Yesterday, as part of my daylong surf-fest, I started doing research into our trip to Germany next year. We’ve decided we’re definitely going, we just aren’t sure where yet. My parents and I lived in Germany when I was between the ages of 7 and 10. Just looking at pictures of some of the places we’d been made me excited and nostalgic. I even found a webpage about Geilenkirchen, which is where we lived. I didn’t remember a single thing, but Mom said it looked like it had changed a lot in 20 years.
A week or so ago, I came across the blog of a military wife in Germany with her husband. I was excited at first, because I thought her blog would be exactly what I was looking for- an American living in Germany, and her take on the experience. Soon, however, I became disappointed, as it seems that she doesn’t venture beyond the military base- or doesn't write about it, anyway. There were lots of posts about traveling several hours to go eat at an American chain restaurant, or about the abundance of American grocery products available at the commissary- but no tales of the local culture. I read a small snippet about Nutella, but that was the extent of local culture references. ManThing suggested that I leave a comment, suggesting she talk about the “German experience” more, but I can’t figure out a tactful (or effective) way to make the suggestion, “Hey! Leave the base for once, will ya?”
I consider myself lucky for the experience I had living there. The base where my father was posted was small, and had no housing. We lived in an apartment building nearby. There were grazing fields outside, and every night a farmer would lead his cows up the street and into his barn. (Hence, I learned the meaning of the phrase, "until the cows come home.") My mother learned to speak German. We shopped in the local grocery store, ate in the restaurants, and rode our bikes along the Wurm. I played with the kids in our apartment building. Mind you, I didn’t have a freakin’ clue what they were saying, but I played with them nonetheless. Nearly every weekend, we would go someplace new: Aachen, Cologne, Munich, and Wiesbaden, just to name a few.
*Sniff* Give me a moment. Nostalgia…
Okay. Better now. Can’t wait to go back!!