The Tuckered Inn is Open

It’s a precarious thing, living abroad.  And even more so here in Germany where I do not speak the language.  It sure makes reaching out and being friendly that much more challenging.  It’s a delicate balance of wanting to be myself, but wanting to understand and respect the local culture and expectations.  This was a bit of a challenge in England, but with a nearly compatible language 😉, it was easier to figure things out.  I learned to offer a hot drink to serviceman who came to the house, or how to interact with the ladies at afternoon tea on our street, and how to use my car’s high-beams as an effective form of communication whilst sharing extremely narrow roads.  But even upon making some new friends, figuring things out, and trying to fit in while living abroad can sure be awfully lonely.   Somehow there’s a bit of something missing.  People, people that just know you. People that know your story; where you come from, where you’ve been, what sort of challenges you’ve faced, and what you value.  It’s a real hole.

Beyond this deeper connection, for me personally, I think I miss just plain old conversation.  I almost feel like a new stay-at-home-mom who is adjusting to spending hours upon hours at home with her new baby.  Clearly I am currently socially and conversationally deprived! I share all this with you, so you will better understand how totally excited I was to have friends come visit.  Back to back even!!!  It was so fun.

Our good friends, the Hawkins family, drove down to spend their fall break with us.  And the very next day, the Blackhursts, from Utah arrived for a head-spinning 30 hour layover-sight-seeing-tour (book yours today😉)!  I relished every moment of visiting and showing them around.  I probably talked incessantly, for which I never formally apologized!  Sorry!!!  It was just such a reprieve to have people who know us, HERE!

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It was so great to connect and laugh and just have an opportunity to be myself for a week.  No worrying over breaking cultural cues, or trying to simplify anything I want to say so that Google Translate could attempt to share, I could just be me!  And might I add, I’m kinda funny.  It was just like a glorious week of having the best of both worlds.  To be here in this beautifully charming city, and to share it with people we just know and love, and to exhale, relax, and have fun!  It was a highlight week for sure.

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So if you’re on the fence about coming out, understand that you are doing us a favor when you schedule a trip to come stay with us.  Consider it a service project, and find a way to write it off on your taxes or something.  COME TO DRESDEN!

The Tuckered Inn ist offen.

2 thoughts on “The Tuckered Inn is Open

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  1. I know exactly how you feel. And while I know it’s not much of a consolation, this is something all of us go through in the beginning. That language barrier is incredibly isolating. I will never forget going to a birthday party with my (German) husband maybe a month or two after getting here. His friends were lovely, and they knew I didn’t speak German, so they tried to translate jokes or funny stories for me every so often. But after a few drinks, the music got louder, the conversation got faster, the voices started talking over each other, and I just kind of got forgotten about. I think that was the absolute loneliest moment of my whole life. I missed not being able to understand what people were laughing at or put my two cents in on things. I was invisible, and I hated it. The longer I sat there, the more I wanted to cry. My husband sensed something was wrong, so he got me out of there. The second we got in the car, I fell apart. I cried all the way home and for probably another hour once we got there. That first year is filled with stories like that where I struggled the same things you are now. A year or so later, I met another American lady living in Germany who told me that she also went through a period like that, and it was so nice to know that it’s something we all share. But it doesn’t last forever. Once you get the hang of the language – and I don’t mean you need to be fluent – you can become more social and conversational. And you’ll find that your personality does find a way to come through, even in broken German. You know, no one ever tells you that moving to a foreign country (especially one that doesn’t share your native language) can cause you to have an identity crisis, but it most certainly does. It takes time to work through, but I promise, you will eventually find a way to be yourself here – and in the language.

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