Wednesday, January 16, 2013

An update from Deutschland

So much has happened in the past week and a half. The days fly by and I sleep soundly when my head hits the pillow at night.  Some of my German friends shiver and others are already booking February holidays in Egypt, but I wear my pea-coat and enjoy the relative warmth here.  After my post whining a little bit about the lack of comradery in my group, things have gotten better.  I'm becoming friends with a sweet Polish girl who arrived in our class on the second day. We giggle like little girls together and huddle close and talk quietly on the metro.  Everyone in the group is loosening up a bit and at the room is filled with chatting during our break. We learn a little more about each other everyday and I am so fascinated by everyone's lives and the unique stories they all have to tell.

So, you might wonder, how have I been keeping myself occupied? Language school occupies my mornings, but my class is only until noon and Mario rarely comes home from university before 9 PM. It may not be frigid here, but it's not exactly ideal weather for roaming the city all day.  So instead, in the afternoons and evenings I go to work.  A job? Yep! It's an interesting story, let me explain.  Last summer when I worked as an Au Pair I found my host family through a certain Au Pair agency's website.  I apparently never deleted my profile because on the first Sunday in January I got a message from a family in Munich looking for an Au Pair as soon as possible.  I explained that while I could not commit to being a full-time Au Pair at this time, I happened to be in Munich and would be willing to help them out.  And before I knew it all the arrangements had been made and I was spending my days with two adorable youngsters. Their clever and fun and used to having Au Pairs and nanny's around.  They speak English quite well, so communication is no problem.  There is still plenty of German practice for me too though.  The daughter and I do reading and writing exercises together and I casually teach her piano.  We're going to start reading Bible stories together after we finish the book we're working on now. We all play and chat and watch TV and just hangout.  I feel happy and useful and productive and make a little extra pocket-money. Who could have imagined such a perfect situation to fall into place at exactly the right timing?

While I'm enjoying running water and adequately-heated buildings here in the first world, I still miss Ukraine.  Here, I am often frustrated during my morning commute.  "You could fit AT LEAST 10 more people in that metro car," I sigh, as I step back and wait for the next train because no one's budging.  Even though speaking English doesn't get those "what planet did YOU land from?" looks on the streets, I feel more foreign here.  A lot of people understand and speak English, but I miss being able to understand everything around me and freely communicate in Russian instead of my broken German. The Karavan grocery store across the street from my apartment building is going to be one of my first stops back in Kharkiv. The other day I went to the grocery store and unknowingly bought the most disgusting cheese I have ever encountered in my 20 years on this earth.  It looked so normal and Danish Butter-cheese seemed like a fairly normal name for a cheese, but it STINKS and tastes AWFUL! Mario claims that it's normal, delicious cheese, but I'm certainly not touching that stuff again! But don't get me wrong! Munich is a beautiful city and I enjoy my time here greatly, but it simply isn't a home for my heart.

Lots of love from the land of bratwurst and lederhosen!

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