Settling In

The delicious piles of pork

We've found the grocery store, where to buy household items, I've signed up for a discount card with a local group of stores, and I've even managed to mail a couple of things.  I'm beginning to understand more spoken German, so I don't look like as much of an idiot when people in shops ask me a question, or wish me a "Schon Tag!" (responding is a different story though).  The cat has arrived in Germany and is finally back to her old self - for a shy, indoor cat, the flight was pretty traumatic.  Including the many trips to Ikea, I think we are finally settling in to our new home and new city.  Of course, it helps that Aaron has been able to figure out the internet and VPN so that we can still watch Netflix (we're hooked on Orange Is The New Black - is anyone else?) and Hulu.  

I also have some big news!  My contract with BASF finally came through and I start work on September 1!  I'm so excited for this new challenge and can't wait to start work.

On Friday after Aaron got home from work, we headed down to a new dive shop I found online in Schwetzingen.  I am so thankful that we did because the shop seems awesome, although not quite as good as the one we left in Ann Arbor ;)  They have a fairly large group of people that get together weekly to dive locally.  In fact, they do so much local diving that they hardly find the need to travel and only plan a few trips each year.  Since Aaron and I both prefer to dive locally over waiting for our next vacation (although, dive trips do rock), this is a godsend.  

Strange fruit, or maybe a vegetable at the farmers market

Saturday morning, we headed to the weekly farmers market in Mannheim.  I love farmers markets and will gladly pay a little more to support local farms.  We grabbed some produce for the week, some bread (a given), and saw these little baskets filled with spiky things (picture above).  Points to anyone who can identify these and tell us if they are edible or not.  They were with other fruits, but there was no sign identifying them.

In the evening, we attend a birthday party for one of Aaron's co-workers.  Word of warning though - never EVER wish a German happy birthday BEFORE their actual birthday.  It's bad luck.  They also will not typically accept any gifts until that day, but seeing as how his birthday was on a Sunday, and we saw him on Saturday, he graciously accepted the box of truffles we brought him.  But he made it clear that they wouldn't be opened, let alone consumed, until his actual birthday.

Little by little, this new city, new country and new continent is starting to feel like home.  Even today, Aaron came home and asked me what I did to the living room to make it feel more homey.  Answer - I added a cheap side table and lamp from Ikea.  But I do have to agree, that room does feel the most comfortable.  As for the rest of the apartment - it's coming along.  Would you guys be interested in seeing pictures?  This isn't really a home decor blog, but if you want them, I shall post some.  Let me know in the comments :)

Check back soon to hear about the new town we visited on Sunday!

- Meghan -