I have been neglecting this blog for a few weeks! Not because I want to, but because we have no internet at our house (yet). Currently, I am sitting outside the USO office on base with my laptop and using their wireless.
We moved in on Oct 1, and will be getting our internet/phone installed on the 28th. Yes, the 28th! I knew coming over that things would most likely take much longer, but I didn't know we would have to wait a month to get internet. This brings me to point number 1: For anyone ever moving to Germany, make sure you set up your internet as soon as you know where you'll be living. It is a process. Thankfully, our landlords were MORE than helpful and called Telekom (internet place) for us because they don't have an English support center.
So, he calls Telekom then called me back saying Telekom will come over on the 27th and bring you everything, but don't set anything up for you. What?! So, we could wait another 2 weeks for when they have an opening for a technician to come out, or, go with a company he knows of in town that charges 60 euro hourly to set everything up for you. They could come out on the 28th. So, I told him we absolutely want the local company because we don't want to continue waiting. So, he calls back for us and gets it set up. I am SO grateful we have nice landlords! This brings me to Point Number 2: Be sure that you go through a good cable company. Ask around and check forums, many people have horror stories about one place or another. Unlike the states, there are a LOT of places you can choose from. We decided to go with Telekom because the last tenants used them, and had no problems. We first set everything up with TKS (on base) because they have English support, and offer free calling to the states. However, many many people told me their service is not great, and that the internet speed is excruciatingly slow. So, we went back and cancelled.
I started taking classes at the VHS, or more appropriately known as the Volkshochschule (I'm still having a hard time saying it, so I say VHS). It's similar to a Community College in the States. I'm taking a beginner's German class. It's Mon, Wed and Thurs from 6-9:15pm and the class is completely in German! Since it's a local class, they do not cater to English speaking persons. The class has Armenians, Turks, Iraqis, Vietnamese, Japanese, Greeks, etc. It's been great though, I think I'll learn much more than I would taking a class on base. I've heard those classes are good, but I wanted something more intensive. And it is!
We also received our household goods, yay!! For anyone moving here beware of bringing large furniture items. We don't have a ton of large furniture pieces, but for German standards they are very large! -- Our dresser would not fit up the stairs so now it is a living room piece. They even tried bringing in the dresser through the windows using a rope and a lot of strength (it's heavy!), but it still wouldn't fit. Also, our guest bed (it's a double) box spring would not fit up our stairs either. So I came up with the great idea of cutting it in half, bringing it upstairs, then screwing it with metal pieces back together (we have not tried this yet, so I'll let you know how it goes). So, if you are wary of any large/bulky items you own, I would highly suggest storing them stateside. This also leads me to another point, storage in Germany is VERY expensive. Because square footage is so precious, it costs a lot to store items and it is hard to even get storage. This is why we are happy to keep our dresser as a living room piece :).
We've also been doing some other travel, but that will have to wait for another day. I have to keep unpacking, and get ready for the Krautfest in our town! (Leinfelden-Echterdingen)