Well folks, I've done it. I found my new home. And by home, I don't mean my beautiful apartment in Bonn's city center with my super sweet roommate - I mean the coffee shop I walked by and fell in love with today. I have decided to live here now. It is precious and I will be informing the owners of my residency momentarily. But enough about my newfound love, let's get down to business.
In the last two (short) weeks, I've visited with old friends (namely Joël, my particularly smart-assy Dutch friend), wandered through (and gotten lost in) the streets and alleyways of my new home countless times, found my new favorite cafe (where I sit and write right at this moment), picked out the cheapest grocery stores with the best quality, rediscovered my favorite German beers, cycled the 20 minutes to my university to check out the campus, remembered how seriously Germans take their crosswalks (they will NOT go if that thing is red and they WILL judge you aggressively if you decide the rules of the pedestrian world don't apply to you), bought all that just-moved-in stuff like mirrors and laundry baskets and trash cans and an extra clothes rack bc my closet is small and I have aaaaall the clothes, gotten to know (and drink in excess with) my awesome neighbors, spent some serious alone time while my roommate took a 10 day trip to Estonia, raided the local Ikea, explored nearby Cologne, found a flower stand where they sell gorgeous sunflowers for 1 euro a pop, and started re-figuring out what it means to not be living at home again.
And then there's the less exciting stuff like the German bank account I opened today (into which I put all $7 I possess) and the phone plan I hope to purchase in the next few days and my impending registration appointment with the city of Bonn to start the visa application process.. but that's way less fun to talk about bc it sounds adulty and most adulty things are pretty gross.
So anyway, I woke up this morning in an incredible mood. Why? Bc that's the only way I know how to wake up when I'm living in one of my favorite places in the world. That's why. Every day is a new adventure, but the adventures are not limited to Germany. Like for example, yesterday I bought myself a $28 round trip ticket to visit two of my best friends living in Northern England. Yup, you read that right. $28. Round trip. How do you say no to that? If you're me... you don't.
In short, I love it here. I love the pretzels and the beer, I love the language and the culture, I love their weird screen-less windows that open in super cool ways. I love the grocery stores and the bakeries. I love the gorgeous churches I pass by on my way to the Rhine river for my evening walk. I love the view from my balcony in the morning after I've fought with my coffee machine (it hates me). I love my new city's small-town feel and my adorable 14 month old neighbor and her awesome parents. In fact, I have yet to find anything I don't love. Like I said, I love it here.
Now as for the title, let me explain: for those of you who have had the unprecedented joy of having followed this blog since the very beginning when I moved to Spain during my second year in college (in freaking 2015 holy crap that was a billion years ago), you know that I used to title my posts with one of the new words or phrases I'd either learned recently or grown particularly fond of while living abroad. I can't promise I'll be consistent (bc consistency is overrated), but I'm going to do my best to do that again with this year's posts.
Today's phrase is in the form of a question: Fühlst du dich wohl?
If you type it into a translator you'll get an awkward "Are you feeling well?" translation, but that's not really so much the sentiment behind it. It's the first thing Wiebke (my roommate) asked me when I moved into my new apartment and set my bags down in my bedroom. According to Sassy - bc I like to check my facts - it's more of a mix between "Are you happy?" and "Are you comfortable?" aaaand "Do you feel safe?" if you catch my drift. Realistically, it's a pretty loaded question after having just uprooted your life and traveled across the world for 40h only to find out that the airline from hell lost your bag (don't worry they found it after a week of me having no underwear or socks which was rad) and you're about to start a whole new chapter in your life. But it was also the perfect question. Because I could honestly say, despite the jet lag and the idea of starting all over in a brand new place again and missing my family (and my underwear) and desperately needing a shower... Hell yeah. It was a big question, when you consider the context, but I couldn't have been more sure of my answer. I am back in my happy place (although I also just moved away from my other happy place so how's that for internal conflict).
So for now, this is where I leave you folx. I have another few weeks to settle in before visiting a few friends in other parts of Europe and I am going to enjoy them thoroughly before I have to start using my brain again for the first time in like two years trying not to fail out of my masters program.
Until next time y'all - XOXOX
About the Author
Mouth like a sailor, great lacker of empathy, paper cut survivor, avid arguer, harsh critic of people who put clothes on their pets, easily distracte
USA, Mexico, Iceland, Austria, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Morocco, Malta, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Ireland, Denmark, Czech Republic, Hungary, England, Poland, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Scotland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Croatia, Greece
The Baltic countries,
if Covid allows for it (Latvia, Estonia, maybe a stop in Finland)
(in August in the US)