Sunday, October 30, 2011

Street Markets Everywhere

Street of my favorite things about Germany so far.  There is always a market going on somewhere, except Sundays.  The markets are social gathering places that include venodrs selling wine, hard apple cider (Rauscher), and a Hessen favorite - Apfel Wien (apple wine), which is usually mixed with mineral water or orange Fanta and is quite refreshing in the warmer summer.  Then there are the vendors selling various wurst, currywurst, Frankfurters, and Pommes (french fries).

Pommes mit ketchup & Currywurst mit brot
(French Fries with ketchup & Currywurst with bread)

Yesterday's snack at the Bergerstrasse Market, pommes for me & wurst for my husband.  It's wonderful to see so many people out, shopping for fresh produce, fresh meats, natural honey, olives, teas, candies, bread, homemade egg noodles, etc - not typical in many American cities, although it is growing.  

I must mention that the Saturday markets are packed with people shopping for the weekend because everything, except restaurants are closed on Sundays.  So people are out stocking up for the weekend.  At first it took some getting use too - shopping every few days and stores being closed on Sundays, but I really enjoy both differences now.  Sundays are a true day of rest here...loud noise is not allowed (so no cutting grass, recycling glass, or loud music) and it is a day to be spent with family & friends.  Many Germans go on a family walk on Sundays - more on that later.  I love Sundays!

My friend Amanda was so right...I love the markets!  There is one market two blocks from our flat on Wednesdays and people stay in the park drinking wine, talking with friends, and shopping until almost eight o'clock in the evening.  A great way to spend the evening - unfortunately that wine is out the question for me right now!

More market pictures later this week...   

Friday, October 28, 2011

Leaving Home

Leaving Home...something that I've always wanted to do since my debut as a rebellious teenager.  I love my small home town, but I need to wander, to discover the world and myself and in the end find a new appreciation for the magic of my small lakeshore town on the coast of Lake Michigan.  Since meeting my husband nearly seven years ago we've always discussed world travel and the possiblities of a short term expartriot contract in various places all over the world.  An adventure that we both wanted to undertake and experience.

Last February the opportunity for a three year contract presented itself and by June we were traveling to find a flat and I was traveling to Europe for the first time in my life.  Now here we are, over 4,000 miles and an 8 hour flight from home, living in Frankfurt, Germany.  There have been numerous happenings, situations, and decisions made since February that have led me to believe in that old saying "everything happens for a reason".

On September 6, 2011 we set out for the adventure of our lives.  The plane lifted into the sky at Chicago O'hare Airport - I was leaving home, my family & friends, everything known and familiar to me for the last 27 years of my life.  A dream coming true so exciting and bittersweet.  It wasn't until we arrived at our flat jet lagged and feeling foreign that it all started to settle in me; the excitement, adventure, anxiety, loneliness, and the finality of all the decisions that we'd made in the last few months.  I was uprooted and so far from all that I had ever known, but then it hit me - I may be living in foreign country, on another continent, but the world is such a small place and I am only an 8 hour flight from home.  So many thoughts and emotions were swirling about my exhausted being and what I really needed was a cat nap.  The soothing comfort of sleep finally set in as I extinguished the anxiety from me with the affirmation of how small the world really is today.

Now Here...Almost two months have passed since our arrival and life is falling into place and the taproots of a new existence are starting to form.  I still have yet to call this flat and this place in the world "home", but I know that I will get there.  We love our little neighborhood and have had several little adventures so far.  One big change - we went from a town of 5,000 with a handful of restaurants to a city of over 680,000 with endless options for restaurants.  We are enjoying the adventures.

In a year full of surprises and changes we have yet to face the biggest change....You may wonder how since moving across the world is a giant leap, but in March we will welcome the arrival of our first child!  My life sometimes feels like the cliche - when it rains it pours - but I chose to throw down the umbrella and soak up all the raindrops.  The purpose of this blog is to share these adventures and all the dancing in the rain.