12 things about my new life in Germany, so far

The day I flew to Germany, there was a storm, flooding, and two earthquakes from where I lived in The Philippines. One could say the universe tried really hard to stop me, or just recognize nature being nature in crisis, alternatively.

I have been staying in Germany a month now, and slowly, I can feel my mind and body decompressing. About damn time.

The first two weeks I was plain disoriented from jetlag, the third week incredibly busy with things I must do, and by the fourth week I was completely floored that I could not possibly do anything else, even if I wanted to.

Still, I try to grab life by the seams and participate in the best way I can. So far, here are six things I love about being here:

All the green: Gardens, flowers in every imaginable color, thick hedges, old trees, meadows, forests, city green landscaping – green, green, green everywhere;

Biweekly market at the town square, even if I am still too shy to buy anything in German myself. It is so strange. It is not like I have never been to a foreign market before!

Asian stores that sell the right oyster sauce and tofu. I am having none of that premium, plastic-packaged tofu from the supermarket. Give me the ones from the bucket submerged in questionable water, please.

The old things that Markus’ grandmother has. Books, photos, furniture, stories, and more that are almost, if not, 100 years old. So much life and history. I think about Tokens of Companionship whenever we visit her house.

Meeting Markus family and friends and our neighbors. They are nice people. I never felt like I am different or separate and our neighbors gave us a ficus, too!

Fachwerkhaus. Beautiful. Magical. How can I have one built in The Philippines?

Of course, nothing is perfect, and being here takes a lot of adjustment. Below are six things that I am currently dealing with:

Dry air. Very bad. Terrible. There is not a day here where I have not been medicated. The brain fog. Ugh. My lungs were not made for this climate and it exacerbates my condition.

One side of our flat is Siberia. The north side is cold and desolate regardless of the weather outside. In the south side, it is bright and warm when it is sunny. The difference is shocking.

No bidet. Installation at home in progress.

The sun is always up. It is very hard for me to have a sense of time when it is 21:30 and the sun is still up but it never gets warm! I am so confused. I can see the sun but I am cold. Help.

Smoking. This has got to be my biggest culture shock in Germany. People smoke in public places and they do it a lot. Not allowed in my country! We fail to do many things right but we definitely nailed it with banning smoking.

Greening our flat. We do not have furniture yet, and actually sleep on the floor, but we have houseplants. Priorities. I have six now: monsterra deliciosa and adansonii, golden and n’joy pothos, a white orchid that was already here on this flat, and the ficus from our neighbors. I love them all but I get anxiety when I think about their care once I fly home. Oh, well.

In all, I am slowly adjusting to this place. Germany is definitely far from home, for better or worst. I can only wish that you are all keeping well. Soon, I hope to get a rhythm going. Currently working on being present. Currently recovering. Currently hoping for the best.

39 thoughts on “12 things about my new life in Germany, so far

  1. Micah, the pictures took forever to upload, so I missed them all, but I read the post. This is so exciting to follow you in a different country and read what you have been up to. Please enjoy Germany, plus if you really look, there can be pieces of home everywhere, even if imaginary or in comparison. I look forward to all the updates. πŸ™‚

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    1. Many thanks for your advice and positivity. I will remember them and let your words motivate me when I feel down. I am having a good time here. There is really a lot to say and I hope to finally catch up now that I am feeling better.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It looks like a lot has happened in your world! I can imagine the experience can be wonderful and challenging, as most new experiences are. Many blessings to both of you!

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  3. I’ve been away from the blogosphere for some time and I feel like I have missed a few things! Have you moved to Germany?? 😊
    Regarding the things you are still struggling on, I am sur eyou will slowly get used to it, and I can imagine how big of a culture shock this must be! I for sure miss the bidet in Belgium too ahahah! Can’t wait to read more from you and sending you lots of strength and positivity 😊

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    1. We are here for several months. We have installed a bidet so life is good. Haha! I am here a couple of months now so things are becoming more normal. I am impressed by some things and are just plain confused by others. I suppose this is a normal reaction to any new place. Thank you for the good vibes! I hope you had a lovely summer!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. It must be difficult to move from one part of the world to another. Since I tend to be a homebody, I wouldn’t really know except that I’m sure I’d be homesick. I hope things go well for you and I’m looking forward to hearing more about Germany. If it’s that cool in August, brrrr…Please take good care and enjoy the new scenery. Mona

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    1. Hello, Mona. Thank you, I am enjoying more as I finally relax more. I was terribly homesick two weeks after I arrived here. It was such an extreme after living on a lockdown in The Ph with my family and now being very far. The weather has improved by a lot, too, so that helped my brain.

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  5. So happy to read this post: I checked in a few times to see how you were doing, and I’m so glad for the news now! I love that you have so much to enjoy: warm people, different shopping, half-timbered houses (I looked up Fachwerkhaus – such a delicious word!). And I hear you on the challenges – it takes a great deal of effort to make a place feel homey.

    How are you feeling these days? Are your lungs getting better? Is the dry air better or worse for your breathing?

    Sending you a big hug and lots of positive energy.

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    1. You are the sweetest. Thank you, I appreciate you very much. Things have improved by a lot since I am able to relax more and be more present. I am still medicated but the symptoms are less. I do not know how it progresses as the temperature drops in fall. The past two weeks, we had lots of sun, but yesterday and today were quite gray and cold. I think the air is colder, too. I have also spent some time making the flat homey. There are pockets of cozy now. Maybe I will write about it soon. I hope to be blogging more regularly now! I miss following all of you!

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      1. Life happens and that takes away writing/blogging time, so I completely get it! It sounds like you are doing ok, so I am relieved and very glad.
        Nesting is very important to me, too, so I understand that you had to make the flat your own – filling it with plant friends, comfy things and all sorts of paraphernalia that shout: Markus & Micah!

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        1. My brain was just all over the place when I got here and it took a while to recover. I notice it was a lot of stress for me this year. Not very good. But yes, making progress now. It will take awhile to male this flat a home and I am not rushing anymore – like that would help. Haha! I try not to get too many plants honestly. Nobody will take care of them when I am back home!

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          1. It is a major life event, moving to another country/continent, and to make a home in a completely different place. I hear you – stress BAD!!!! I am glad you are feeling better. Here’s hoping you enjoy the cool weather Autumm brings. Octoberfest comes soon, right? Good food!!!!

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            1. Yes, a d there are already signs for Octoberfest. I just don’t know how different it will be since there is still corona. The weather is colder and I find myself buying new, season-appropriate clothes. Still getting the hang of it!

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  6. I love the photos you’ve posted dear Micah… I like everything I see in Germany based on how my friends document their stay… seems like everything is super likable πŸ˜€ The plants, the flowers, everything!!! Is dry air normal in Germany @ this time? or is it associated with other factors i.e. pollution or something??

    Re: smoking, I think Europe is kind of liberal in that regard… I had the same reaction when we first traveled with Brooklyn and people were smoking in front of him who at that time was only 3.. I am liable had I brought him in a bar but we were only having breakfast at the local pΓ’tisserie.. I was in total culture shock, haha. So the next time we visited, we knew what to expect and adapted better…

    Re: bidet. You’re installing it? Good old tabo won’t work? Kidding! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

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    1. The air is dry always. It is a challenge but it is still manageable so far. The bidet is working now and there is nothing like it. Hahahaha. Germany can be really photogenic, at least where I am. My sister says I should post on Ig but I get lazy about it. What is the season in KSA now? And how is your balcony and apartment looking?

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      1. We’re doing great, it’s become much much better than the last time, but there’s still so much unnecessary clutter. If we could only move to another place (if only my husband wasn’t sentimental), it’s better to start in an empty space, like what u guys are doing now…

        Riyadh is less hot this week, but still HOT… hehe, it will change drastically come November.

        Dry air is what we have here in Riyadh as well… and since I haven’t stayed in the Philippines for quite some time now, I hardly know the difference of natural humidity vs. humidity courtesy of my multiple humidifiers πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ I think they’re doing well except for sandstorm season.

        Your sister is right, Germany is so IG worthy and it’ll be so nice to look at and go back to for when you’re some place else…

        Take care!!!

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        1. I suppose plants really enjoy your house for its humidity. We only have one humidifier now and perhaps it will be a good idea to add more. It is such a big job to transform a space into a home, isn’t it? Our home to be exact. I hope you have fun reclaiming your space and I look forward to more positive news about it. Here, there are pockets of cozy already. Still lots of work!

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    1. Thanks. It is just for a few months but it is proving interesting. It is not like traveling before the pandemic. Are you still in The Ph or back at work? I hope your vacation was nice either way. And yes, it is hard for me to understand the flat but I guess it is simple orientation. The windows are only on the north and south sides, and those in the north are even blocked by trees. Yikes.

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        1. Oh, I hope the holiday helped! Is Maldives okay despite less tourists or? Yes, some trees are turning already. We were in the forest yesterday and I tried to digest the green and compare it with the fall colors that are coming soon.

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          1. Maldives is ok but this period is really the low season of the country. We expect business to pickup by October again.

            Yes, I had a lovely time at home.

            Enjoy fall!

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            1. Many thanks. I guess low season is good since you are not too busy or stressed? I really wish to see the Maldives at some point. It seems so pretty on the internet. Is travel to Maldives possible? Is it separate from the restrictions that apply to India?

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  7. It’s so good to hear from you. It will take time to adjust but things are bound to settle. I’ve missed your posts from the Tiny House and wonder if in Germany you will have a winziges Haus?😊 No! I don’t speak German! Looked it up. Maybe you’ll correct me. Your pictures have an atmosphere that I am more familiar with, lush greenery! Both of you, keep well and safe and write when you can πŸ’–πŸ’πŸ™‹β€β™‚οΈ

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    1. I miss following all of you, too. I will see the tiny house again towards the end of this year! And my German is still a disaster so we are not too far off from each other. Haha. The landscape is super nice. I enjoy all the plants and old trees. The animals are all new, too. I still get very excited when I see squirrels.

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  8. Oh, I want to visit Markus’s grandmother’s house! πŸ™‚
    It’s really fun to read about Germany from your perspective. I’m glad things are (mostly) going well. Your body should be able to adjust to the climate, but it will take some time. You may need to buy some warm clothes. πŸ˜‰

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    1. It will be a field day for you at that house. They keep things so well. 100 years is normal. Crazy! Last time, Markus’ grandmother pulled one of these leather albums with photos of her family from her grandparents and all that – she is 93! I have so much respect for their old things and how they take care of it. Looks new actually!

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  9. It’s nice to hear from you! Germany looks beautiful. It’s definitely a place I’d love to visit. I understand your point about the smoking. In Canada, smoking has been banned in public places for about 20 years. It is always odd to me when I travel overseas and people are smoking everywhere.

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    1. It feels like forever, Michelle. I miss hearing from you and following your life and everyone else. Was your summer nice? Adjusting to here is not as simple as I thought it would be. I am tired most of the time! But I know I am recovering. And yes, Canada seems to have done well with banning smoking. It is just so strange to me here because I expected more from Germany being a first world country and all that.

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      1. Yes, my summer was nice, although it has been extremely hot and humid here (and still is which is odd for late August) which really zaps my energy. I found it interesting that you said the dry air in Germany was hard on you. I find the opposite.
        How long are you staying in Germany? Have you moved there permanently? I can imagine it is a very big change.

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        1. I am here several months and will be back home towards the end of the year. Envy the weather where you are! Even with my humidifier on I only have 50ish and the most is 72%. I hope you hydrate well and stay healthy!

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