First let me say that is post hasn’t been grammar or spelled checked and will be pulled of the website in a few days. It is intended to unload all the thoughts that are flying around in my head and to pass on some valuable information to those that are about to move here. For my American friends please know that I do love it here and am so happy that we made this leap of faith for a family adventure. This post is really about items that shouldn’t be posted on the FedEx Families in Germany Facebook page but I wanted the chicks heading here to have a “heads up”.
First, bring a good vegetable peeler. All the ones here are cheap or super expensive. I bought a good grips and it has a serated edge. I have now removed the top layer of skin on my left thumb for the second time. Much bleeding and owen asking if I need to go to the hospital. That being said, bring any kitchen utensils that you really like. The choice is cheap IKEA or expensive from the fancy stores that are still not quite right.
Medicine has been discussed and bring whatever you think your packers will send in your shipment. There is no over the counter meds here. My son has a few allergies and I brought boxes of target brand benedryl ready tabs. Our mover gave us the great advice to stock up on any med that comes in a tablet. It is the liquids that they freak out about packing.
IPAD – buy a 64GB, 3G model and load it up before you leave. It can hold 1600 songs and 50 thirty minute tv shows, along with the av cords since the tv audio visual input is universal it will get you through all your days at the Pullman and at your new place until the internet is hooked up. We came with it and had 15 Curious George, 15 Jake and the Never Land Pirates and 10 Phineas and Ferbs for our 5 year old Owen. I downloaded the first season of mad men and we have used it like crazy. P.S. I set this blog up after we arrived. I wish I had done it before we left. It is relatively easy and free.
First let me say that I love Vic and Kim and we spend many Sundays with them. He is so wrong. The peanut butter and the mayo is even better here. The Marsdorf area has an Edeka grocery that is fabulous. Great Salsa in the international section. I plan to take some to them soon. Food is the one thing that we have not had a problem adapting to so far.
Books – I really wish I had brought books for the next phase of Owen’s books. We left Nashville reading short books like Cat and the Hat and now he wants the longer more detailed books like Blueberries for Sal.
Christmas – should have packed his favorite ornament “The First Bell of Christmas”
What I really wish that I had brought??? – Clothes Clothes and more Clothes. They are so expensive here. Go to GAP and buy everything you think your children will wear in the next year. They don’t dress much different here. All the kids wear jeans and tennis shoes. Just think if you child will have a school uniform. Levi’s are 75 euros here.
What did I bring that I am so glad – pillows, pillow cases, queen flat sheets (non existant here)
On to schools – this is the fast run down and only my opinion. The big disclaimer is I could be totally wrong but it is my perspective since being here. Their school system is behind what we are used to in the US. If you have children under 4 yrs then definitely do full immersion. If your child is 5 to 10 yrs then a bilingual private school with high academics, over that and you want them to maintain a certain level of education than I would recommend an IB school. Vic and Kim’s girls love Bonn International. It is more urban and open. St George’s is the place to be if you want a strict atmosphere like an old school private in the US. We have Owen at a school called Binlingo. It is for age 4 yrs old to what they call Year Four which is thirds grade for us. Owen is not some prodigy but he is 5 yrs old next week and in Year One there. That is the equivalent of the US kindergarten. It is only because of the great US preschools. I recommend them because they really care about the child and doing what it takes to help them integrate into a new world.