Ok, so what’s it been now, three weeks I think. Yup. I’ve been here in my new home for a scant three weeks and it feels like a few months already. Why?
Because I have had so little time to just hang out and absorb the new culture, instead I’ve hit the ground running, looking and applying for full time work, looking at a new rental Wohnung/apartment that my wife found for us (ironically in the same village I lived in that life time ago). Then there was the painless waiting for the residency/work permit which just arrived and I repeat myself in spending most of my free time online looking for work. That’s my full time job now, for now.
The good news is that I’ve got a tax free part time job at a nursery in the village we are moving to end of this month. However I will need much more than that to create a new normal and I can’t let up until that happens. I am not worried nor will I let it get to me. Things are happening in their own time and I am in a good place.
And then sometimes I am suddenly hit but the immensity of what I’m actually doing. Adjusting to a new life in a still new to me country; even after all these years away and its familiarity I am constantly reminded that this isn’t just another visit counted in weeks or months, no. As I peel back the layers of normal life beneath the wide eyed tourist curiosity of it all, I recognize the new real I have committed to.
How am I holding up? Given the circumstance I am well, I suppose. A bit more stressed out than I expected but that is a forgivable condition. How are my language skills? Ok. Good enough? Yes, and they will improve as I immerse myself in the culture and the daily life.
Given that the Fastnacht season aka carnival is in full tilt and the fools are out in inebriated force and colorful garb and dense, close knit village Umzüge/parades, it is I who at times feel like the fool in that often even the smallest of mannerisms, conversational etiquette and other such given formalities elude me. “Das macht mann einfach nicht,” (One simply does not do that) as a German saying intones when faced with something out of the expected Teutonic order of things.
And then there is the food … another subject for another entry.