I arrived back in Germany on Sunday a year older (celebrated my birthday the day before) and definitely feeling every bit my age. For me, going over to the states is never as bad as coming back.
Firstly, most flights arrive late in the day so when I fly over from Europe I usually only have to stay awake a few hours before hitting the sack. And secondly, my suitcase(s) are usually relatively empty so that I can load up on tons of stuff. At the moment, what I haul back is a combination of keepsakes, American foods I can’t find anywhere and this time lots of scrapbooking supplies, too. I always dread the trip back as I usually arrive early in the morning with a full day ahead AND hauling close to my body weight in luggage. I paid the extra $55 for a second suitcase which seems a rip-off (I remember the good ‘ol days of TWO free suitcases and seafood meals) but is still a better deal than shipping things by the US postal service. I did decide to go ahead and do that, too, and paid $53 for a box weighing about 17 pounds. So the airline prices seem almost cheap in comparison.
I’m happy to be back, but I have to say that the feeling is different from when I’d return to Edinburgh. Coming back to Edinburgh felt like coming home. It was a cozy, warm and comfortable feeling, almost from day one. I like Germany and it is growing on me, but there was something almost magical about flying in and looking at Auld Reekie from the air. Somehow Frankfurt just doesn’t have that same charm….and yet I am growing to really love and appreciate Würzburg. And I should be fair, too. Since we moved to Germany back in February, I’ve spent almost as much time in the states as here. So how could it feel like home? I’m so appreciative of the time I’ve had in the states, but I am ready to really focus on settling in. I sort of feel like I’ve been living in limbo these past eight months, with “home” being some mixture of many places rather than just one.
Today in the store, the bakery clerk complimented me on my German and I had to laugh. I was able to tell her what I wanted, and understood a few basic questions she asked me, but I should be able to do so much more by this point. She probably wouldn’t be so quick to compliment if she knew I had been living here since February! So first on the agenda is language. Although I’m sort of dreading the commitment of a full-time intensive language course (especially doing it in winter – ugh!) I know I have to get off my lazy bum and just do it. And the other top priority is studying for and hopefully passing a written exam for a driver’s license here. The Mr. and I also have a lot more work to do on the flat. Six months have passed since we moved in, we still don’t have an oven, stove or kitchen cabinets. And there are still boxes everywhere. Part of the problem was moving into a completely empty flat with no kitchen or any closets and lacking lots of furniture, and part of the problem was being away so much. But I’m starting to go crazy looking at the chaos and not being able to cook pasta, so it’s time to kick it in high gear. The next few months are going to be busy ones, I think.