culture shock

We have been in Kalifornien for almost a month and have most of our stuff out. I say “out” instead of “put away,” because my husband waged a very personal, bloody war  against the cardboard boxes that at least provided a little bit of order – I mean, they WERE labeled and stackable – and now all of our possessions are all over the floor. Surprisngly no actual blood was spilled. He managed to gut a couple dozen boxes without injury, yet he can’t even look at a cheese grater without part of his thumb falling off.

Now here we are with stubbed toes (me) and a burning desire to go to IKEA already (again me) so we can get all of this stuff off the floor once and for all. Or, at least until next school year. There have been some things to get used to, some reverse culture shock, which I bet most expats will tell you is much harder than regular, ol’ culture shock. In fact, I’ve sat down to write this post so many times I’ve lost count. There seems to be so much and yet so little to say. I still get nervous leaving things to do on a SUNDAY. How could we possibly pick-up those rice noodles I forgot to buy yesterday? What do you mean we can just get them at Whole Foods tomorrow? Is it a Verkaufsoffenesontag? No, we just live in the AMERICA now where G-d is totally ok with you shopping on Sunday, but if two men hold hands its the END OF THE WORLD. And why can’t items be tagged with the real price, not their pre-tax price. I’m sure the first store-clerk I bought something from thought I was deranged until I realized my mistake.

And what about S? She will very simply tell you that she is from Germany. When we did finally go to IKEA she cried because she didn’t want to take the car; she wanted to go in the bus. I think she is the only person in the history of the BVG to miss bus 248, but there you go. That’s my Mäuschen.

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8 thoughts on “culture shock

  1. And the crazy part is, we are visiting Berlin for a week from this coming Sunday for our Fall Break I…a bit late to see you though…do you have a must do list? With a 2 year old & 4 year old?

    • Oh my, there are so many things on my list! Of course, a trip to Museuminsel is a “must.” If museums aren’t your kids things, I would limit yourself to the Neues Museum (Egyptian and Ancient things) and maybe the Bode. Both are gorgeous! You’ll need to get timed tickets to the Neues, though. The Berlin Zoo is top class, but of course, most cities do have zoos so it won’t be terribly unique. Frankfurt has a very nice Jewish museum, but if you have a rainy day or extra time I’d head to the Berlin one, as well. Make it a day in my old kiez (Kreuzberg) and go to the East Side Gallery, as well. The Naturkunde Museum has the largest dinosaur skeleton in the world. Prenzlauerberg is also very popular with families and there is a very nice playground at Kollwitzplatz. This is something of a scattered list! Sorry! If I think of anything later, I’ll add to it. I’ve been meaning to write up a list of our favorite things, but haven’t gotten around to it.

      • Hmmm…did not read this in time. Oh well, will have to go back again some time. We did the East Side Gallery (Berlin Wall, right)? But we certainly filled the week…Legoland, Checkpoint Charlie, an Australian restaurant in Sony Centre, the Reichstag, Brandenburger Tor on Unity Day, Potsdam Palace; among other stuff

    • In my opinion, the coffee is very good in Berlin. Einstein Kaffee, although a chain, is my favorite. Barcomis (Kreuzberg oder Mitte) is good, too. Oh, and The Barn (Mitte).

  2. I would be so happy to pack one Bus 248 for you up and mail it to California! But I´m afraid the customs duty might be a tad high:)
    Liebe Grüße aus Kreuzberg where it is raining right now btu the prices at the supermarket are still tax-inclusive (what a mad thing this is)!

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