My friends, my family, my people! I have so much to tell you. First, however, we must rejoice. Not because I am alive or have not been fired (keep those bets going; you know who you are), but because I finally have a power adapter! Slowly watching my electronics die hurt my soul. I hope to never repeat that experience. But now that is all in the past, and I can tell you all about my first week!
Before I get to all of that, let’s talk about the flight over. Everything got off to an eventful start when the Eastern Seaboard Earthquake of 2011 happened right before my flight from Virginia to JFK. I have never been happier for a long layover; otherwise, I probably would not have made my flight to Germany. The rest of the trip was pretty meh, though I did score two empty seats next to me on flight to Germany. Also Shanghai Airlines has the best stewardesses, bar none. It just needed to be said. So I finally make it to the Munich airport, where they allow people to ride bikes in the terminal in attempt at population control, I believe, and went to meet my family.
Some quick background on the family involved in this dog and pony show. It consists of dad Philipp and mom Claudia. Philipp is a carpenter and Claudia a teacher at their kind-of-sort-equivalent of high school. One day I will describe the system in full, and many of you will comment on the injustice of it. Trust me. They have a daughter named Leonie (Lee-o-nee) who is thirteen, and two sons Levin (Lee-feen) and Lukas who are eight and five respectively. By the way, however you are pronouncing Levin’s name, it is probably wrong. I am still struggling with it, and that phonetic spelling is not quite right. Anyways, the kids are all in school this year, with Lukas starting Kindergarten. For the most part, we all get along well. Of course, there are some moments where I want to bring the pain. I am getting ahead of myself though. Back to the narrative!
At the airport, Philipp and Leonie came to pick me up. The moment I saw them my years of German left me. So much for that major. Thankfully they both speak English, and were fine with me doing so as well. From Munich we took an hour car ride to Wasserburg am Inn, my home for the year. Wasserburg is small city of 12,000 and is divided by the Inn River. The place is straight picturesque. Think foothills of the Alps, only better, and you got it. So we get to Wasserburg am Inn, after an hour or so of awkwardish small talk in German and English, and we pull up to the house. I will not describe it here, because pictures are to come, but it is awesome as well. At the house I meet Claudia, Levin and Lukas, and then I get situated in my room. At this point, all I want is a bed. That is not happening, however, and after a tour of the house, I am heading to the park to play soccer with the kids. This also marks the first time of a few where I question every decision I have ever made. “I should have been a business or computer major”, has come into my head quite often this first week.
After the park it is time for dinner back at the house, where I meet Claudia’s parents who live about five minutes away. Everything was good, and I was trying my best to keep up in the conversation, but they could have been speaking an African click language for all I knew. The southern German dialect along with my lack of sleep meant I got about ever fifth word, if I was lucky. This would be the second time I questioned ever part of my decision, and made a quick note of all the possible exit points. That all passed, and I finally jumped in bed and slept.
I am really happy I am here, and it is has been good so far. The family is really nice, and they try hard to make sure I am comfortable. In the coming posts I will talk about my first few days in Wasserburg am Inn, where a funeral was involved, as well as our vacation to Lake Constance. To quote two of my favorite writers, “Your jealousy taste like candy.” Tschüss!