Today marks seven years in Germany.
I happened to have the day off, and I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I’ve been yearning to do a summer Bahn-venture… something I haven’t done in ages. I decided a few weeks back that on the next nice midweek day when I was off and had nothing to do, I was going to buy myself a Bayern ticket and head down to the Tegernsee. Why there? Honestly, I don’t know. I’ve only been once and have wanted to go back ever since. If everything works out perfectly (hear that Deutsche Bahn? Perfectly?), I won’t have more than five or six hours, but that’s enough time to wander around the lake, eat or drink somewhere with a view, and stick my feet in that bluest of water.
Did I do that today? Nope.
Why? Well, that whole stipulation I had about “nothing to do.” Due to the perfect storm of paperwork nonsense, I had more than enough to do. I have a meeting tomorrow and was woefully behind on my bs paperwork that I’ll need to bring in… not for the meeting itself but generally speaking. So, to celebrate my seventh Germaniversary, I was responsible. That’s the real way to celebrate living here, right?
I did let myself slack a bit. I slept in until almost nine, then went for a joggy walk. A quick yoga video back here, then it was into the shower. While plotting my strategy for today, I had come up with an elaborate system of rewards for myself because I’m basically one of Pavlov’s dogs, and thus also had to run down to the store.
Rose and a bottle of Sekt was in order for the evening, and I also grabbed a bag of peanut M&M’s, a container of blueberries, and a few other odds and ends. My strategy was this: for every piece of stupid paperwork (all 43 that I had to do), I got to have two blueberries, or M&M’s when the blueberries were gone.
This sounds insane, I know. But it worked. Mostly.
I brought the blueberries outside with me, but ended up having to move them into the stairwell when they actually started to cook. A couple of them burst from the heat… not exactly the cool treat I needed. The M&M’s were retrieved from the fridge when the blueberries were gone, but they stayed up at the top of the stairs where it was coolest. Plus I got bonus movement after each accomplished task. This was very satisfying.
Several hours later, with possibly a slight sunburn and innumerable flies killed, I finished. It’s basically a miracle. By this time, BV had gotten home, laden with groceries for his planned dinner. Since I didn’t know how long today’s nonsense was going to take me, I had told him that dinner was his responsibility. He’s been wanting to make this Vietnamese Spring Roll recipe that he found online for awhile so this was the perfect opportunity.
Tomorrow it’ll be back to class, then off to a meeting. Same on Friday, before a little camping/bonfire party down at the Villagers’ place. We’ve also got World Cup group round fever going on, which will pick up the pace in the next week or so. There’s a lot happening right now, basically.
It feels a little trite to write all this at the moment, given everything that’s dominated the news cycle in the last week. But, honestly, I’m happy to have something to celebrate. I don’t give much of a crap about birthdays, but successfully surviving seven years here without major incident or being thrown out of the country seems like a decent thing to get excited about.
BV asked me earlier how it’s been, and that is so hard to define. There have been bad times, like the first few months of emotional fuckery, the times I wasn’t sure if I’d even be able to stay, the months of slow work… those have been hard. But there’s been so. much. good. Finding our way into this relationship… that’s one. Silly things, like successfully making the first phone appointment in German, or becoming regular enough at the farmer’s market to get an extra onion or two thrown in your bag for free. Those are the small, every day victories that make you feel like you can actually belong in a place.
The language is still very much a work in progress, but I’m less hesitant than I was before. Work is work, and there’s a lot that I enjoy and a bit that I could do without. But the classes that I have at the moment will occasionally surprise the hell out of me, or someone will express their relief to have my support at juuuuust the right moment to make it that much more worth it. Those moments keep me going. I’m still on the fence as to if it’s what I want to be doing forever, but as of now, it’s good.
And the possibility. There’s still so much possibility stretched out in front of me. For example, I posted this little travel bingo template the other day on my Instagram stories…
While there’s no problem with Europe, it seems there’s still a lot to cover there and beyond. The small problem is that I’ve been looking at several places in South America and I’m now coming from the super-inconvenient direction. Whoops. It seems like there have been a lot of really good deals from the States this year, because it seems like half of my timeline has been south of the equator. But I’m going to have to wait. *sigh*
Back to German possibilities, here’s hoping that I can get in a good Bahn-venture sometime soon. Summer is in full swing, classes are impossibly unpredictable, it should be within reach. And we’ll be in the vicinity of the Tegernsee in just a few short weeks for a long weekend with BV’s parents, so maybe we can slide that into the itinerary. Let’s see.
Until then, please enjoy this photo of me… not in Germany, but in South Tyrol last month, which is not Italian but not German but not Austrian either. They can’t be pinned down. But I’m in my natural habitat here. Awkwardly smug smile, camera in hand, (low) mountains in back.