A Few of My Favorite Things

 In Living in Germany, Personal Stories

It’s four o’clock, and the sun’s already set in Berlin.

Not that I’m counting, but in 37 days we’re flying back to the States. We’ll celebrate Christmas with Jon’s family before he returns to wrap up production—the girls and I are staying in Chattanooga.

I won’t miss the cold, dark evenings in Berlin, but I’ll miss many things about this place like…

The people—Whenever I need help with the stroller, someone stops to help me. And almost every time I go out, someone stops to talk to my girls. With four million Berliners, the city seems impersonal at times, but someone told me that when you make a German friend, you have a friend for life.

Outdoor cafes—Every block hosts a tiny restaurant with gas heaters and plastic awnings so you can eat on the sidewalk (with kids!) any time of the year.

The history—What’s left of the Berlin Wall is a block to our west. Two blocks away is Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s former church. I’m surrounded by the history I learned about in school.

Public transportation—No matter where we are in Berlin, there’s a train, subway, bus, or tram stop nearby that we can jump on at any time and go. No worries about traffic, insurance, or the price of gas.

Fruit stands—We have a small market three doors down from our apartment. I can grab fresh fruit, veggies, and eggs and be back home in less time than it used to take me to get my car out of the garage.

Getreide—Add hot water and milk and it tastes like a decaf latte.

Electric teapot—Sixty seconds after I turn it on, I have boiling water.

Bakeries—Fresh bread, croissants, pastries, and soft pretzels. What else can I say?

Beautiful walks—You can’t go far in Berlin without stumbling on a park, lake, river, monument, or old cathedral.

Our flat—Our apartment is small but I love the high ceilings, huge windows, and tile floors. Plus it has a huge bathtub, high speed Internet access, and German luxury items—a microwave and dishwasher.

The language barrier—No stress when the bus drivers yell at me. because I have no idea what they’re saying!

The food—I’m seeing a pattern of food in my list of favorites, but near our flat are Thai, Japanese, Mexican, Vietnamese, Cuban, Arab, Italian, and even a few German restaurants. Yum!

Playgrounds—With their sandy floors and wooden toys, the playgrounds are simple and fun and seem to be everywhere in Berlin. In the winter, there’s an indoor playground with a café nearby—perfect entertainment for a one- and two-year-old.

Our church—A small group of Christians who love each other and the Lord. Worship songs fluctuate between German and English. Prayers are in German. The message is in English. And then we all eat dinner together, everyone talking a mixture of languages. A bit of heaven on earth.

I’ll miss it here. The daily adventures. New friends. The food.

But I’m glad to be going home.

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  • Vennessa

    It doesn’t seem that long ago that you left America, now it won’t be long before you will be returning home.

    I envy your grand adventure. Thank you so much for sharing it through your blog.


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