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Thursday and Friday were rough as well, until Friday night ended with hash browns, wine, and Cards Against Humanity:
And thankfully, my birthday was wonderful. Breakfast was simple: müsli and milk with toast made in our cast iron pan. We splurged on some really good pizza for lunch, and made spaghetti bolognese from scratch for dinner.
We had a lot of errands to run, but these included my birthday present: clothes shopping. William wanted to get one of his classmates to take me and give me advice, but he didn’t have time to get to know anyone well enough.
There are a couple stores in Kaufbeuren that I think will be good for us as far as both style and price. I struck gold at the C&A. I found 2 pairs of jeans, 1 skirt, and 4 shirts that I all really like for 95€. William couldn’t find anything in his size there, but he did find a few things at H&M. Unfortunately, the styles that fit him well never came in colors he liked, so he only got one pair of pants today.
Neither of us brought much over, so we are embracing the chance to remake our wardrobe. Which mostly means learning to like skinny jeans and learning new sizing conventions. Interestingly, many men’s jeans have sizing in inches. But not all. Also, apparently even though William and I both have significant German heritage, the size gene skipped both of us. It was very hard to find things in either of our sizes.
Other errands included picking up silverware and doing a bit more looking at Aufwind (the Goodwill-type store), and enough grocery shopping to get us through the next few days. We’ve been at at least one shop every day this week and it seriously needs to stop. We also found the used bike shop and the computer shop to check out later this week.
It is interesting. You hear about cost of living being high in Europe. And I’m sure in the big cities it is. But not here in Kaufbeuren. I mean, sure, we shop second hand, we are (theoretically) living with 3 roommates, we walk everywhere, and we have price-shopped the 5 grocery stores that we know of in a fairly small radius. But our room is amazing in an apartment in an amazing location and we are far from going hungry. We bought 9 pieces of new, fashionable clothing (including 3 pairs of jeans) yesterday for an average of less than 12€ a piece. And you can’t forget that we are not paying at all for William’s vocational training. It’ll take a bit more time to figure out what all our monthly costs will be, but I can already tell that we won’t have an issue with a budget that we could not have sustained where we lived in America.
Anyway. We ended my birthday with ice cream and 24 candles. A couple glasses of wine and a movie. William finally got the DVD software on my computer to play audio! And I broke in our brand new shower after 6 days without one.
The significance of how I spent my 24th birthday was not lost on me. As hard as this last week has been, I am living in Germany. This beautiful, old town in the most beautiful region of Germany is my home now. The language stuff, and everything else, will work itself out.
This year’s birthday toast: “To a better year than last year.” “And the year before.” Years 22 and 23 were tough, but I know I can turn year 24 into an amazing one.