Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Herbst in Hannover

Wow - 16 people viewed my blog on Sunday and on Monday. I guess you are actually interested in what I am writing. I had better keep it up!

Fall has come to Hannover. The word for Fall/Autumn is Herbst in German. It's no too different from Fall at home - more acorns and chestnuts on the ground than we are used to, but leaves are starting to change colors and that cool leafy smell is in the air. It was over the weekend anyway. Since then it's been rainy and Brian and I are REALLY missing our stuff. Yes, the movers came on July 21st. No, we don't have our shipment yet. It's now in Felixstowe, England. Or at least that's what they tell us. Maybe there is a black market for international moving shipments and my dishes and rain boots and holiday decorations have been sold off. Watch out for someone in bright yellow slush boots, please. We have already paid the movers extra because our apartment is on the 4th floor, and now we also have to pay for a street parking permit for the moving truck. That requires a week's notice but we can't get it yet because they have not given us a delivery date. Arrggh.

Let's not dwell on the shipment issue since it only makes me frustrated. Instead, let's talk about shopping and Fall break. Brian's school has Fall break for the last two weeks of October. They also have two weeks at Christmas, a week in February, two weeks in April and about six weeks in the summer. This is a great travel schedule for us! So we have planned a trip for 6 days during the second half of break to Ireland. It's likely that our shipment will come either while we are gone or a few days later. Our jackets and hiking boots and sweaters will be held hostage by the movers while we need them in Ireland. So Brian and I decided to take the money that we would have spent if we were travelling for the full two weeks (our original plan) and spend some of it on stuff that we need. We ordered some things online and yesterday I went shopping.

Hannover has, for a smaller city, a great shopping district. I guess I don't have another European city to compare it to but I am impressed. I really like the concept of all the shopping being located in the center of the city rather than in the suburbs or even the outskirts, like it is back home. Sure, you have some fancy shops and gift shops downtown in the Twin Cities and Chicago but when people want to buy a lot they go out to the mall. The downtown shopping probably has a lot to do with the fact that so many people here use public transportation and there's not a lot of parking in town. It's great for me getting around on my own two feet. In Hannover there's a ton of shopping near the central train station and a pedestrian street lined with shops also. There are at least 3 H&M stores, all within walking distance of each other. There are 2 or 3 big department stores and a lot of smaller shops. There is even a TK Maxx, which is the same concept as TJ Maxx but not as inexpensive as at home. I didn't buy anything major, just some tops and a hat and a jacket, but it's enough to make me feel like I don't need to decide between the same two longsleeve shirts every day.

Now that we have stuff to wear, I am really excited for our travels. We've been to Ireland before, but it's been five years and we are headed to a different spot this time. We fly into Dublin, get out of town as soon as possible, and drive out to Dingle for a few days. There is a dolphin named Fungi who lives in the bay there. We plan to meet him. Also there's a lot of stuff to see that Brian has planned out for us - the Cliffs of Moher and such. Then we go to Doolin, farther north, spend a couple of days seeing the sights there and head back. I am excited to travel and also really excited to speak English in public. We can read the newspapers and buy books...we might even watch some TV!

In St. Paul we would be raking a lot of leaves instead. Of course I love the backyard at our house and all the trees (not the cottonwoods as much as the others) but think of all the new-found free time we will have! It's supposed to get sunny and dry over the next few days and, in our new jackets, we will get a chance to enjoy some good October weather.

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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.