Hi wonderful people! How are you? What are you up to this summer?
When we first arrived in Germany I slept a lot (surprise) and then my feet and legs were always sore from all the extra walking and STAIRS. We are on the FIFTH floor with NO elevator in tiny studio apartment. Our kitchen is about the size of a walk in closet and the toilet paper roll falls off the wall whenever I sit down on the toilet.
I misplaced some of my determination. I felt a little despondent about what I am doing in Germany. What was the plan again, like this crazy idea? Why am I here? What do I plan to accomplish? Also, I nearly broke 3 things trying to figure out how stuff works differently in Germany. I felt a bit out of control. I couldn’t properly operate a pepper grinder, a toilet or a sink in 3 different locations, like bad enough that things fell apart. Ugh! BUT it is so wonderful to be back in a city that has a Ubahn. We are connected to everything! Also, travel tip: This means you’re never all that lost. Figure out your way home from the nearest Ubahn stop and then when you are wandering lost somewhere in the city all you need to do is find a Ubahn station and you are on your way home.
Now I’m collecting all the little things that are different about Germany
- it’s totally legal to drink beer whenever and wherever. I have bought it in the Ubahn and drank it in the Ubahn and ON the Ubahn just because I can
- dogs are SO well behaved. Many walk without a leash and keep with their owners, I’ve watched more than one dog stop and sit when it sees another dog and wait for its owner to catch up so they can put it back on a leash
- water is more expensive than beer. FOR REAL it was 5 Euros for a .5 liter of water and 3.50 Euro for a .5 liter of beer
- beer comes in a half liter! I keep regretting this when I try to drink one with a meal
- they have an alcohol free beer that is just as good as the regular beer and just as common.
- a serving of coffee is tiny and it’s all done with some sort of automatic machine, none of this grinding and packing coffee grounds. It’s delicious.
- the menus list the main spice as a feature on Entrees “mit paprika!” “mit coriander”
- Starbucks, McDonalds, Burger King, and Subway have infiltrated. I see them in several areas.
- most everyone uses the elevator even when it’s 4 flights
- pretzels are everywhere, it’s a Bavarian thing.
- bakeries and gelato places are everywhere as well but I’m not really that surprised. That seems to be a European thing.
- BICYCLES everywhere and there are these huge “parking” areas FULL of bikes
- groceries are crazy cheap. One night we paid 2.50 Euro per person for our meal and that included a beer. It was ravioli, with pesto and bread.
- the Ubahn is basically honor based. There are no turnstiles or gates to go through. You buy a ticket and validate it as you walk by a ticket punch at the entrance. They do randomly check tickets. I think I’ve been checked twice since I’ve been here. It’s a 60 Euro penalty for “schwarzfarhern” “black travel”/not having a ticket
- the Ubahn – as in underground – is more like a shopping mall full of good dining and department stores, even grocery stores, like full stores, not just a convenience store.
- the washing machine spines at 1000 RPM. It vibrates our whole place and our place has a drying rack to dry our clothes, no dryer.
Other things I’ve been up to
A quick sketch of a church ruin in Berlin. #sketch #conte #gedachtniskirch #gedachtnischurch #clocktower #church #ruins #architecture #travel #artist #art #ruins #wwii #kaiserwihelmmemorialchurch #churchruins #Berlin #sightseeing #study #drawing #drawingboard #draw #sketching
A post shared by Rachael Shores (@sparrowshand) on
- Lots of museums, they are only one Euro on Sundays
- found the art supply store! Got my art supplies for my upcoming commissions
- walked about a third of the Englischer Garten, it’s the city park that is bigger than New York’s Central Park
- Train trip (10 hrs and 4 changes) to Berlin where we spent the weekend with Jason’s aunt and Jason went to a career fair that turned out to be an Engineer’s Expo
- a failed attempt to fly to London and catch Aunt Patti at an Eddie Vedder concert. I had already cut my timing close with the timing of my flight and then my plane had mechanical issues and the flight was delayed 3 hrs. We actually had to switch planes. I chose not to get back on the plane (a bit of a fiasco getting my passport restamped to “return” to Germany) Luckily Aunt Patti found a wonderful Eddie Vedder fan to give away her extra ticket to.
- learning the Ubahn
- dinners with friends and family in the area
- SO much walking. I signed up for a pedometer app and I’ve usually been doing 10,000 steps a day
- I also started tracking my food on another app. I’ve been eating so much fruits and veggies!
- Jason is getting ready for an octopus tattoo
- We started our German intensive classes
- bought a new rain jacket at the outfitters store. It turns out my purple “rain” jacket is NOT waterproof.
- I’ve done a little painting.
- Jason has applied to more jobs and we’ve met up with several friends and family that are in the area.