Last week I mentioned an impending move to Germany. Over the weekend, that move happened. For the next month and a half, we will be living in Frankfurt am Main (or Frankfurt on the Main River).
Life has a funny way of working out. As I’ve mentioned before, I studied German in high school and college, but never took the opportunity to study abroad. I’ve always regretted that. Now, however, I’m getting a second chance. Though the last minute nature of the move was pretty stressful, I’m grateful for a chance to practice my German and experience more of the culture here.
We arrived in Frankfurt on Monday toting seven suitcases, two backpacks and one body pillow. The guard at security gave my pillow a strange look until he glanced at my belly then he kind of smiled and nodded me through the metal detector. I guess it’s pretty obvious I’m pregnant at this point.
I am not a good flyer. Before I was pregnant, I would temper my nerves with a little adult beverage. That’s off the table now, so I’ve turned to music and reading my Kindle. That works fine for the most part, until we hit turbulence. Now I know turbulence is a normal part of flying and, as often as I’ve traveled via plane, I should be used to it by now. Right? Wrong. The littlest bit of turbulence and I turn into a quivering mess. Matt got the fun task of calming this hot mess on a very choppy and windy flight on Monday. My poor baby was probably like, “Mommy, what the hell is going on out there? It’s nice and peaceful in here. Chill, woman.”
Thankfully we made it and the landing in Frankfurt was surprisingly smooth in the face of the strong gusts that were visibly rocking our plane. Well done, Lufthansa pilots. Well done.
After somehow squeezing all of our luggage into our rented Audi A5, we drove to our new home for the next sevenish weeks (yes, we’ve been reduced to planning in “ishs”). The apartment-hotel we are staying in is newly constructed, but homey. It is right across the street from a shopping mall (complete with a Starbucks, McDonald’s, Chipotle and KFC) and close to a train station. We were greeted in our room with a little basket of Italian goodies. Such a nice touch!
We dropped off our luggage and immediately headed to Rewe (pronounced Rey-vey), a German grocery chain, to stock up on stuff for our next few meals. I have to admit one of my favorite things to do in a new country is to go shopping at the grocery store. It’s fun to see what foods and brands are popular and I think it tells a lot about the culture of the country.
We picked up the requisite sausage and sauerkraut, but I also decided to try some curry ketchup (I’m not really a fan of regular ketchup) and found it surprisingly tasty. It was a little tangier than typical ketchup and had a fairly mild curry flavor even though it was labeled “scharf” (or sharp).
Though there were obviously a number of European brands, we also found a few American brands (albeit with gloriously long German words to describe the product).
Over the next few weeks, I’ll do some exploring and write more about the experience of living in Germany and the differences (and similarities) between here, France and the U.S. In the meantime, here’s a view of the skylines of my two most recent home cities: Toulouse and Frankfurt.