Gleaning from my own numerous hospitalizations in the U.S. I have some suggestions about what to bring, as well as what to expect from your hospitalization in Germany. Be aware that I am comparing the U.S. system to the German system. Also that I only stayed in one hospital in Germany and your experience and the experience of others may vary.
It’s officially the holiday season! That means so many things, warm, delicious beverages, Christmas lights, decorating and Christmas music. It also means you’ll probably start getting those holiday cards in the mail from family and friends. I have always loved sending Christmas cards. We have sent one out for each year of our marriage and it has normally accompanied an announcement of a big event like a birth or move, or both! However, living abroad has provided a new challenge for sending out holiday cards.
To celebrate the start of the fall season we decided to go fruit picking in Potsdam! It was really meant to be a pumpkin picking trip, but it turned out that they didn’t have a pumpkin patch. Oh well, it was still a great little family getaway before the weather turned dreary. The you-pick-it farm we went to was called “Hofladen” and it was super fun!
I had my first grocery shopping in Germany experience very early on here when we moved to Berlin. I was blessed to have been driven around to appointments the first few days by the embassy chauffeur-extraordinaire. He offered to take Elaura and I for a quick trip to a nearby grocery store. And boy am I glad he offered because there is quite a bit to learn about grocery shopping in Germany. I’m going to let you in on all the little secrets so you don’t need your own chauffeur to show you the ropes!
I have to admit I was a bit wary about conquering public transit in another country, in another language that I don’t speak, with a child and one on the way. It seemed like a daunting task, especially as I pondered the thought of it before we moved here. However, now that we’ve been living here for 6 full weeks, I have learned the ins and outs of traveling via trains and busses with a toddler. I hope the following tips help you as you try out public transit in Berlin with kids.
Germany is all about order. Everything is “in ordnung.” Transportation is on time (or early!), pedestrians never jaywalk and signs indicate how everything is done. I had been warned about how children and even dogs should behave in public and was nervous about how this would actually play out with a toddler. Even Papa Bear told me that children are beloved in Germany but often they are meant to be seen but not heard, especially in places where adults are more likely to be carrying on business or conversation. Places like restaurants and museums.
We’ve been in Berlin for 4 days now and I can’t believe how quickly it has begun to feel like home. I think the biggest reason for that is that we were able to move straight into our new home, which I will feature in a blog post soon! We really do love it here. I already love the community we’re a part of, with other Embassy families all around us and showing up at my door with food and friendship. I love the view from my back windows and being able to walk to the Grunewald (a VERY large park) within a matter of minutes. But there’s also a lot to get used to about the culture here in Berlin. Here’s a snapshot of my first impressions of this great city of Berlin.
I actually had my biggest TCK moment when I was filling out my graduation paperwork for college. While sitting down with the admissions office counselor, answering questions about what information they would put in the graduation pamphlet next to my name the counselor asked me where I was from. I sat there completely wide-eyed and I’m certain this was the first time she had ever heard a graduating senior answer this question in the way I did: “Um…can I call my mom and ask?” (Make sure to read Part 1 first if you haven’t!)
Today I will be beginning a new guest series on Third Culture Kids and raising children overseas. First up, is a great friend of mine, Maia, who grew up in South America. Read all about her story and her encouragement for parents considering moving overseas with their children. It’s a great perspective from someone who grew up in the expat environment herself!
It’s the FINAL COUNTDOWWWWN! We are officially 26 days out from our big move to Berlin! We realized just last week how quickly our departure is approaching. We sat down and went over the entire moving checklist for the month and a half before our move. It’s a doozy! I’m having a hard time not feeling overwhelmed at the sheer length of the checklist of items that will go into this move. Here’s a look at what our current checklist looks like: