Thursday, March 29, 2012

Moving Day!

Since moving to Germany in January we’ve been living in a small temporary apartment in Starnberg, near the kids’ school. It was a perfectly fine but small attic apartment above a car garage. There was also a yoga studio across from our apartment and on certain nights when they had meditation, we all tried to be quiet. Needless to say, it did not reduce our stress. After much looking, we finally found a house. Excited, I told the kids the news. Everyone’s faces fell and I realized they thought we were moving out of the country instead of out of the apartment. Sad but true.
Once we arrived at our new house, everyone got on board with the idea pretty quickly. Everyone has their own bedroom in the new house, plus a small yard. The girls’ have a balcony off both of their rooms and have plans for windows boxes full of flowers and herbs. While Adam does not have anything as exciting as a balcony, we promised to get a Green Bay Packers theme going in his room. This is proving a little harder than we thought with limited NFL merchandise available in Germany and shipping –customs-duties still to figure out but we're trying.
Our new house is in a small village about 10 kilometers from school and about 20 kilometers from Munich. We have an S-bahn (rail service) into Munich at the end of our street to help us feel connected to “big” city. We have a river and houses with horses just behind us. We’ve found the grocery store, the post office, the garden store and most importantly, the ice cream store.
Of course, we still have lots to figure out around the new house and town. Top on our list to figure out is the local recycling system. Recycling is very important here with all items divided many times over. The kids’ first German words were most definitely “bio-mull” for food refuse and “rest-mull” for the tiny bit that is not plastic, metal, paper, or a container. Glass here is divided into green, brown and white glass recycling and can only be done during certain hours when the noise of dropping glass in the bin will not disturb anyone. I can’t bear to tell them that Hong Kong is not recycling any glass of any color.
But slowly, it’s all starting to make sense. Pfant is another recycling system here through which you get a little money back after turning in the bottle.  Tori recently had a school project where she needed to make something out of a plastic bottle. (She made a life jacket and tested it out before swim practice one day- it worked!) Our kids were insistent that bottles with the pfant not be used. We may not fully understand the recycling but we do understand the value of having a Euro or two in your pocket, especially when you know where the ice cream store is.