Thursday, September 1, 2011

Tales of a _____ Au Pair: Post #2 - Swimming

            My first full day in Germany actually did not belong to me at all. Why you might ask? Let me map it out for you. In one corner we have a jetlagged American experiencing some heavy culture shock, and therefore needing some time to breathe and adjust. In the other, a middle child who turned eight that exact day. Whose priorities do think won out there? So on Thursday we headed to Chiemsee, a popular lake in Bavaria about a half hour away.

            We actually had a blast, and Chiemsee is amazing. I have never swam in freshwater before, so being able to open my eyes and see everything was fantastic. The lake also had this huge inflatable iceberg that you could jump off of. It was probably thirty feet tall, and your ass went flying when you bounced off it right. The best part, though, was that the Chiemsee was warmer than any lake in Germany had the right to be. I was suspecting ice cold, and got normal pool water instead. Yes please. Of course, all that begins well cannot end well.
            The family has two pet rabbits, which honestly might be two medium size dogs due to their size. Something probably got lost in translation there when I was told what species they supposedly were. Actually, the family has one rabbit now, because life decided I needed a death to properly christen my arrival. That night, a fox came into the yard and found one of the poor rabbits. Somehow, Claudia heard the scream from her third floor bedroom, must be a mother thing, but did not make in time to help. So my third day was spent burying Panini at the grandparents, and helping to comfort devastated kids. And yes, he was named after a type of food. Let’s not go there.
            After that fun adventure the kids really needed something to brighten their mood. Thankfully, we went on vacation to Bodensee (Lake Constance) the next day for a couple of days. Life is hard sometimes. Anyways, Bodensee was amazing. It borders Germany, Austria and Switzerland, making it a major tourist destination. The Hoffmann’s, the family’s last name, have friends there who were out of town, however, so we got to stay in their house. Chiemsee was great, but Bodensee kicks its ass. First of all, I swam with swans. Swans, mind you, that were used to people, so they did not attack. Screw dolphins, this is where its at. As a quick sidebar, the German name for swan and swans is Schwan and Schäwne. Yep, those are as ugly sounding as they look. Even German can make something as beautiful as a swan ugly. It is impressive actually.
            Most of our time was spent at the lake, and the lack of sand while sitting next to a huge body of water did not go unnoticed by me. Instead we chilled on hills. Outside of the waves, I am pretty much over oceans at this point. We also spent half of one day at a flower island, which was literally an island dedicated to looking fantastic. Actually, it is famous island here (Mainau) that grows all of these different plants and flowers, and has a huge butterfly house.
            At this point, let me mention that my camera was not working and still is not due to lack of plug adapter. I have stuff for my computer and iPad, but not my camera. So all of the photos are on the family camera. Once I can get a hold of that, I will post the pictures from the past couple of days. Hopefully, I will get and adapter off of Amazon soon. I know people really only want to see photos and live vicariously through them. I am not stupid.
            Anyways, we got back from vacation today, and now are just going to get everything together before school starts in two weeks. Next time, I will write about some of the different cultural things, both the good and the bad, as well as how I am adjusting to the kids. Here is a hint, I have not forsaken having my own children yet, but have definitely moved back the clock on when I want them! Tschüss!


  1. 1) I miss you, and would like you to come back and work for a preschool or daycare in AZ for one more year.
    2) Since I know you will not, I'm happy that Germany seems to be going so well!
    3) When do you have to start taking care of the kids without the help of their parents?

  2. I could have been doing since day 1. The mother is a teacher so there is never a full day where I only have them to myself. I spend a lot of time with them alone, cooking, playing, or going places.

    Miss you too, and yeah, no more child care for me. Thanks!