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.