I wouldn’t say I’m overwhelmed. No. More burned out.
Not with life in Europe. Oh no. I still am incredibly amazed that I am here. I love the beauty and the history. I love that I can walk all my errands. I love how easy it is to stroll to the grocery stores. I love how much cheaper the food is. I love how healthy I feel (as long as I stay away from the fresh milk). I love the people I meet, and how much they want to help William and I. And while I wouldn’t say I love it, I am not sick yet of the fact that the streets in the Altstadt take after the staircases in Hogwarts. That amuses me, since I have the free time and the energy to walk around until I find where I need to be.
My A2 German class started Tuesday night. It is once a week for two hours. Not enough time, no, but it is something and it will definitely help. There are 3 other people: a woman from Poland, a man from China, and a man from Romania. I look forward to the exposure to German that I can understand, and the chance to talk and learn.
Wednesday was English Conversation Club again, and we met two Mormon missionaries, one of whom is from Wisconsin. I got 300g of chocolate because my birthday was on Saturday. And when we asked someone where he would recommend buying used bikes, we ended up with 3 people offering to ask around for us. One of them also found us a local newspaper and two of them helped us look through the classifieds. It was so much more help than we were expecting. I am so grateful.
Today I got asked if I speak Russian. And even when I said I speak English, the man still only knew that I was not from England. When people know my last name, they don’t consider for a second that I am American. Often, they don’t even consider that I might know English until I tell them. They are surprised to hear because, as one man told me, our last name looks Eastern. It is Polish, after all. And at the immigration office, I was the only white person in the waiting area. When I talk, people know that I am not native. But I really like that I am not so obviously foreign and American. I really like that I appear to be European. It makes me feel more comfortable around town.
So, no, I am not burned out by this new life. I have my bearings, and I am slowly gaining things to do throughout the day. (For example, yesterday I translated a knitting pattern, and this morning I worked on it while watching movies in German. And there are always errands to run.) I am gaining enough of an ear, although most likely confidence that I know what is going on, that I am almost functional.
But I am tired. I don’t want to walk to the library to check my email and write. I don’t want to edit pictures. I don’t want to do my German homework. Because I’m tired of the way we are living right now.
I am tired of our huge to do list. I’m tired of only being able to do most of those things Friday and Saturday because of the clash between William’s school and store times. I’m tired of never being able to find anything because we still have no furniture; everything is in piles on the floor. I am tired of trying to figure out where to get lighting, which bank is the best, what we need for our visas. I’m tired of not having internet or my work.
I want to be done moving. I want to start living. To not have to worry about any of these things. To just be free to do my work, and relax with William in the evening. I want to appreciate everything that is offered here, rather than letting it pass me by because I need to get to 3 different places before they close. To spend quality time with my husband, rather than worrying about getting our visas rejected because the immigration lady gave us bad information.
It will come in time. I know it will. We’ve only been here 24 days. We have so much time left. But 24 days is a long time to live out of a suitcase. It was around now, if not earlier, on my abroad trips when I would desperately be ready to go home. It is no different now. My house my just be down the street, but it is not a home yet.
I am ready for Germany to finally become my home.