A Terrible Idea
Lately I’ve been feeling like Frances from the book/movie Under the Tuscan Sun. I got off the bus at a random stop, without a place to live or a way to communicate to people. Who does that? I am the ridiculous American woman.
Like seriously what the heck was I thinking when we packed up our suitcases and got our passports out? “See you later, we’re just going to move to Germany, we’ll be back in a few years.” We really didn’t think about it any further than that. I think I hid most of my fears behind my nonchalant shrugging.
The truth is I shrugged it off because I was scared and I didn’t want to talk about it or talk myself out if it. I knew moving to Germany would be a challenge. But I also knew it would be a chance I had to take.
“Life offers you a thousand chances… all you have to do is take one.”
-Frances Mayes, Under the Tuscan Sun
And now, here we are, in this foreign (literally) place, where we don’t know anyone, looking for a place to rent because we can’t start doing anything else (bank accounts, phones, language courses, etc.) without an address.
But there is no time to panic, because I am in Germany. (!!!)
Though I’ve only seen one Vespa (most Germans prefer their Audi or Mercedes, and strangely they are usually station wagons), there is a vibrancy and diversity to Bielefeld that I was not quite expecting. There are sunflower fields and gelato shops. Cappuccino and chai tea. The best Döner in the world.
There are beautiful farms surrounding the city, with farmhouses hundreds of years old and acres that sprawl for miles. And then, all of a sudden, a city center of 300,000 people pops up right in front of you, its centuries-old castle the crowning glory.
Every day, I feel a little bit like Frances, finding a new place to explore, a new way to embarrass myself (which typically involves me trying to buy something and doing it wrong). I’ve spent the evening outside, watching the sun set behind the Teutoburger Wald, drinking wine and watching deer run through the fields. I’ve also spent an afternoon dodging sweaty armpits on the Stadtbahn, mouth so dry from running to catch it.
So, I have my moments.
Maybe a bird will poop on me while we’re looking for an apartment. That’s good luck, right?