Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Mein neues Zuhause (my new home)

To facillitate a smooth arrival, my host father and I had exchanged pictures and flight information the day or so before my flight. This proved to work very well; we found each other within minutes.

The ride home (and indeed, the next few jetlagged weeks) is sort of a blur, because by this time I had been awakee for nearly 30 hours (my flight left in the evening) and was surrounded by so much new information. I do remember a few things about the freeway system going from Hamburg to my new home-town. For one thing, due to the prevalence of small cars and lack of free space, roads in Germany are much much narrower than in the US. Second, my host father really liked driving fast in his VW Passat. I've always been somewhat nervous about lane-size, and the combined narrower lanes and fast speed were quite unnerving for the first several weeks.

My host father spoke English the entire way home, promising that this would be the only time we would ever speak English together (and it was!) He told me about the tiny village of Rosenweide, where "we" lived, and about the tiny city, Stelle, where I would go to school.

About 45 minutes later, we arrived at my host family's house. When I was a kid, when asked to draw a house, I would usually draw one of these:

/ / / \
| _ |
| | | |
|_|_|_|

but I had always wondered why, since I had never seen a house that looked like that. Well, as it turns out, that's exactly what most German houses look like (or some variation thereof.) My new home at Rosenweide 3 was no different.

Upon arrival, I was given a quick tour of the house, introduced hastily to my host mom, and shown my room. I had a few minutes to rest and change before I was introduced to the rest of the family over my first German dinner.

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