|Avram and I at Omaha Oktoberfest. Worst schnitzel ever!|
|Avram at Halloween. He was a penguin, but his hood kept falling off or covering his eyes.|
|Avram with my grandma Bodily. She past away in January.|
|The picture that would have been on our Christmas card if I had ever gotten around to ordering them.|
So the differences -
Something important to know about Germany: they don't believe in artificially cooling anything. What I mean by this is that they don't have air conditioning anywhere or ice cubes in drinks. We had breakfast in the hotel this morning and the milk was a little warmer than luke warm. It was awful! Ordering a drink at a restaurant? Hope two ice cubes is enough. They can't waste ice on things like drinks because they don't even waste energy on cooling their own bodies. There are a lot of smelly people here. I need those ice cubes too, because you see, they don't have Diet Coke here either. If you want something that is 0 calories and has caffeine it is Coke Light. So I need the ice cubes to water down the terrible taste of the stupid Coke Light!!! Maybe I am a snob...yes I am a snob, an American air conditioning and cup 1/2 full of ice cubes snob.
|What! No Diet Coke? Who will take care of me?|
|Avram's first candy: black licorice|
|Avram on his first swing ride in Chadron, NE.|
Avram is doing very well here. In fact, he is the instigator of all conversations with Germans so far. Well, Junior does too. Here's a funny story. Junior has an ear infection. We are treating it with drops and we are supposed to flush his ears out every few days with this stuff that looks and feels exactly like his earwax. It's really gross and his ears smell a lot like old lady feet. So anyway, we decided to go on a family walk through the business center of the village and find a bakery. As we walk past a little restaurant a lady calls out in German "Cavalier! Cavalier!" which is Junior's breed. She walks towards us and I can see that she wants to pet Junior, so I let the leash out and he goes to her. She is talking the whole time, we don't know if it is to us or to him, and scratching his back. Then she goes for the ears. I watch as she starts scratching him on the ears, stops, looks at her hand, scratches again, stops, looks at her hand, scratches one more time, then looks at her hand and with disgust on her face wipes it on her pants. Then we just turned and walked away. There was nothing we could do. We couldn't explain to her that it was just ear medication. Sorry lady, don't pet strange dogs of foreign people.
|Avram meets his new cousin, Lizzy Joe. It's not you, Lizzy, it's Av.|
Anyway, Avram is adorable. He is nearly walking. We bought this thing that looks a bit like a wooden lawn mower that he pushed around the hotel room. He can't turn around with it though because the wheels are locked in place, so once he gets to the end of the room, Mike or I goes and turns him around. He is also still fascinated with cars and trucks. Our room overlooks a train and bus station and he will just stand there for 15 minutes straight and watch the buses and taxis and people moving about. He hates getting his diaper changed. He will not lay still long enough to get the poop wiped off of his bum. I have to wrench his legs and twist his hips as he arches his back and cranes his neck around. It feels like abuse a little bit, but I know he would be more upset if he got poop in his mouth. Maybe I should see about changing his diaper on the window ledge so he can watch the buses and have the threat of falling 20 feet to keep him still.
I was nervous about coming here. I felt like I was moving to the moon. I know a lot about the moon, how far away it is, that it's dusty and there is no gravity, but none of that helps me function or survive there. Same with Germany. I knew it was far from my home and family, I knew they don't speak English, and that they eat delicious meats and breads, but none of that was going to help me survive. None of that could provide me any comfort. But it is not so bad here. The people, so far as I have been able to understand them, have been nice. Driving is not bad, in fact better that some places in America. Avram is not going to be neglected or kidnapped. We are all going to be fine and I am excited my anxiety is over and that I now able to start enjoying this new adventure. Now if I could just get rid of this pesky jet lag.
PS - Here are the only pictures we have taken so far here. We are in Sittard in the Netherlands. It is a really cool town with a market in the square on Thursdays that I am hoping to attend next week.