Sunday, January 10, 2016

Back to it... And Being Nice

New Year's Intentions

 Zach- To become completely fluent in German (this will be accomplished very soon)
Nox-  break his previous record of hunting and devouring mice, 
Newton-sleep more, and eat more treats. 
Anna-Improve my German (obviously) and.... to remember to be nice.

 Sometimes feel like a bitter, old women living here. Not because that is my natural disposition, but because I am trying to acclimate to my new surroundings. Germans can be... frankly.... rude.... and weird. Their obsession with rules is daunting, and this is coming from someone who has never broken a rule in her life. And yet I am still made to feel as if I am constantly being naughty.
We have a neighbor, a married couple with a young daughter. They are about the same age as Zach and I. When we first moved in I thought they may be a potential ally, but now I dive behind bushes (literally) to avoid have to make contact with them. They have given me multiple earfuls about where, how and when my dogs can go pee, since they have a young daughter they don't like the idea of her playing in grass that has been "soiled". Whatever, I get it, and I respect their concern for their daughter's well being. Since this discussion I have been super conscience about making sure the boys are far away from their sight before the relieve themselves. The part that really get under my skin is, despite the confrontation, if they are home, without fail, when I take the boys outside and down the stairs I see one of them covertly peering out of their window... watching... making sure I "follow their rules", it just drives me nuts.

When we were first getting this move going we had a sort of moving specialist to help us with our transition. She lives in London, and I can remember her telling us that the British always get annoyed with the Germans because they don't know how to "Queue". We didn't think much of it at the time, but now, we know exactly what she means. Germans don't form lines, it is survival of the fittest when it comes getting on trains or buses. When a new checkout line opens at the grocery store, it's Armageddon. The people at the end of the lines have no problem immediately, and forcefully going to the front of the new line without even a second thought of all the people waiting in front of them. I find this particularly irksome. 

 I am American, and I think, a kind American. This year I want to keep in mind that just since I am living here doesn't mean I need to completely adopt my new countries cultural norms.
  • Remember to say thank you and smile (something else that is a rare occurrence here)
  • Never feel bad for being polite or sometimes walking across a cross walk before you are signaled (Germans will wait forever, even if there is no one coming from 10 miles in either direction and it's pouring rain).  
  • If someone yells at you, it's always a valid option to smile and proudly announce that you don't speak German. Depending on their level of English, expect them to either scowl and walk away or give you a stern lecture about what you did wrong with multiple points about why it was wrong, and then ask me why I am living in Germany and don not speak German.
  • Always remember to check your front entrance to make sure you don't have to run into awkward neighbors, and always, ALWAYS remember to laugh about it all at the end of the day.

So enough of that soap box.... and onto something much nicer... like these pictures.

Winter rain brings muddy paws ( I will know I have made it when there is mudroom present in our living space)

Hi, my name is Anna, and I'm a candle-holic

oh, he crazy

Happy Buildings

The eggs here.... goodness they're good

My buddies, free to pee wherever they wish

Favorite new towels from one of my favorite people

 Pesto pesto pesto, cheese cheese cheese!

Sit, stay, treat

New Stuff up on Oopsdaisy!

Jack Russell with aqua balloon

Polka Dot Stag and Sleeping Koala

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