Here we are!
We have officially been in Germany for 2 months now, is that it? It feels like so much longer. So, I've come up with a list of some things you need to know before you come to Germany. We didn't really know these things. They may have been eluded to by others, but we didn't really grasp the full understanding. I think it's one of those things no one can tell you, because really you have to figure it out on your own.
1. When you're thirsty DO NOT drink the German water. After a long walk in the woods and up to the top of a Castle ruin everyone was thirsty. So proud to hear them talk about how thirsty they were, not for soda or kool-aid, but water! Down to the shop and get a bottle of water..... it's water with carbonation and a direct quote from 3 of the 4 kids "it is disgusting!" Toben didn't say it was bad, but he also refused to drink it. I'll have to agree with them. And after 3 tries with different bottled "water" we all came to the same conclusion. Maybe it's one of those things that will grow on you with time, but I'm not counting on it.
2. Bring a milk pail with you. The Commissary here is much like the one in Texas or any other Grocery store that you might shop at, probably with one exception and that would be the milk. First off you can not get a gallon of milk. They only sell it in 1/2 gallon containers and my guess is because they don't want you to actually think that your milk is $4 a gallon. It's a 1/2 gallon for $2. So when our 70 year old neighbor Walter insisted on taking Martin to get milk from the farmer I was all for it. Only one problem, where to get the milk pail. Lucky for us Walter let us borrow his and has since found one for us to keep. (More to come about our helpful neighbor Walter later)
3. Less is not always more. Number three is not for the weak stomach. And my apologies for the disgusting nature of this. Germany is an amazingly Eco friendly country. Trash is carefully separated and recycled from each and every household. This also includes water conservation. Now I can see how in the US the toilet may seem like a water waster, but I am here to tell you IT'S NOT. And the reason is because it helps flush everything down! If you can imagine 80% less water in the toilet, now imagine you just used the toilet. Where does it all go? Let me tell you, it goes all over the porcelain and most houses have a toilet brush next to the toilet so that you can help everything go down. Personally I think we need to call the guy from Dirty Jobs. You get the idea. It's just not right!
4. Transformers are your friends. Not having ever lived overseas I had almost no experience with voltage and assumed all you need to plug something in was a little adapter. Boy was I wrong. There is a 20 lb box you must (find) plug in the wall and then plug in your appliance. I thought maybe some of our appliances might be duel voltage where you can plug it into the little adapter. No. That would be too easy. I learned the hard way, and that's why I say transformers are your friends. Just plug everything into the big heavy box. Why you ask? Because you'll blow it up if you don't. Just ask my sewing machine and she'll tell you.