Since we're on the kitchen topic, let's talk about some of the household differences. The first one that perplexed me was the washing machine. Dryers are pretty basic, but this is what the washing machine looks like:
Luckily the guest house left detailed instructions about how to use all of the appliances. But guess how long it takes to wash one small (and when I say small, I mean it) load of laundry. I'll just tell you because you won't believe it unless you've been here: an hour and a half. And to dry the same load it takes at least an hour and forty-five minutes. I've found the dishwasher to actually be more efficient than the one in our former apartment, but I still had to use FreeTranslation.com to make sure I was using the correct settings. Oh well, one day at a time.
Today I began studying for my German driving test in earnest. He was able to take his test on the base back home but I will be taking my test very soon here. My car has made it to port and through customs so we're looking forward to seeing Greta in the motherland... although I must admit that it terrifies me to drive here. People pull off the road doing high speeds at will, the Autobahn is as crazy as it's described, and tractors are frequently ambling along at any given time. I'm scared to death of failing the 100-question test on my first try. The manual is much more daunting than the one I used to study for my initial driver's test at 16.
We have two appointments tomorrow to look at possible houses. Luckily our guest house neighbors are currently out-processing and don't mind driving us around in the morning. I am very proud of my husband because he's already had his first German phone conversations with the landlords. They've gone something like this:
"Guten abend, Fraulein Busch."
"YES, HELLO, AND DANKE. I AM WORKING AT NATO BASE AND WOULD LIKE TO SEE HOUSE. SPRECHEN SIE ENGLISH?"
"Uhhhhmm... yes, a little."
"YES HELLO. MAY WE PLEASE COME BY IN THE MORGEN AND SEE HOUSE?"
Eventually the meeting is arranged. Sometimes the Fraulein has to ask her husband to get on the phone but it all works out in the end. We'll learn this language in no time!
Wish us luck with house-hunting. We've heard some horror stories but we're going in with open minds and, of course, being homeless.