See, I've told you that if you want to learn how to move like a pro, you should stick with me. We've done our second move in 6 months. Ok, we won't be moving again for a few years, but here is the thing. Don't just wing it. Moving cross continents is not an easy feat, especially when children are involved. But, I've just come here to let you all know that I've moved and I'm also working on a course to help people move with their families. It's in its beginning stages, but it's going to be awesome, unlike any out there... because I've searched, and there aren't any that I've seen.
Why have you moved you might ask? My husband's work brought us to Germany.
We've been for almost 2 weeks now and so far we love it. Many friends and relatives have scheduled visits and "Hotel H." is in open season with our 1st visitor coming this weekend. Yay, I'm so, so excited!
Anyhow, even having lived in Europe before, each country is different and here are our first impressions of this beautiful country known to the locals as Deutschland, or Germany, or Alemanha, or Allemagne... ok, ok, I'll stop now.
- The beer is awesome! We are on a quest to try as many beers as possible now that we live here. I'll keep you posted.
- Frankfurt is a big small city. It's a major hub, a main city in Germany, but it feels small when you are here. It's not crazy busy like London, for instance, although, my opinion on this might change when I visit downtown at rush hour. I haven't done that yet.
- Public transport is great. You can get anywhere, big or small with a bus, u-bahn, train, s-bahn
- The beer is so good
- It's a safe city. Besides having heard of car break ins and knowing that there are pickpockets in and around the main train station (oh yes, they are there indeed), if you watch your stuff, you'll be ok.
- There are quite a few homeless people, especially around main shopping areas downtown. It's a shame to see that. It's a shame to know that we've grown immune to it. It's a shame to have to explain to your almost 9-year-old, that we are not going to give money to every person we see who is begging for money. The other day we were walking and there were so many beggars, and Victoria saw a man with a dog, sitting on the street. She wanted to give some of her money, so while we went to the toilet I explained that she should separate the money she'd give him and just put it in his cup, or hat, or his hand, but in the end he wasn't there anymore. Seeing this really affects a child, I remember when I was a child seeing homeless people, especially children. It always touched me, I couldn't understand why.
- The Doner kebab shops all look very similar, and the food is great.
- We've had lots of different sausages since we arrived. Also, great stuff.
- If you like mustard, such as ourselves, you're in for a treat. Too many choices to pick from, and all delicious.
- Cost of food cheaper than the DC area, portions are smaller and much cheaper. Not only because the portions are smaller, but, for example, butter. I mean real butter, the same size package, the same brand (Kerrygold) cost 1,29 euros, whereas in the US, it'd cost around $4.50-$4.99 (about 4,14-4,59 euros).
- Gas is more expensive than in the US. I guess, unless you are in the Middle East, Venezuela or USA, everywhere else in the world gas will be more expensive.
- Lots of walking and lots of biking. Don't stand on that bike lane!
- People seem nice, and yes, even the Germans for those who think they're rude. I've always went against that thinking and still do. When I look puzzled in the street, looking at the map, someone always stops to help.
- If the signs were all cover, you'd think you're somewhere in England
- Frankfurt is very cosmopolitan.
I will be documenting here our day-to-day, our fun and hassles. This is what being an expat is all about, getting to know the new culture, embarrassing yourself and remembering where you've just left.