Friday, February 1, 2008

23 September: What We Miss (and Will Miss)

I most definitely am sick today – sore throat, runny nose – and I am convinced it has something to do with those musty airplanes we were climbing around in yesterday. Today on our walk through the woods, John challenged me to list ten things that I miss about living in Michigan. We are trying to psych ourselves up about moving back. So here’s my list, in no particular order:

  1. Our yard in Rochester (my native plant garden, and sitting on the deck having dinner in the summertime).
  2. Shopping at Papa Joe’s (the gourmet supermarket in town, which just moved to a spectacular new building only three blocks from our house. The Markthalle is great but it is not five minutes down the road and you just can’t beat Papa Joe’s for exotic ingredients.)
  3. Going for walks in downtown Rochester (despite living in one of the most walkable countries on the planet, we can’t actually stroll to downtown Stuttgart from Botnang).
  4. Baja Fresh (a good-quality Mexican “fast-food” chain; they just don’t know how to do Mexican here).
  5. Cooking Asian food (i.e. being able to find ingredients like lemongrass and cilantro and exotic greens easily – refer back to #2).
  6. Being able to play our stereo as loud as we want. (This is considered socially unacceptable in Germany. Especially on Sundays.)
  7. Having our laundry room on the first floor (not in the basement, so I don’t have to go up and down three flights of stairs to do the laundry).
  8. My friends.
  9. Stores being open on Sundays.
  10. Having a dryer, a microwave, and air conditioning (OK, technically we could buy these here, but they aren’t all that common).

Here’s John’s list - similar, but different:

  1. Having our own house (i.e. no neighbors below us. Even if we lived here permanently we most likely couldn’t afford our own house, let alone a house with a yard.)
  2. His car (Mitsubishi Evo, currently stored in our garage).
  3. His motorcycle (Suzuki SV650, also in the garage).
  4. Penn Station (his favorite local sandwhich shop).
  5. Sumo Sushi (great sushi restaurant in downtown Rochester).
  6. Border’s Books (and being able to go to the bookstore on Sundays. I don’t care how great Witwer is, the English section just doesn’t cut it).
  7. Working on his car in our spacious garage.
  8. Playing with Cody in the park (we don’t really have any good place to play Frisbee or soccer with Cody here).
  9. Having our own weight machine in the basement.
  10. Walking around our neighborhood in Rochester (there’s just no place like home).

As long as I’m on the subject, here’s a random list of things I will miss about Germany:

  • Walking in the woods every day with Cody.
  • All of Cody’s doggy friends.
  • My daily walks with Evelyne and Marlena.
  • My German lessons with Stefanie.
  • All of my awesome friends in the IWC and our great dinners and meetings.
  • The IWC book club: Beth, Brenda, Debbie, Katrina, Heather, Jane, and Ulla.
  • The fabulous German recycling system.
  • The way the sunlight filters through the leaves of the huge chestnut tree outside our office window.
  • The view from our balcony.
  • The topography of southwest Germany.
  • Being within an hour’s drive of more castles, ruins, and quaint villages than I could visit in a lifetime.
  • Walking on the Königstraße and eating outside at Alte Kanzlei on Schillerplatz.
  • Having Heisse Shokolade with Beth at Deli.
  • The cool German windows that open in two directions and don’t have screens, so you can shake out your rugs and hang your bedding out to dry.
  • The German philosophy of “Betreten auf eigene Gefahr” (Proceed at your own risk). Personally I think this should be the German national motto. As opposed to the American national motto: "Sue everyone when you injure yourself because you were doing something stupid."
  • The magnets they put on the shopping cart wheels at Schwaben Galerie so your cart doesn’t roll down the escalator ramp-thingy. (This is hard to explain, but it is a marvelous example of German ingenuity.)

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