A year ago yesterday, I arrived on a plane in Stuttgart to begin an interesting new path in life in Deutschland. So today, in German fashion, I brought a cake to school to celebrate with my classmates my anniversary at Vivat Lingua (my school, that I started the day after I arrived- jetlagged and all). I didn’t think much of it, just an excuse to eat cake. But the head of the school, Adelheid, is so nice, she had chocolates and a little plant in a pretty cup for me.
It was such a different day today than a year ago.
For starters, Spring is trying her best to come round. We’ve had a few lovely days this week. I even wore a skirt and no leggings today. It was fabulous. Last year at this time, it was not very good weather and it was cold. I remember needing to wear my coat.
Another thing that has changed: my weight, for the better. I’ve lost 15 pounds over the last year. I had gained quite a bit after the wedding and before the move. Unfortunately I haven’t really achieved that awesome all-Euro wardrobe yet, mostly because I lost weight and now I can just wear the clothes I had in Louisiana.
I walk everywhere and only drive two or three days out of the week. (HUGE difference from wasting my life away in that little blue Corolla in BR traffic) … hey maybe this is related to the above…
I’m no longer shocked by the weird hairdos of the local youth.
I have friends from all sorts of places, but not very many German friends. Maybe after I stop learning German in a class with a bunch of foreigners and I get a job.
I finally understand how to sort trash and recyclables the “Deutsch way” (i.e. very complicated).
I came here barely able to ask people “How are you?” Now, I’m in the C-1 level. Today in class we listened to a comedian joke about a European initiative against the privatization of water, then we read a short paper on it, listened to an interview about water conservation and researched on the internet about this initiative. All in German!
A year ago, I really didn’t understand the concept of trying to conserve water. I always thought it was pointless to try to teach Louisiana kids about that sort of thing. We’re surrounded by water there. It’s waiting in the clouds above us for the right time to fall on our heads as we run through a parking lot to our car. It’s under the ground if we dig deep enough. Bayous, rivers, creeks, canals, swamps- you name it, we got it! I couldn’t fathom a world where people actually thought about that stuff. Then I came here. Water out the tap is fairly expensive, and has so much calcium it’ll eat your washing machine if you don’t add a special anti-calc powder. People collect rain water to water the garden. They don’t use the hose. In fact, I don’t recall ever seeing a hose in anyone’s yard. Every appliance has energy efficient what-nots and the toilets have various options for how much you want to flush!
I care more about electricity too. I mean, I cared before in the sense that I wanted to pay as little as possible. But I’ve been hanging my clothes out to dry outside the past few days. Simply because it was so nice outside that I knew they would dry quickly and I could do a few loads.
Speaking of the environment: Sunday, I went walking on a trail on a mountain, through a forest-y type area… and I liked it!