Arriving in Nuremberg I felt out of place. In fact, that's how I feel much of the time honestly. Being on the base is different of course because it is American although built in the German architectural style. But walking around the town and eating at restaurants I feel acutely conspicuous and very much the intruder. Two years of German in high school was certainly not enough and oh how I wish I had taken it in college rather than trying French. As badly as I did in French, when I try to recall what I know, I'm more likely to bring French to mind than German!
That being said, no one has been rude or cold even. I know that the people in this town are used to the Americans who don't know anything, I guess I just don't want to be that person! The Elders at church offer classes and there are classes on the base as well and I fully intend to take advantage but practicing with vocabulary and apps is very different from conversing with someone!
Despite my feelings of ridiculousness, I am actually really loving this area. There is a feeling of a slower pace and it is certainly a smaller town. The trees are everywhere and we literally walk out the door and smell something -- flowers? A bush? Something wonderful. The bells ring every quarter hour and at 9 p.m. go on for several minutes of pealing that is really beautiful. Today they did it several times and I wondered if it was because of the tragedy in Nice or if there's another reason that I'm unaware of. Our apartment is on the third floor of the building and it is lovely to sit on the balcony in the cool air and look over the homes and listen in peace to the bells. Abby also loves the bells but she views them as an invitation to begin singing and although I think it's adorable, it's not very peaceful!
The view from our windows
The girls are also loving the green and trees and want to explore outside more than we have been able to so far but their first absolute excitement has been over the snails -- not kidding, real live large snails that stick their heads out and unfold their eyeballs. It is fun to find them and their spiraled striped shells.
The building in the background is the Rathaus or City Hall and I believe it's where the bells come from. The spire behind it is the kirche or church and the kids thought it was really gross that there's a statue of the crucified Christ on the outside. I had to explain to them that they would see many of those statues and that we needed to be respectful. We all have a lot to learn!
My brother Jeff gave us grief over eating at McDonald's our first night (his visiting rights have since been revoked!), but we ate at a German hotel/restaurant the next night. Chopper had a curry wurst (very good), I had bratwurst and sauerkraut (also good) and onion soup and Abby had schweineschnitzel. And all the kids got pommes frites (french fries) which are exactly the same.
Abby has been the adventurous eater here! She has tried pretty much everything and even though I don't think she necessarily likes everything (if she doesn't touch it again) but she declares everything to be amazing and the best she's ever had.
Chopper says I need to edit my pictures and make them better and that may be true but I'm not very good at it and I think that pictures could never do it justice anyway!
We are staying in a furnished 2 bedroom apartment that I am very grateful for but all the kids are sleeping in the same room and it's been it's own adventure. They do sleep eventually though!
Abby has adjusted the best so far. Megan is in a perpetually bad mood and is more sensitive and anxious than usual about strangers and strange things. William has been terrible. He asks me almost every day now if it's time to go home and get his cars. We've talked about going to a new home but without our things all he knows is that we're still in a "hotel" and he's ready to be back to his cars and his bed and his daily routine and comfort of sameness. He spends a lot of time screaming and begging to be held, especially when we walk anywhere. His latest complaint when he doesn't want to walk right now is that he's run out of power. The boy is the child of an electronic age.