So it's been almost 8 months since we moved to Germany. We had a few months over the holidays where we didn't think we would want to stay here past the 3 year mark, but once that came and left we found ourselves wanting to stay longer. We know these opportunities don't come by everyone and we are very lucky, so recently we decided we want to stay here for a few more years. I am really excited about it. Instead of feeling the need to see and do as much as possible every weekend, I won't have to stress as much about doing it all in a short time. I miss my friends dearly in the states, but after leaving Alaska at 18 and moving 2600 miles away for college (and moving to a new place again 3 years later), I am quite used to moving to a new city where I know no one and figuring it out. I actually really enjoy doing just that. I find that no matter where you are in the world, you can always find wonderful people and make good friends. It just takes some time to do!
Today I was driving home and like always am reminded of how different so many things are in Germany. Like waiting at a stop sign and seeing a BMW, Audi, another BMW, Jaguar, Porsche, Mercedes, Mercedes, Audi, and another Mercedes pass by in a row. I need to take a picture of a parking lot here, it's hilarious. Since Mercedes was born in Sindelfingen (suburb of Stuttgart) the factories are dispersed around as much as Starbucks is in the states. The world’s first four wheeled vehicle was produced in Stuttgart, the Baden Württemberg capital, and Germany is about to celebrate 125 years of the automobile. BMW and Audi also started nearby, so it makes sense that these are the vehicles you see. People here love their cars and love to drive them fast. I haven't yet adjusted to seeing all these vehicles all the time! I don't know if there's a statistic, but I would venture to guess that there are more Mercedes, Porsche and BMW per capita here than anywhere in the world!
On to the next big different for today. When I got home tonight I needed to buy tickets for the Frühlingsfest, or Spring Fest. It is essentially Oktoberfest but smaller. I got tickets in the Göckelesmaier tent (also known as the Chicken tent!). When I went to purchase the tickets I was reminded of one of the stranger things done here. When paying for something online, paying bills or making reservations, they ask for your bank account number and bank routing number. If you are reading this you can understand my panic the first time I had to do this. We had to do it for our utilities, our rent, over the phone when we reserved a hotel in Austria, and now for the Frühlingsfest. I am used to it now, but it's still weird. I would think identity theft would be a big crime here. Maybe it is...
There are still many things I miss about the states. The food, oh man do I miss the food. No not the chain crap artery clogging give you a heart attack with the chemicals they use restaurants. I miss the local Colorado places. Ted's Montana Grill. Western Omelette. A good cheeseburger (yum!) or chorizo...they don't have that, at least no restaurant I've found. Don't get me wrong, I love the food here (for the most part!) and how fresh things are, but sometimes you just want to order a juicy steak 'oscar style' medium with grilled asparagus and mushrooms. Mmmm, oh how I wish they had an Elway's here! And like I said, I miss my friends a lot, but now that we'll be here longer I think I will have to make a trip back at some point to see everyone!