Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Our Aparment, Our Town, Our Area

I would love to start out this update by telling you that it is a beautiful day here in Bavaria- the sun is shining, it is pleasantly warm, and there are flowers blooming everywhere! There are many very interesting differences about where we now live and the states, but the one that I think I have appreciated the very most are all the walking trails. I know what you are thinking of when you read "walking trail", because in the states it is usually a bike trail in a park, or maybe even a sidewalk that goes through town. I want you to imagine driving through a very rural area and seeing "sidewalks" all the way along the road; not connected to the road like an American sidewalk, but set aside as its own trail with different trails leading back as far as your eye can see into the fields... this is what they have here in Bavaria.
We live on the outskirts of Bad Windsheim, and backing up to our "neighborhood" are some of these never-ending trails. Some are paved and some are paths made by farm equipment, but during all times of the day they make for a lovely walk that starts right outside our front door! Cammy loves it out there because as long as there aren't other dogs around I can let her off her leash to frolic as she pleases. I've heard that last year it was almost too stinky to enjoy the trails because all the fields were growing corn and they had to be fertilized (or shitted, as our friend explained, haha) all the time. This year they are growing wheat, and there is no unpleasant smell to encounter- just lush grass and beautiful blooms.

Anyway, that is a little bit about the area we live in, so I guess I will go ahead and tell you about the town. Bad Windsheim has been around since 741 according to some documents and it now holds about 12,000 people. We are about a twenty minute walk from the train station, which is on one end of what I know as the cobblestone-street-section of Bad Windsheim; there are tons of restaurants, a few bakeries and butchers, little stores/shops, and really historical structures. Cats roam about here and the ones we have encountered are very friendly and must be very well-fed (they are HUGE), but we have heard there are some feral barn-cats, too. The townspeople have been so friendly, always saying "hallo" when we pass, and they seem to appreciate that we at least try to communicate in German. Or they at least find it funny, which is probably more likely with how much we butcher their language! It is truly one of the most charming places I have ever been in my life. It also takes me ten minutes total from sitting down in my car at our apartment to getting out of my car on post, so we are at a super convenient spot for a quick commissary trip or for Cody to get to work.

I was really bummed out about our place at first because I had my heart set on a quaint German town with no American neighbors. It has turned out to be such a blessing because of the people we share our building with! Our apartment building is fairly new and each apartment has its own storage room in the basement, two parking spots, and we share a shed to store our garbage cans, bikes, yard equipment, etc.
We live on the first floor and have a large living area that opens up onto our back patio and the fenced, side-yard of the building (which we all share, but is basically ours). We have a great kitchen that happens to have a "closet" in it that makes a wonderful pantry; this is odd because German housing doesn't have closets usually, and definitely not pantries, so we just ended up with an odd storage room in the right place! We have a small spare bedroom and a nice sized master bedroom and one bathroom. The bathroom has the most wonderful bathtub I have ever enjoyed in my life, it even ties with the one in my childhood home, which has never had a rival before (I value a good bath, as you can tell, haha). Oh, and we have a laundry room with our own machines, which none of the other apartment buildings have. To top it off, we have the absolute best neighbors we could have asked for- they are great people and are already invaluable friends.
We haven't gotten our household goods yet, and we don't know when they will come, but we were loaned a coach, some chairs, a dining table, a bed for each room, two dressers, and four wardrobes (we will keep the wardrobes when we turn in all the other rental furniture- no closets here!). We also went out and splurged on some new furniture that is more the style that we enjoy than what we already have. We bought a new couch and side table and also a dining table and a candle chandelier to hang above it. I actually can't wait to decorate our new place, which is a change considering I've never had a clue how to decorate before. Ok, I still have no idea how to do it, but I at least have ideas and I think they just may work! We don't have internet yet, but our neighbors have been letting us steal their WiFi and I am currently on one of their computers typing because my kindle makes typing into hell. As I said, best neighbors ever! This is the second post where we have had such great luck with neighbors/friends and I'm starting to think that the people are one of my favorite parts of Cody being in the military...
That is basically everything I can think of and I am getting impatient to get back outside on this perfect Spring day! I'm sure I will think of plenty more tid-bits to share with you soon, until then, tcheuss!

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