Today is Friday, which means it’s market day! One of the first things that I experienced here was the local market; it’s where we get all our fruit and vegetables for the next week. A short 3-minute walk from home, vendors set up shop in the same platz (plaza) where we sit and enjoy the sun and a beer on any other weekday. The past 2 weeks N has been busy working, and so I’ve been sent to buy food. *gulp.* It doesn’t matter whether the list is written in German or English because I’ll have to find it and ask for things in German; and so market is quickly becoming my German language school for fruits and vegetables. Today I bought Sellerie, Pfeffer, Rote and Wiße Zwiebelen, Salat, Zitronen, Apfel, Orange, Bananen, and Brot. I also forgot to bring money, so I learned how to say “I wasn’t thinking” and plan on learning “I’ll come back” just in case.
It’s a beautiful fall day, low 50s and sunny for the first time in a while. I smiled just feeling like a part of life here as I walked through the crowds with my bags and made my way back home with food.
I’ve officially been here a month, and I’m finally beginning to feel like I know what I’m doing. The first few weeks were such a blur and very exhausting- I’m still often mentally exhausted simply from listening to German. I haven’t completely lost the ability to communicate verbally, but it is definitely an effort to do so, and even when I’m not talking I’m often listening and trying to learn. Thats all good and helpful, but it can be very tiring. On top of this new language, I’m learning a new family; their lives, relationships, personalities, lifestyle and schedules. Somehow I fit into all that and have a job to do. This week marks one of the first where I feel a little bit of stability come back into my life, because I know my way around town, know what is expected of me at home, and am familiar with the daily schedule. I’m definitely still the new kid, but I’m slowly settling in.
I still have moments of being jolted back into reality: for instance after a morning by myself, the baby wakes up and I go into the room about to say hello, and suddenly realize I have to speak a different language to this child. Or when we turn on a disney movie and everyone’s speaking German. Or when I want to listen to some music on my computer and I get this notice:
Or I’m about to start my run and I pull up Pandora only to see:
All in all however I know I’m going to love living here. There’s something in me that’s always wanted to live where there are cobblestone streets and I can shop for food at the local market. Whenever I see mountains I wish I could live there. If I’m walking through a wooded or mountain path, I always wish I could live near such a place. To be able to run along a mountain riverside whenever I want is a dream come true. Now I ran regularly over the summer, but since arriving a month and a half ago (and since I’m prone to getting lost, always), I haven’t run at all. This is necessary for you to know only for the following story.
Yesterday I decided to explore a new path and ended up accidentally running 7km- about 4.5 miles- because I was so distracted by the beauty around me that I didn’t realize I should definitely turn back until I saw a sign telling me home was 3.5km the opposite direction. Oops. I crossed a bridge and ran along the opposite side of the river, and found myself going up a number of hills. Suddenly I look down and the river is far below me. My first thought is “well… hopefully this road goes down soon…” Yet looking back up and in front of me I actually just want to keep running because it looks like a dream. I turned up my American music with English lyrics and ran with my eyes on the brilliant colors around me. If I had the capacity to breathe more I would have laughed at how perfect it all seemed. and how ridiculous it is that I find my own lack of foresight thrilling.
I’m a firm believer that home is made not so much by location but rather people; by life with the ones you love. So I don’t think I’ll ever be able to call this home. But for the time being I’m in love with my surroundings and am very content with saying that I live here right now.