EXPATS AGAIN! Experiencing other cultures while enriching our global view.



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Munich, Germany
I am married to the love of my life and am finally able to shower him with all of the attention he deserves. I am now retired and living the life here in Europe. I am an American, he is an Australian, and this is our second overseas address. The first was Shanghai, China and now Munich, Germany. Come along and live the life with us as we continue our adventure of discovering all Europe has to offer.

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Feeling More Like Home

EMU 481 of the Berlin S-Bahn in Griebnitzsee s...Image via Wikipedia

It's been exactly six months since I arrived in Munich and I can now wholeheartedly report that Munich is  in my blood.  Let me explain.

Yesterday, I took the day to wander about my newly adopted city when I realized that the S-Bahn (train system) no longer confused me. I also took the U-Bahn (underground subway system) to transfer to another part of the city and was equally adept.  When did this happen?  Blending in with the crowd, using the ubiquitous novel or ipod as my travel companion --yep, an ordinary routine.  I've become aware that sporting the European neck scarf; something I would have abhorred  ignored back in the states, is quite natural here in Bavaria.  This acculturation thing -- so subtle--how and when did I assimilate?


Karstadt store in Görlitz, Germany : dome in J...Although my language training has yet to formulate, my pseudo Deutsch appears to be doing the trick.  I not only was able to make a purchase at Karstadt, but was given a step-by-step instructonal training on how to use the product.  From there I learned that the clerk was from Holland and we were even able to share a few laughs!  Sure, I know this is an everyday occurrence for American shoppers in the states, but what amazed me was that I didn't  have to resort to my old bag of tricks--pantomine, not once!  This spelled success.  Whew!  No more walking out of a store empty handed grumbling about how much easier it would be to live here if all Germans spoke perfect English (sarcasm implied here--I'm not that ignorant Yank stereotype all of the expat community keeps ragging about :-).  Lamentedly, I'm just her snarly sister on a past few occassions.  Shopping excursions can only get better, I reckon.

I was so successful navigating about that I cycled to my fitness center, completed my workout, relished in the sauna (sans towel like the Germans do--abandoning my ultra Puritan American upbringing--Egads!) and made it to Karls-Platz using the S and U-Bahns with accuracy to see my doctor.  She speaks good English and hooked me up with an OBGYN in her same building.  I took the elevator down two floors and, Voila!  I scored an appointment with the office assistant on the first go.  Remarkable!  It gets better folks!

Thank You my dear Flickr friendsMy newest obsession, knittting and crocheting, has taken on a new dimension.  Let's just say that having been modestly successful in creating a few hats and scarves, I'm ready to step it up a bit and challenge myself with a more advanced project.  Pasing-Obermenzing, where we live in Munich, has a lovely little Italian yarn shop run by a German woman whom I've had the distinct  forboding pleasure of attempting to communicate.  Here is where the magic begins.  Turns out, the lady really could speak English, WTH?   I have been in her store a half a dozen times doing my pantomine schtick and here all along she was just amusing herself watching me go through every conceivable charade I could imagine!  The revelation that we could banter with one another overcame me and the horses were let out of the gate, so to speak.  Yada, yada, yada, and the next thing I knew I had signed up for a course in Schwabing at her second shop in kniting--something I could only dream of doing that easily months before.  Then it dawned on me!  She has come to know me and know that I'm here to stay and I will continue to frequent her shop.  Imagine!  I'm a repeat customer and no longer a stranger in a strange land!  Vielen Dank!

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honeypiehorse said...

It's so true, shopkeepers do tend to warm up over time as you frequent their shops. Sounds like you're in the honeymoon phase... well done.

Corrie Howe said...

I always love your pictures. I'm glad you are beginning to feel like you are home.

Frau said...

WOw that is huge success! I hope to get that confident soon!

Courtney said...

This story is really comforting. It all takes time doesn't it! But I love that out of nowhere you realize how immersed you are. I'm waiting for that moment of feeling like this is home rather than temporary living.