Tuesday, June 9, 2009

20 GERMAN QUESTIONS



The car the apartment building gave me to drive around. Brian nicknamed it the Ladybug.





Whew. I actually posted our whole Germany trip. Remember the New York trip? I never did get through the whole thing. Ya, I know, some of you might have said that you couldn’t WAIT for me to finish posting about Germany, not because they were so tired of my long commentaries and umpteen amounts of pictures posted. I really think they were just jealous, what with all the cool places we went, all the fun times we had, and because of how cool my pictures were (cuz I’m such a great photographer).

Well, through it all, I had a bunch of questions come over comments and emails, of which I never answered. I thought it would be fun to end our Germany trip with answers to those questions. See if you can recognize your own question! And if I didn’t answer something, let me know and I’ll add to this list.

This is what I call “20 Questions with Christy”

(Disclaimer: The answers to these questions are going to include things I haven't talked about before. I have so many other favorite things, like the castles, and the little amusement parks and the yellow flowers growing everywhere. So keep in mind these also include all those favorite and fun things.)

1. What were some of your favorite things about Germany?

a. Weather-The weather was a Catch-22. When it was good, it was beautiful. Green everywhere. I didn't realize how much I enjoyed it until it rained or was REALLY windy, that we felt very couped up. The minute it was sunny, we were out the door.


b. Bikers- Everyone was on bikes in Germany on a sunny day. More than cars. Even old ladies.


c. Hopfenplatz -I covered this on my Schwetzingen post, but it wasn't only there. They had them in every town. They are cobblestone shopping walkways, inaccessible by car. I started looking for one in every town, just to prove my theory that they were everywhere. I was never proven wrong.


d. Clean Bathrooms-It was so apparent when we crossed over from France into Germany. The whole time in France I was so grossed out by the bathrooms. They smelled like rotten urine, never had toilet paper, and one time only had a hole in the floor for us to squat over (yes, I know that's normal some countries, but this time were in the boondogs at 11:00 at night and there were spiders and roaches crawling everywhere. At least they made up for it at that station by having pink toilet paper!) Anyway, the first gas station we stopped at right passed the border into Germany was spit-spot clean. And I'm not talking just like in American bathrooms. This one shined! You had to pay .50 cent Euro to get in, but it was worth it. I can't even explain how clean it was. The seats self-cleaned themselves (and not just the rim. Cuz some places in France cleaned the rim, but as it was spinning, you could see dried, rotten urine underneath the rim. Rolf!) Need I say more?


2. What were some of your LEAST favorite things about Germany? No refills on soda, water, or drinks. (Isn't that so American?. hahha) And I was bummed on the gassy water. I was really thirsty for water a lot and didn't the speak the language to know if a bottle of water was fizzy or not. And the waters they gave you at dinner were really small, and then also cost for a refill.


3. Favorite thing about the apartment?
The small kitchen. Less messes to clean up. I wouldn't like it for forever, but it was nice for the time being.


4. I found a place to get blinds in Tucson. Would you ever get them?
I made this into a question. hehe. It was actually just a comment, but YES I would get them. I love how dark it gets. Seriously! Why dont' they bring those to everyone in America? And does that company do the cool multi-positional windows too? I'd love those.


5. You put the baby to sleep in the bathroom (in a portacrib)! Isn't that gross?
Nope. Cuz we had another bathroom for everyone. People hardly went to the bathroom in the big one where he was at, even when he wasn't sleeping. (I have issues with the pee particles flying everywhere. My toothbrushes are way far away from the toilet even at my house.) And anything for my own sanity. It was dark and quiet in there. It was also huge enough for the portacrib.




6. Does the toilet have water in it? When I was in Germany, our toilets didn't have water and it was so gross.
Ya. Ours had water in it but I went to restaurants that didn't have them and it was pretty gross.




7. What was the tub like?
I LOVED it. It was long and thin and really deep. I took MANY-a-bath. I loved that gone were the days where if I wanted my shoulders to be in the water, my knees were up in the air getting cold.




8. Was it hard to stay on a diet there, or hard to eat healthy?
Nope. It was easier there than back in America. The food is healthier (at least where we ate) and there were fresh fruit stands all over the place. America is horrible for our foods. Most everyone over there was in somewhat good shape. Biking and eating good. The basics. Novel concept. And I've noticed since I've been back how many people I've watched around town (young ones included) have lots of "fat" on them. Big stomachs, love handles, etc. It was kind of eye-opening.




9. What were some of your favorite foods? Warm, banana/chocolate creme crepes sold on the street. And their ice cream. So cheap, yet so yummy. I wasn't a fan of spargle (white asparagus), but everyone loves it there. I do like the normal things, like spaetzle and schnitzel.




10. What's one thing you regret not doing while you were there? Driving back up to the Heidelberg Castle (I was scared to drive a stick shift up the windy mountain by myself) and have lunch on the beautiful green grounds while catching tadpoles. They had big ponds with tens of thousands of tadpoles. We even bought a fish tank and net to catch them with.




11. Biggest accomplishment-Driving the autobahn, baby! In a stickshift. Yup, I did it after the 3rd day and I drove it all the time. How good am I? For those of you who don't know, the autobahn is their freeway, where many of the places have no speed limit and everyone drives about 120 miles an hour...no kidding. Did you see the car above? That's what I drove in. Proud? I am.




12. How did you get around not knowing where you were? Brian bought me this amazing navigation system. See picture above. How awesome is that! It even showed you what the exit looked like. But I hated the American girls' Jersey accent. I had Brian change it to the British one. It was so much better.




13. Second Biggest Accomplishment? Learning how to work the washer/dryer, and oven that all had German codes and words. I now know what Koch means, and Phleggeleit (I think I spelled it wrong). And the oven had like 20 different settings, which actually I'd prefer over an American oven.


14. What was your worst experience? My first time in the German grocery store. I picked the wrong one to go to. It was like going to Food4Less. It was the cheapy one so lots of people went there. It was so, so crowded and you could only walk one way (if you needed to turn around, good luck!). I didn't speak the language and I had lost Xanthe's wallet (nobody spoke English to help me find it) somewhere between walking from the car through the pouring rain into the store. You had to pay for the grocery cart, which I didn't have coins for, and was annoyed that I had to pay for it (I didn't know you got the coin back at the end when you returned it, which actually is a good idea. But would put all the cart collectors out of work here. hehe). I didn't find what I needed so I wanted to leave, but nobody would let us out. And again cuz I didn't speak the language, no one would let us through. My nerves were really shot. We ended up going to the other grocery store (so much better...nice like Pavilions), which was right across the parking lot. Oh, and don't worry. If we didn't like that one, there was another one across the other side of THAT parking lot. Haha. They were all right next to each other like churches on the same corner.

15. Did Spencer ever start sleeping through the night? Ya, finally. After a week of being there. So we had two weeks of sleep until he then had to go back to Arizona's schedule. He's having a rough time with it still.




16. I love what you did with giving Xoe & Xanthe money in Paris. This was actually a comment, than a question, but I wanted to respond to it. Actually, I have to give props to Harry Schultz, my dad, for teaching me this one. Every trip we went on, we knew we'd get an envelope with $10 in it to spend for the whole trip. I loved having my own money. And am now passing the experience on to the girls to learn about budgeting and decision making. Thanks Harry!




17. What was one of the hardest things to get used to? Having it light for so long. It was so far north that the sun stayed out really late. I've never lived somewhere that north. The first night I was there it felt like 4:00 p.m. when it was really 9:00 at night. Good thing for those awesome shades! The late sunlight was great though when we still wanted to fit stuff in for the day.




18. What was one thing you never got used to? The 24 hour timing. They ran on what the Americans call "military time". You know...1:00 p.m. actually was 1300. And 9:00 p.m. was 2100. Even their alarm clocks were on that time. I constantly had to do the conversion in my brain. I was so proud of the girls though. They learned it too and were doing the conversions in their head. They also did the conversion for when it was "California", "Arizona" or "Utah" time so they could call people. (Can you say daily Math homeschool work? hehe)




19. Places to visit. Thanks to everyone for everyone who has lived in Germany before, or who now lives in Germany for giving us suggestions of things to do. We weren't able to visit all the fun suggestions, as well as people's family, but I'm sure we'll be back soon to do those things. Thanks again!


20. What's the one thing you miss about Germany? That's an easy one. Brian. (He's still there. Or was. In Korea now.)




Thanks everyone for going along with us on our journey. I'll post about real life soon.

3 comments:

ruth said...

Iloved post 8 was about health and then 9 was about how your fav food was crepes.Sounds like me, eat as healthy as possible then eat 2 crepes.

Whitney Easton said...

Hi Christy.. I LOVE your blog! It gives me something to look at and read while I'm bored at work. I'm so jealous of your life and all your adventures. I hope you guys are doing well!

Randi said...

What a fun idea for a post. I am glad that you were able to answer all of the questions people had. Isn't Germany a fun place to VISIT!