Our flight felt like forever and we didn't sleep at all, though we should have tried. We experienced our first language barriers during the flight. The pilot was German and all he said that I could truly understand was, "Dusseldorf." So at least I knew we were on the correct flight. We landed at 6am local time but it was midnight for us. We didn't have any trouble getting through customs and all of our bags arrived, to our relief.
It was a great feeling coming out of baggage claim and seeing our friends waiting for us. Seeing familiar faces after a long flight to a foreign country is a huge comfort.
'Welcome to Germany' Gifts from Friends!!
The guest house wasn't quite ready when we arrived so our friends took us to their house and we were able to take a short, much-needed nap. We woke up around 1:30pm local time, and it was just enough sleep to make our eyes feel puffy and our stomachs feel weird. With no time to waste, we set out for two different bases in order to accomplish setting up a checking account, picking up our mail, and getting a few groceries.
It was overcast, misty, and cold all day. This also contributed to our disorientation. I found myself wondering how I'm ever going to figure out how to navigate around roads whose names I can't pronounce, quickly convert a dollar to a Euro, and of course, how to stay warm with winter coming so quickly.
This evening our friends took us to a great Italian restaurant where we had our first German beers! It was a good end to a very busy day, both for us and them. We are very lucky to have them here to hold our hands during this confusing transition.
I'm very glad to be here but I'm also feeling the pressure of everything left to be done. At least we're finally sleeping in Germany tonight!