Friday, December 18, 2009


I have had a number of Whaaaat??!? moments here in Germany.  Let me start with today.  I needed to get to a grocery store, so I spent some time yesterday researching how to get to one.  There are a few buses that run through town and would get me close to a grocery store.  Now, where to buy a ticket?  The closest place was the train station which is about a 10 minute walk away.  No big deal  - except it is about 20F outside.  I bundle up - hat, scarf, gloves, 4 layers under my winter coat & set off.  I get to the train station & go the automated ticket dispenser - cannot figure it out - I can get my ticket to Paris, but how to get a local bus ticket?? into the train station I go & the kind lady sells me a multi ticket good for 5 rides for 8 Euro which at today's rate is about $11.50.  I trott out to the bus stop & a smoking youth tells me  where to get off to get to the store.  Of course, he does not stop smoking while telling me the good bit of info but just goes ahead & blows the smoke right into my face (whaaaat??!?).  He was not being malicious but just must not have any manners because he was friendly & helpful.  The bus comes, I climb aboard, punch my ticket, & sit down.  Two stops later we pass the grocery stores ( there are 2 right next to each other - they are each about double the size of a nice 7-11).  I get off at the stop, hike back to the stores, do my "shopping"- I have 2 of those reusable bags that are rectangular shaped to haul the necessitites of life back to the house.  I go to get my cart, & they are all chained together & you have to put 1 Euro into a slot in the handle to get one ( Whaaaaaaat??!?).  I dig around in my wallet to find a 1 Euro coin  & get my cart.  Going into the store the first thing I get to  is chocolate, chookies, tasty snacks.  Wow, it is so cheap.... I get a bit of this & that.  I get to the meat - yikes that is expensive - just one package of  smoked porkchops for us.  Passing by the dairy case - wow they like their yogurt here -  lots of variety & flavors from 0% fat to yogurt made out of cream... yumm.  Just a small cup of organic plain yogurt for me  to use for a recipe I want to make.  Boy, I really need potatoes- jeeze that bag is a bit heavy, but I really do need them.  I looked at my cart in the first store reminding myself that I have to carry this stuff back to the house, so I put some stuff back, & went to the cashier to checkout.  Dang that woman was so fast I had no time to pack the stuff ( no baggers here, no one to ask if they could help me out to my non-existent car - whaaat??!), & had to throw everything back into the cart & pack it up off to the side.  Just slap a big old sign on me that says "New to the country".  I returned my cart to find out I get my Euro back - this most certainly a good way to keep the carts out of the parking lot.

Off to the next store - I was looking for some gluten-free stuff for Adam & that chain had some in the store in Heidelberg - no such luck here.  This was one of the main reasons for venturing out in this frigid weather.  Oh well, can't do anything about it.  Back to the bus stop to take the bus back to the bottom of our hill.  I decided I am going to go the bus stop we passed before the one I got off - it seemed to be closer.  I get there, look at my watch & check the schedule - WHAAAAAT??!?  It is 1:05 pm & the next bus comes at 1:41 p.m.   In the other direction the bus ran about every 18 min..... where do they go - don't they have to come back??  Evidently not - there is only one bus per hour in the direction of home... well, it is cold out  & I am not waiting.  So, me,  my chocolate & potatoes start walking home.

 I am busy making lemonaid out of my lemons thinking: "Hey, there is that antique store I have passed a couple of time, I will stop in since I will walk right by it & have a look around."  I get there at about 1:15 - it is closed for lunch for the next 2 hrs....whaat?? So I look at the times of business & this shop is only open 4 days a week with a 2 hr lunch each day...ok.  I guess I'll just walk on home.  20 min later I huff & puff my way to my front door, quite toasty under my gazillion layers.  Next time I go grocery shopping I will have to watch my timing.

One of the things that we enjoyed in the States was Hulu.  Well, when we finally got the internet up & running I first dealt with e-mails, stopped off at some blogs & proceeded to Hulu to catch up on some of my favorite shows.  I click on Fringe & get this message.

Sorry, currently our video library can only be streamed from within the United States


Oh, the agony of it.  None of the streaming video sites or American networks work here...I keep thinking there must be a way, but so far I have not found a way around this....

My first day out at the house was also quite the (mis)adventure.  My husband wakes me up early to take me out to the house because someone is coming to deliver some loaner furniture.  After stopping for coffee ( oh Starbucks where art thou),  he drops me off & drives away to a day packed with things that need to get done.  I decide I am going to inspect the house closely - I only saw it briefly the night before in the dark.  So, I go room to room, peer out the windows, open patio doors & such.  I work my way all the way down to the cellar.  On the way back up I notice something on the floor - I bend down to inspect & lo & behold its dog pooh & I have stepped in it. Which of these dogs pooped in the house already??

It was  Mia ( the grey one) - she had the courtesy to poop on the door mat & since I was admiring the view

I was not looking down.  Yuck!  I took off the offending shoe, stomped upstairs, went outside to clean the shoe off, scolding Mia as I went.  I opened the front door, stepped outside I proceeded to whack the shoe against the step to knock some of the poop off.  I was not very successful, so I thought I best pull the door shut & not let the heat out.  I unsuccessfully whacked the shoe a few more time, while the dogs went exploring the front yard ( ok its tiny but there is a lot to sniff out).  I turned around to go back in... WHAAAAAAAAAAT???!!??  the door was locked tight.  Where we lived in Texas an unlocked door was unlocked until you locked it again, here in the Vaterland the house doors lock when you close them.  After an short episode of very unladylike language, I decided to walk around the house in hope that I had left a door or window open... I proceeded down the driveway...

Oh, did I mention that there was a nice, soft steady rain?  Do you see that green stuff on my driveway?  Well, it took only about 3 steps & I was flat on my back courtesy of wet moss.  Much more unladylike language followed!   After navigating down the rest of my driveway by grabbing onto the fence I was able to go around the house - not one way to get in was found.... So, I went to stand under the overhang of the securely locked front door with a wet, cold behind - it was about 8:30 am.  The landlady was supposed to come by around 11:00 a.m.  I had no cell phone, no jacket, knew no one.  At about 8:50 am this furniture truck goes by.... I hear lots of commotion up the hill, & I am relieved that it is not my truck, because I cannot get in.  The dogs are getting wetter, because they don't get the whole stand under the overhang thing.  Well, about 10 minutes later this man comes down the hill & tell me they are the furniture people but the truck is stuck in the mud.  Wow, its a good day all around.  He does have a cell ( called Handy here ( whaat?)) & my husband's number, so I call my husband & he comes 35 minutes later to let us in the house.  In the mean time they have gotten the truck out of the mud, & the delivery proceeds without a hitch.  Needless to say there is a key now securely hidden in case I pull another stunt like this.

I leave you with a picture of Erika,  she is expressing what I felt that day -

And this is what is happening outside right now - you can tell we are still excited about snow...

Thanks for the comments - they warm my heart on a cold, cold day.  Miss all of you.


  1. LOL wow your day played out like a novel, I was held in suspense waiting to see what happened next. I could'nt imagine tryin to navigate around in a new "land" Bus systems in the states are sometime hard to figure out . And not being able to watch your episodes on Hulu Oh the agony is right :(

    Hopefully each day in your new home becomes easier for you your daughter and your puppys

  2. Oh wow! This is going to be a big adjustment -- but I guess moving to a new country is going to be that no matter where you move. I hope the learning curve isn't too steep and you all settle in nicely. Do you all know German? Hope so! As for the snow -- well, I could do without it myself. lol! I guess I should move. :D

  3. Hmmm...I had quite a few laughs reading your story, but guess you weren't laughing at the time. Well, there are always the negative things that go with a move. Maybe you have found them all in a day. Well, maybe half of them. Guess it makes you grateful for the U.S. But there some light at the end of the tunnel? I hope so girlfriend. We miss you bunches.


  4. Oh no!! Of course, I would have been shouting expletives from the get-go, I think. What a day. Your house and view look beautiful though. And other than causing you to fall on your ass, that driveway looks pretty cool. Hope the days to come get better and better. I miss you, my sweet friend! There is a card on its way to you, so keep an eye out! Of course, they may send stuff via carrier pigeon, so who knows when it will get there. And those buses sound like the ones in Rome - except I think there is no schedule - those drivers just stop when they feel like it - or not. Even if you are standing at the stop waving your arms like a crazy person - not that I would know...

  5. Ach Du liebe Güte, da haste ja einen "super" Tag gehabt. Nix wie Pech!!! Aber ich kann Dich wenigstens in einer Sache beruhigen, in Heidelberg in der Hauptstraße (Fußgängerzone)sind ZWEI Starbucks. Trotz allem, herzlich Willkommen in Neckargemünd (mir gefällt es hier). Es braucht halt seine Zeit, bis man sich wieder an die "German ways" gewöhnt hat.
    Du weißt ja, wo Du mich finden kannst. Ich helfe Dir gerne.
    Liebe Grüßle aus Neckargemünd, Margit