Monday, November 21, 2011

The Much Anticipated Move

On the 20th at 1230, Eastern Time, we started our new adventure that would lead to an incredibly stressful and exhausting 24 hours of moving. 

Mandi squished in the backseat with her kennel, on the way to the Atlanta Airport.

It all started with a long drive to Atlanta airport, followed by the checking in of our bags and poor Mandi (and our poor checkbook).  I say poor Mandi because several things happened.  After our arrival, she was shoved into the kennel for the first time, although she was used to the kennel, she is not used to being completely trapped in it, while being at the mercy of others, strangers especially.  The checking in of Mandi wasn't too bad except for Matthew accidentally knocking the kennel over and Mandi going toppling backwards in it.  The checking in just took awhile and the hard part was handing over the credit card. 

Although I talked to someone well before the move and they assured me that with her kennel size the cost for her would be $200, we showed up and had to pay $400 for her.  The man at the desk told me that due to her kennel size they had to double the cost of a normal kennel price... Bologna, but oh well, what's done is done.  From the time of arrival at the airport until the time we were able to take her out of her kennel at the Frankfurt airport, poor Mandi had been stuck in her kennel for a total of 11 hours.  Let's just say she was so grateful to be out, until we had to shove her back in before loading the bus.  To top off her rough ride to Frankfurt, her water bottle that was secured in her kennel fell at some point during the trip and she was without water for some time.  She scarfed down several small bowls of water over the course of a few hours after we arrived.

Mandi after our arrival in Frankfurt, safe and sound.  Notice the fallen water bottle.
Aside from Mandi, the day was a bunch of "hurry up and wait".  We missed the bus from Frankfurt to our new base by about 5 minutes when we arrived and had to therefore wait at the airport for 4 hours for the next one.  Talk about frustrating when running on very little sleep and dealing with severe jet lag.  Which by the way, stinks... I woke up at 0130 this morning for good after tossing and turning for 2 hours.  It's going to be a start of another very long day. 

As a side note, after we arrived at the hotel, we were pleasantly surprised with the accommodations of the brand new hotel that we are staying in.   Everything was going beyond smoothly in the evening as we were enjoying our microwavable dinners and fresh internet access until an alarm went off in the hotel.  You read that right, on our FIRST night in, only about 30 minutes after we settled in for the night, an alarm went off notifying us of a "technical problem" that required everyone in the building to exit immediately.  My poor husband had already taken a shower and was in running shorts.  We had to stand out in the 40 degree weather for about 30 minutes while the firefighters came and cleared the building.  We still have no idea what happened, but it was definitely an interesting experience for our first night in Germany. 

So with our arrival in Germany comes the realization of how many different "little things" there are that we'll have to get used to. 

For one, the language barrier, I can tell, is going to pose some problems.  We realized very quickly that broken English and German are going to be very common between us and the locals.

The way of life.  Even on the plane, and interacting with the German native flight attendants, I could tell that the pace and the unwritten social rules are going to be different than in the states.  Even beyond the social rules, the actual laws and allowances are so different.  I felt so awkward walking Mandi inside a building that normally in the states would not even let Mandi inside.  I feel like I'm breaking the rules and at any moment someone is going to lash out and scold me, but no lashing occurred.

Mandi INSIDE a McDonalds!
I can feel the beginnings of culture shock settle in as I notice more and more differences between our new home and the states.  Yesterday we were overwhelmed with what felt like sensory overload and it is obvious that we will have a long road ahead in getting used to everything.  Here's to hoping for a quick transition!

Today is the start of in-processing and I'm really hoping that we'll be able to start getting used to our new home.  The next week or so is going to be quite hectic as we arrange for housing, get our Household Goods (which by the way has already arrived here), and all-in-all settle down.  Looking forward to everything that has to come in our new home!

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