We have now survived, thrived, lived in Germany for two years. Why is it, that some days and weeks seem to drag on, but a big chunk of time (like 2 years) can go by in a blink?
They say, the “rose-coloured glasses feeling” of living in a foreign country wears off after about 2 years, because actually living in a foreign country versus visiting are entirely different.
I can totally relate to that.
For me, at times I feel a little “homeless”. I am considered a visitor when I return “home” to Canada, and although I am officially a “resident” in Germany, I still feel like a visitor. Regardless of which country is home, I have to continue to live. So, routines here have been established, I am finally understanding most of the forms sent home from Kindergarten without Ralph’s help, and I am able to give directions to others with confidence! (This is actually quite funny, because those of you who really know me would NEVER ask me for orientation assistance. I’m the salesgirl that got very lost in a bad section of Chicago, and was escorted out by a flashing red cruiser).
I have this list I wrote 2 years ago about all the things I love about Germany, all the challenges, and things I miss about Canada. Interestingly, everything on the love list still stands today with some additions, but I must admit the list of challenges and things I miss has also grown. Like Cheerios. I still miss those, and faithfully scan the cereal section at each grocery store I walk into hoping to one day see a box on the shelf.
Besides family and friends (which is the top of my miss list), I also miss the comfort of knowing that people want to help me and are generally respectful. That’s not to say that all people in Germany are mean and selfish; I have met a lot of nice, helpful people. However, I generally have this anxiety when I am out and need to interact with others, as I never know what to expect.
Like yesterday at the gym. After my shower I found this woman sitting on a chair right beside my locker. Normally, if someone is trying to get into their locker, and you are sitting right beside it, common courtesy would be to move your chair. Right? Well, not her. She gave me a look of indifference and continued doing what she was doing, at a very slow pace I might add. I went about my business in a very cramped position, and said nothing, while steaming inside. I just don’t have it in me to confront someone when they are being rude. But, instead of getting all worked up, I just laughed at my meekness and decided her rudeness was not about to ruin my day.
And who knows, the very same incident could very well happen in Canada. Maybe I am now wearing rose coloured glasses for my “home” country!
So, what is the definition of “home”? I’d like to think that it means what is inscribed on a stone plaque given to me from my father-in-law:
No matter what
No matter where
It’s always home
If love is there
Sounds good to me.
One thought on “Two Years”
I have to say the whole sittin’ in front of the locker thing would send me around the bend. BUT I think it’s a personal space issue here in Germany that I never experienced back home. Like getting off and on the tram/trains and busses. I want to SMACK people who stand in front of the door and push their way in before you can get down the steps….but it’s just the way they do things here, so you might as well put your head down and push your way through.