Monday, November 14, 2011

Moving Day

We are officially in our new house! I'm excited to finally be in our own space with our own things but there is still so much to do before we can truly relax and feel at home. We do not have Internet yet so I drive all the way to the base in order to catch up on emails and keep my connection to the outside world.

Moving day (Friday) was smooth. The movers arrived promptly at 8am. They were efficient and had everything inside our house by 11:30. We also received three schranks (wardrobes) to get us started. They aren't the most beautiful pieces of furniture but we are grateful to have them since this is our first time living somewhere without closets.

We were also expecting a washer/dryer and refrigerator delivery. They had not arrived by noon so we thought they must be having lunch and we decided to follow suit. We were gone for only 30 minutes and we came back home to find a note from them stating that our order had been canceled because they came at 12:15 and we were not there. Now those deliveries are re-scheduled for tomorrow (Tuesday). I imagine I will be spending most of tomorrow doing laundry.

We spent the rest of the day unpacking boxes and wondering how we acquired so much. Items I was sure I'd gotten rid of mysteriously transported themselves to Germany and now they are well on their way to collecting dust in the basement.

We live very close to a shopping center so we went to stock up on some essential groceries and cleaning supplies. Absurdly, I decided I wanted to cook a real dinner for our first night in the house. That was a silly undertaking considering our kitchen is 3x smaller than any I've ever had, and the lack of space is even more pronounced when the counters are piled with various pots, pans, plates, and glasses.

We decided to first try a discount grocery store called Lidl. It was very similar to an Aldi so we thought we knew the drill. As soon as we walked in I realized I'd left my grocery bags in the car so I asked my husband to go outside and get them. Five minutes later I was perusing the produce selection and he approached me, empty-handed.
"Where are the bags?" I asked.
"You can't get out of here unless you buy something," he breathlessly replied.
"What do you mean?"
"I mean you have to go through one of the cashier lines to exit and the lines are so long. I would literally have to buy something to get back to the parking lot. Do you want me to get a shopping basket so we can grab some things?"
"Sure, I guess we don't have a choice," I said.

A minute later he came back without a basket and said, "The baskets are outside. We'll just have to buy a couple things so we can leave."

After this little adventure we decided to just go to the Rewe, a "normal" grocery store that doesn't trap you inside.

I had big dreams about the kind of meal I was going to prepare but we ended up with spaghetti because I was too confused about types of meat and German instructions on products. At least I know how to boil water and make spaghetti sauce.

We had a lovely dinner and decided to call it a night. While showering I noticed the water never really got hot and was getting cooler and cooler. I supposed that maybe this is how things would always be at our house so I didn't think too much of it. Stepping out of the shower, the air around me was also colder than I would've imagined. Again, I chalked it up to being in a new place.

Later, I was getting dressed in the bedroom while my husband was taking his shower. I kept hearing him exclaim things like, "Whew!! Woweee!! Ooooohhh!!! Yikes!!" I vaguely wondered what was going on, but he's an adult. I figured if something were truly wrong, he'd take care of it.

When he came into the bedroom he was almost delirious. "The water was freezing!! FREEZING!!!! I think all of our oil is gone!"

Immediately I went into a panic. I can handle the air around me being cold but I do not ever want to take a freezing cold shower and then step out into a freezing cold room. I'm from Florida. I have no basis of knowledge for these types of situations.

My husband reassured me and said we'd take care of getting oil the next day. I reminded him that it would be Saturday and I doubted anyone would care about our oil problem. We went to sleep, shivering.

The next day, we decided to make another run to IKEA for some little odds and ends. We were heading out the door when our landlord's son, Arndt, stopped by to give us something for the dishwasher. My husband mentioned to him that we ran out of oil the night before.
"No way! Not possible!" he incredulously replied.
"Yes," my husband said, "I'm afraid so."

They went down to the basement to investigate. Apparently the switch for the heater looks very much like a normal light switch. Someone had turned it off accidentally. Arndt left and I said, "Geez, I wonder who did that?"

Sheepishly my husband told me he was sure he was the culprit.

I wonder how much more trial-and-error is in store for us.

We set out for Dusseldorf and our driving experience there was the same as all the others. We were scared on the Autobahn, found ourselves in lots of roundabouts, drove in the streetcar lane, and parked illegally.

The biggest mishap of Saturday is that we forgot to take out cash before we left. We tried several banks in Dusseldorf and none would take our cards because they don't have European chips. Slightly upset but not completely defeated, we took the little cash we had and determined to spend it on something. The first few euros went toward meatballs and beer in the cafe, and the remnants of our money were spent on some useful items.

We were on the way home by 5pm and it was already getting dark. Having no cooking ambitions on this night, we walked to a local Greek restaurant and had a very pleasant evening eating good food and drinking good wine. Tzatziki sauce and Ouzo will cure just about anything.

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