I get asked this question ALOT and I never know how to answer.
Obviously its gorgeous here. Like ridiculously gorgeous and so full of history everywhere we go.
I just started researching a lot of the areas we usually go to in town and cant believe how old they are...most of the buildings/statues are from WWI or built by the Romans. Ill post more on that later.
But back to living here.
You know the whole "once you go black you never go back" phrase? (Totally referring to hair color. We used to say it to anyone wanting black hair) Well once you live in America, no matter how much you may want to leave, its a thousand times harder living anywhere else.
Here's a few of my recent observations/thoughts about Germany.
p.s. all of the pictures in this post were taken literally 5 minutes from our housing. So crazy.
The language barrier is kind of whatever to us by now. We just look for someone younger and 9 times out of 10 they will know some english. The only real situation with language we've had is at the hospital where it was obviously important they could speak english, and they didn't.
Oh so you want to browse the cutest clothes ever, go check out some home decor, and grab a few groceries on your way out? Well there is NO TARGET HERE which I cant and never will be able to understand. I mention going to Target once a day and it used to be my home away from home. There's nothing even CLOSE to a Target here. No Wal-mart, no Walgreens, no anything that would make life a thousand times easier. There used to be Walmart in Germany but they were all removed because, no idea.
The weather is beautiful. If it rains, its literally for maybe 3 minutes and then the sun comes out.
There is zero humidity so far which my hair is thanking me for.
Im sure Ill look back on this post in the winter when there's seven feet of snow on the ground and I'm shaking under a thousand blankets and refusing to leave the house.
No air conditioning in this whole country, so on hot days its torture going into certain buildings where its hotter inside than out.
People are very quiet here.
By people I mean Germans because our neighbors have a kid that never stops screaming and escaping the house somehow. If you go into town, its quiet no matter where you go. Everyone keeps to themselves and their kids are super well behaved. Walking around town is so much fun and relaxing.
Dogs. Everywhere :)
Everyone walks there dogs 24/7. Oh you want to go shopping? Bring your amazingly cute/well behaved dogs. Want to go out to dinner? Bring your dog! Hubby and I freak out all day over every dog we see. I cant wait until Monster is here and we can show her off to the world. The dogs here usually arent even on leashes. They are that good. They pay no attention to anyone or any other dogs and will lay outside of a store waiting patiently for their owner to return. Even if Hubby squats down a few feet away saying "come here" they ignore him. And so do I while I embarrassingly walk away :)
Driving. So many rules and road signs. SO many one way streets.
You stay in the right lanes and only use the left lanes for passing. You cant pass someone on the right side.
I have never heard a single person honking their horn.
Oh, you want to flick someone off? $500 ticket. Even if youre not driving.
Its illegal to have a cell phone in your hand unless the car is parked and the engine is off. Which is a great idea, America.
Ticket prices here? Holy crap. 700 euros for speeding over 30mph? No thank you.
The autobahn...not that serious. We build it up to be so amazing and most of it has a speed limit, and areas where it doesnt, its not that crazy. It looks like any old interstate back home.
Parking doesn't exist. There are no such thing as parking lots.
You have to pay no matter where you park. 9 times out of 10 you are squeezing into a spot on the side of the road if you get that lucky. There are some underground parking garages but unless you want to pay an arm and a leg, we stay clear of those when possible.
The dreaded bathroom fees.
We have found a way around this, because we are at Starbucks, ALOT. Way too much.
The bathrooms there are free for customers.
Everywhere else? 50-70 cents in euros. Which is like a dollar everytime you have to go.
I dont know how everyone doesnt have a bladder infection at all times. I refuse to pay to go unless its super serious and we have been out of the house all day.
I dont know if its because we live in one of the richest towns in Germany but clothing/etc is expensive. Back home we could get hubby Levis for 39$ and think that was expensive. The cheapest we've been able to find here is 100 euro which is like 130$. The cheapest bicycles we can find are at least 500$. They have 19% sales tax here. Crazy right? Gas is up to 8 euro a gallon off base (so like 10$ a gallon).
I miss my family like crazyyyyy. I used to think driving 3 hours to see them was a long trip but a 10 hour flight to a different country is bonkers. I wish I could take that 3 hour drive everyday now.
Thank god for free unlimited calls to the US and Facetime.
Overall its kind of a toss up. I dont want us to sound like brats and say we dont want to be here but its definitely a place to visit and harder to live in once you have been in the US for so long where everything seems so much easier. There's a lot of times I say "oh my gosh I cant believe we live here, its so pretty" but there are also alot of days where I would give anything to meet my mom at Target and grab some Arby's on the way home. Or to spend the day at Disney World because it was literally 10 minutes from our house.
Germany and I have a love/hate relationship right now.
But I am grateful for the experiences we will take home from living here. and Im sure once we are back in the states a few years from now, there will be so much we miss about here.