Wednesday, September 7, 2011

How did we get here and what is it like?

Some of you know the story already... but here it is again. Brian and I love to travel and see the world. We always thought it would be great to live abroad. Brian has a couple of friends in Germany (we'll talk about them later). A job opened up at the International School Hannover Region. Brian applied, he was hired, and here we are! That's the short version. The parts I left out involve how we rented out our house, quit our jobs, sold our cars, made an endless amount of arrangements for banking, utilities, insurance, shipping our things (more on that later too), said our goodbyes, and got on the plane. We decided that this sort of an opportunity might never come again and we would be crazy to pass it up. We know that Saint Paul is not going anywhere and would take us back if we wanted to return.

So on August 10th we arrived in Hannover. The director of Brian's school picked us up, groggy, confused, and loaded down with overweight luggage, from the airport. We had about a week to move in to our apartment and learn our way around before Brian started working.

From our first month in Hannover, here are some impressions of the city:
Brian likes to call it the Des Moines of Germany. No offense to Iowans, but I think it's a little more exciting than that. It is however, a small city with a good quality of life, lots to offer if you live here, but nothing too flashy or sophisticated. If you come to visit you might spend a day or two here but there are not a lot of tourist attractions. There are old and new parts of the city, though much of Hannover was bombed in WW2 and has been rebuilt. Hannover is a very green city. It has a big lake called the Maschsee which was created as a public works project under Hitler in the 1930s. The Maschsee is about 1.5 km from our apartment (about 9 minutes running) and has sailboats, pedalboats, and a triathlon that happened last Sunday. I wasn't in it, but have my sights set on next year's race.Here's some info on the lake:

Hannover also has the Eilenreide, which is "Europe's largest urban forest". I haven't totally explored it yet, but it's also not far from our place. Like Saint Paul, there is a zoo, a fairgrounds, a big capitol building, which is the Rathaus, and now us! Here is info on the Rathaus:

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About Me

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Thanks for coming to my blog. It started as a way to keep in touch with family and friends, and now has become an ongoing project. I'm an American living in Germany and trying to travel whenever I can. I write about my experiences as an expatriate (the interesting ones and the embarrassing ones), and about my travels. There are some recurring characters in this blog, particularly my husband Brian and several of our friends. The title comes from the idea that living in a foreign country means making a lot of mistakes. So the things you used to do easily you now have to try over and over again. Hopefully, like me, you can laugh at how idiotic it feels. If you have happened upon my blog, then welcome. Knowing that people are reading what I write makes me keep going. Feel free to write comments or suggestions for future posts.