Apparently, I haven't been posting often enough to satisfy you all (thanks for thinking of me! I love you!). AC has been good enough to give me a list of prompts as I had run out of things to report on. So here I go:
What I love:
I love the old architecture - a large majority of this town is in the Tudor style. I just discovered today a little corner of town that seems older/better preserved than the rest. SO charming with dark cobbled streets (slate? anyone know?), ivy and wisteria-covered walls, moss and lichen growing on any surface that will sit still for a second. The stone/moss/lichen color scheme made me so happy today! Plans for a mellow, organic, abstract painting is in the works.
I love that this little town is so quiet/peaceful.
I still love the green and all of the flowers. I don't think it will ever get old!
Ooo! And I love plumb cake. I know, it sounds awful, at least it did to me when I first heard of it. I am not such a big fan of plumbs in general, but the tart flavor of the baked plumbs with a light, mildly sweet cake underneath is fantastic! Florica, the Romanian woman who also works here in the house said she'd bring me her recipe tomorrow. Mmmmm...so good!
What I dislike:
I get frustrated with the social pressure here. These are just a couple of examples: One must keep quiet between 10 and 7 - not sure if it is a law, but it might as well be. The family is constantly yelling at or anxious about their dog - trying in vain to keep her quiet.
Then, apparently it is normal to have a birthday party for every kid every year - even for babies! The mothers in the neighborhood get offended if you don't throw your baby a party...I don't get it.
There is just more pressure to do what society prescribes. I can relate to it to a certain extent; of course being courteous is valuable. But there seems to be an underlying 'streamlining' pressure here that I find stifling.
Hm. I am getting a little tired of all of the starches and processed meats. It's true, the Germans LOVE their wurst. Of course it tastes good, but my tummy is a bit confused.
What is challenging for me:
Learning this dang language! It is a good challenge, and extra good when I can see progress, but holy moley! Imagine trying to understand someone mumbling...your mind strains at every sound as it tries to piece the few it catches into an intelligible idea. Then, try to respond to the mumbler with a vocabulary of about 200 words and only a vague idea of grammar rules. Yep. That's me whenever I have a conversation in German.
I am sure everyone who has ever learned a new concept has experienced this, and I have never heard anyone complain as much as I do about it. :-) So, I will try to tone it down...but Caite, you did ask... :-)
What else is challenging...
It is a challenge trying to find my place in this family - navigating personalities, values (theirs and mine), routines/traditions, as well as communication expectations, frustrations, and even gratitude/affection. Leaving work at the office doesn't exactly apply here.
It's a challenge to set and accomplish personal goals. Of course, it is always difficult to do that, but, I don't feel master of my own time and so I can't adjust and prioritize on the same way that I am used to. I will have to figure out something though, because my mind is needing to play.
Who/What I miss in the U.S.:
I miss you all! I miss having family and friends who I don't have to try so hard to read. I miss hugs and cuddle time. :-) But I have made some sweet friends already, and I got to spend the weekend with Uncle Sam and Aunt Lonnie last week! Shoot, she even sent me home with peanut butter! Mmm...I miss brownies. You see, everything is more cakey and dry here. Good, but you really can't beat brownies. :-)
Caite said that if I didn't have anything to report, just send smoochies. Fabulous idea. If you are reading this, MWAH! I love you and miss you, and I would LOVE to hear from you!
I hope this will suffice at least until I find something new to post or until I get more questions.