had one injury, Christophs pinky finger. He rushed to bandage the scratch up with a band-aid before any permanent damage was done. Ok, so I have to write about one more thing because it is hilarious but I know I will hear from Christoph later on.

You see Christoph was born with many "beauty marks" aka "moles" None are overbearing or weird, he just has a lot. Now if you know my husband, or any man for that matter, they are hypochondriacs. Oh man my spelling is at an all time low. Anyways, I hear almost every single day from him..."Is this a new mole? How does this one look? It looks different right?" Now if you go back a couple months it was all my fault in starting this new mole obsession. I simple said one time, "Make sure you get those checked every once in awhile." (Once every couple years is what I meant) Little did I know he would be self examining himself everyday asking me to be the diagnoser. I have no idea what moles should look like, and even if I did I am not a doctor!

I love you Christoph, and I love that you are the way you are....it makes me smile:) I will delete this blog entry if you so wish:)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Auf Wiedersehen!!!!

Today's the day we move, and how I found time to write in my blog I have no idea. In about two hours we have some help from friends and family to get this party on it's way to Ulm. Our stuff has doubled in the past 6 months, mostly because of my clothes gradually being shipped with my poor parents and their luggages.

Christoph is still slumbering away, and I am too jittery the get a wink more in. One of Christoph's favorite things to do is sleep...He is just like a new born baby. I think it's a German thing too, like one time I tried to wake up his brother Phillip to come eat dinner (It was like 1:30pm) and I will never in my life attempt something lik this. I have never heard him sound so angry...justa like a bear woken from hibernation.

Although, poor Christoph has to put up with some pretty rediculous sleep behaviors from me. Sometimes in the night when I have dreams that he was a jerk to me, I wake up and hit him with my fist, turn around and go back to bed. Apparently this happens a lot, but I only remember some of the times. I'm sorry but my dreams are sometimes so real it wouldn't matter if really happened or not, at that moment he deserves a smack. Now he knows to say..."What did I do this time?"

Thursday night was a sad night. Some of my new favorite people and us got together, ate some risotto, drank some wine, and just enjoyed one last night. It was absolutely wonderful. Last night Christoph said something, and I believe it is a German saying..."To leave Hamburg makes one eye smile and one eye cry."..(.then Benni and I actually tried that....It looks pretty funny)
But seriously it is this way exactly. The people we have met here, the people at my school, the people on the streets (Like 19 cent guy), have all been apart of something so dear to my heart. Unfortunately, looking forward has always been a struggle for me, so i am trying to keep my head up, accept some more change, and start again in Ulm.

One thing I am sure of though. Everything in life happens for a reason. The people we meet, the places we go, the kombucha's we spill, all happen for a purpose that is so much bigger than we can know. I am so delighted in the fact that God uses all of us to bless and to help one another. So....friends of Hamburg you know who you are, you will be greatly missed and you have made an impact in my life more than you know.

Tschuess Hamburg, Tchuess language school and all of my crazy teachers, Tschuess metro station and all of the wonderful people watching. Tschuess tiny little moths that fly around our apartment and we thought were gone. Tschuess diaper couch, and coffee stained carpet. Tschuess little shelf above the toilet that always shifted and let all of my lotions and perfumes drop down into the toilet. Tschuess stupid bed. Tschuess to the Schanzestrasse and all of it's awesome Cafe's and shops. Tschuess carzy people I encountered on the street. Thank you all for giving me so much to write about. Tschuess wonderful new friends. Tschuess to you all! I will miss you!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

What makes the clock go round?

This week we leave Hamburg...and today for the first time in awhile it has been sunny all day. I feel uncomfortable about it, some of the reasons being my kitchen and all of it's discusting bacteria breeding places are now illluminated. Haven't seen that yet. But thankfully on Saturday we are on our way, into our very own place, our very own kitchen, and our new life.

Gos has blessed us in so many ways here. Besides getting to know each other on a new level...aka being married, we have made some wonderful friends and have experienced what living in a big city was like. I can't say it's my favorite, but it sure was a good experience.

Sven comes on saturday to take back the apartment. It will be interesting to see what he has to say about all the dishes I broke, the coffee stained carpet, and his broken lamp. I can't see him being upset mostly because everything here is old and almost broken anyways. We'll see. I hope we get our deposit back.

To say the least I have had some pretty interesting interactions/experiences with the Hamburgers. Let's just sum things up. There was all of the people who have approached me not knowing my response would be awkward and somewhat confused.There was the time I fell on some guys lap in the metro. Oh, and I won't ever forget seeing that woman get hit by a car. That very same day I thought my wallet was stolen, but it showed up in my bag just yesterday. Good thing because I almost filed a police report for a stolen wallet that was really hiding in an almost invisible pocket in my backpack. Oh, and let's not forget the incident with the Kombucha at the grocery store the other day. Right in the check out area of the grocery store my new bottle of kombucha flew out of my bag and exploded all over the floor and onto some guys shoes. Everyone was starring at me. My first thought, "What am I going to say in German?" Second thought.."Just say you're sorry." so I did. I apoloized profusely and then continued to try and clean up the mess I had made by picking up the shattered glass. Before I knew it, the chashier lady was yelling at me in German, so there was nothing left to do but....leave. I left. I had already had a pretty awful day and this just put the frosting on the already burned cake. What an interesting experience, living here. But all in all it was a time i will never forget, and I'm sure I will always look back after I am fluent in German and say...."Wow, I was pretty rediculous." Not in a sense that I was stupid, just that everytime I walk outside I feel misplaced and terribly alone. I know I shouldn't feel this way because it's pretty silly, but it's just a fact when you live in a foreign place. It's get's better day by day.

One more thing...Today during break at school I went to the reception office to ask a question. I took a glance at the clock because I had to be back in about 2 minutes. The time said 2:58pm on the hand clock. Two minutes later I looked back at the clock and it was winding around at record speed and was already at about 4:30 and still ticking. It was so strange I have never seen anything like it. When the lady at the reception finished talking with the other person, she then helped me. Before she said anything I told her something was wrong with her clock. She stared at it for a bit, and turned around so confused. By that time it said it was 8:00. So, I'm not a supersticious person about these things, but I couldn't help but think...."Do I have some sort of power I am unaware of?" Ok for like a split second I thought that, but really how often does a clock just after you look at it start freaking out and do about 30 seconds per second untouched? It was freaky.