What’s it like moving to Europe?

Fairly easy, unless you want to bring your dog.

 

Yesterday I had coffee with two very beautiful Greek people. I felt like Bella in Twilight- all awkward and ordinary and plain next to really good looking, intelligent, awesome (people). I met D through Deutschkurs and we decided to celebrate our test being over by playing around in Tübingen. We met up with her boyfriend for cappucino. We made small talk over the weather, crazy roads in Greece, and the odd German culture we’d found ourselves immersed in. Then he asked, “So, what’s it like moving to Europe?” My answer most days would be the same: “A lot of days I look around and I think. Ugh, is that lady wearing her fake Converse again? or When will they ever finish this road construction? but every now and then I walk out of my house in the morning and I think, Holy Crapola! I live in EUROPE!

But yesterday afternoon, I got home to find very sad news. I saw online where some guy killed a bunch of random people. For no real reason, what-so-ever. Please, don’t get me wrong, killing people for religious reasons or to get their oil or cuz they stole yo gurl or whatever, that’s wrong TOO. But he didn’t even have any of those reasons. He just killed people. A lot of people. And the ones that lived to tell about it, they’re going to have it the worst, living everyday with the scars of memory. It’s just so senseless.

But what does this have to do with what is it like moving to Europe? Well, it’s just that here in Deutschland, even with the hipster teens, the rude children and everything else that drives me crazy, I feel safe. Those sort of things just don’t happen around here. Now before we get into the gun-control argument, I have to tell you that bad things in general don’t really happen so much here. I remember vividly the tone of scandal that surrounded a young mother whose child died of neglect. People were shocked, like truly shocked, not just sad or disappointed. I’ve taken the train after dark and the scariest thing was a muzzled dog. The bum in the train station reads poetry and tells everyone “Good Morning!”

Maybe it’s because they don’t work as much as Americans do. Maybe it’s because they have a better healthcare system. Maybe they actually put the welfare of the public above patient’s rights. I have no idea on that one, but you never know. The US has some pretty ridiculous policies that mean to help the individual patient, but impede doctors and nurses from protecting everyone else from the patient. If Grandma is getting out of bed unassisted that doesn’t mean she needs to be tied to her bed. But if she’s getting up unassisted to beat her roommate, then you might want to keep that rope handy.

It’s not all peaches and cream here, though. We went shopping at the outlet center in Metzingen today. It was very crowded and rather warm inside the stores where people huddled to get out of the rain. It smelled rather, um, fresh in some stores.

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