First Days In Germany

I’ve mentioned how we are a military family—my husband is in the Army. We were in Kansas first, and he came up on orders to PCS (Permanent Change of Station) in the Summer of 2016 to leave at the end of the year! We talked about it, and we both agreed that moving to Germany was an amazing opportunity — I mean talk about exciting. Traveling around Europe on a dime, moving across the world for free, WOW, just a big fat WOW.

 

Saying bye to family at the OKC Airport

 

We did some things wrong that we will remember to change for when we leave, but thats to be expected on our first PCS move—there is A LOT of stuff to get done to make everything flow well. You go to a couple PSC meetings/classes with your spouse, and there they try and prepare you for what’s to come sending you away with a bunch of packets full of information. Once you PCS once I feel like the next one just HAS to go much smoother, plus if you’re lucky you will get some great advice from a veteran Army wife along the way — which who would turn down great advice??

We got to Germany December 2016 — prime time for Christmas markets {everywhere}. I don’t know about you, but we LOVE Christmas, or maybe it’s just me. I mean I start listening to Christmas music in October, that’s how much I love it. More on Christmas markets later; let me tell you about our first outing in the good old land of Germany—the mall.

Here in Ansbach our closest mall is called the Brucken Center, and one thing to know about Germany is the parking is compact, and you pay to park everywhere. We go browse the mall, it’s not a big mall like in America. Probably like a strip mall, where there is an inside part, then there is an outside part. Well we are walking around full of anxiety because we don’t know what the menu at the food corner says, the stores don’t look normal, and people are staring…like really really staring. It was such an overwhelming culture shock, and a very bold move to brave it the second day in Germany that we had to get out of there and go home.

Well, you need to pay to park before you can leave the park house, but we only had large bills. The place that looked like a walk up bank inside the mall wasn’t making sense to us. I ask the teller if he speaks English, and he doesn’t so we wait awkwardly for someone who does. We get change for parking, and couldn’t leave fast enough. My husband, Kyle and I were so stressed and in total culture shock that we started arguing because neither of us knew what to do. I cried from all the stress; flying across the world, not speaking the home language, jet lagged, and worrying about a 10 month old at the same time — my husband was in the same boat, and we just needed to remember that. On the way back to our hotel on post, we stopped at McDonald’s because it was familiar.

It took about 3 days in a hotel before we got our house to move into. I mean really? You can’t get much better than that! Our new house was stocked with loaner furniture — beds, couches, coffee table, kitchen table and chairs, and we even were given plates, silverware, and cups to use! Super awesome, because our HHG (Household Goods) weren’t going to be here for another 2 months. Living out of suit cases for that long is NUTS you guys. We were just glad that we had somewhat mediocre washer and dryers supplied for us — oh and a dish washer. Have you guys ever lived without a dishwasher? We did, in Kansas for a year! OH.MY.WORD. did that suck?!

Once we settled in a bit, we decided to brave it again out in our new home country. Christmas markets. Our first one (I think we went to that one 2-3 times) was in Nuremberg. Parking was a real struggle for us I would say. We found a park house, and it wouldn’t let us in. We waited and waited, finally someone came walking through and we asked if she spoke English, and she told us that if the park house is full that you have to wait until someone leaves. Pretty ingenious actually, I mean it’s better than driving round and round with not spots available. Lucky we only had to wait a few minutes more, and someone left. The whole market was AWESOME, minus the not having sufficient winter coats with us—can you can freezing cold plus wind? We walked around and saw lots of cool stuff. My husband and I tried Glühwein, which is hot wine — I’m not a fan, but Kyle enjoyed it; If you wanted you could keep the cup or return it and get some money back. The food was great, and so were the sweets. I’ll have to take more photos this year when we go and gush about it, as I know we will be hitting up more than one.

Glühwein
Check out my not very warm jacket that I mentioned! YIKES.

It’s been said that the first year in Germany is the worst because you’re homesick, and you are new to it all. They say the second and third year are great and you end up never wanting to leave. Although, I can see the whole experience getting better, I don’t think we will ever want to permanently stay. We love America too much. We are in our first year still, and I can say the first year hasn’t made me want to say “oh wow, this place is amazing!!” I’m homesick, and missing stores like Hobby Lobby, Target, Marshall’s, Starbucks (our closest one is an hour away, and the next closest one is almost 2 hours away), and we even miss stores like Walgreens. Germany doesn’t have stores with everything in it like the ones above do. You have to run around town for a single craft project, and so many places won’t ship to APO addresses. It’s very frustrating, but at the same time it’s awesome being in a place we would have never lived if it weren’t for the Army.

We definitely go through phases of not wanting to be here anymore, and also phases of making the most of it and trying new places, and shopping on the economy— because oh.by.the.way it’s incredibly less expensive to do it that way.

So here’s to making Germany worth while and loving every minute of it!

2 thoughts on “First Days In Germany

    1. Yes sounds like such a first world problem right?? What once you have it, it’s easy to miss! Moving abroad is definitely different than vacationing abroad! We are making it through though! 🙌🏻

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