Over the past two weeks we’ve been working on getting our new apartment set up. Our container was delivered on the 15th, so we’ve been unpacking, organizing, cleaning, and building furniture ever since. – I think we are keeping Ikea and Hornbach (like Home Depot) in business! There was no storage space in the bathroom and a limited about in the kitchen, so we’ve bought shelves and drawers for the bathroom and a large shelving unit for the kitchen. This week we also bought a bed frame for the guest bedroom… now we just need to buy the slats (the beds here don’t use box springs) and mattress. Other big news (because I’m a dork) is we bought a washer and dryer. Thankfully they both fit in our apartment (washer in the bathroom and the dryer in the pantry) so we don’t have to walk down three flights of stairs to the basement to do laundry. We didn’t have much damage to our furniture on the container. One wood shoe holder snapped in half, but other than that it is just scratches to finishes and a few chipped edges. Morgan sent in pictures for our claim to his company (since the moving company said they wouldn’t pay us anything), so we’ll see what they say.
We’re getting used to the quirks of our new apartment – our dinner plates don’t fit in the dishwasher and the toilet is designed kind of weird – but over all we are really happy in our new place. We have painted the entryway/hallway and are planning on painting the living room, probably when we get back from the US in April. I was pleasantly surprised that the paint here doesn’t smell at all BUT it can be pretty expensive. Originally I had picked out a color that is mixed by the paint department at the store, but we found out that 1 LITER is €38… sehr teuer! (aka very expensive!). For the small entryway we needed 2.5 liters, for the living room we’ll need more like 6 or 7. Thankfully they had premixed paint that comes in about 30 different colors so for the entryway we just picked the premixed color that was closest to the color I had originally picked. This way we got 2.5 liters for €35 rather than 1 liter for that price.
Speaking of Ikea, I’m guessing you’ve all heard about the Pferdefleisch (horse meat) they’ve been finding in ground beef around Europe recently? I think I ate some! If you click on this link it takes you to an article about horsemeat being found in meatballs in one of the meals at Ikea… I ate this exact meatball and mashed potato meal two weeks ago at Ikea! Yuck! We’ve talked to our German tutor about the whole horse meat situation, and she said that horse meat is actually pretty popular in Germany (and most of Europe). What people here are upset about is that the meat was claimed to be all beef and that it is horse meat from eastern European countries where the raising of the horses wouldn’t have been regulated as far as antibiotics and other medicines that they would have been given. She said the butchers at the famers market at the Dom on Saturday mornings would have good quality horse meat if we want to try it, but I don’t think I could do that. Horses are too much of a pet for me to (knowingly) eat one!
Tomorrow we head to Hamburg for a few days. Tomorrow night is a retirement party for one of Morgan’s colleges, so about 35 of Morgan’s colleges will be there with us. We’ll stay on in Hamburg through Wednesday morning since we are going to the Avett Brothers concert Tuesday night. We are both pretty excited to go on our first vacation over here! We’ll spend three of the days sightseeing in Hamburg and one day we’ll drive up to Lübeck on the coast.
Below are some pictures from the past couple of weeks! A few side notes to go with the pictures:
1. “Imbiss” picture – Germans love to eat while they shop! Pretty much all the big stores have a food stand in their parking lot, and a lot also have a restaurant inside. This one is in front of Hornbach.
2. Eggs aren’t refrigerated here! Kinda weird, huh?
3. Morgan is a speed demon – Yep, that is what a German speeding ticket looks like. Morgan had hoped the picture wouldn’t be clear so he could say it was me, but alas it is a crystal clear picture of my hubby. Thankfully he was only going 11km over, so the ticket is €25. If you get caught going 20 over or run a red light, you lose your driver’s license for a month! I think they are more strict on speeding around town (most of Osnabruck is a 50 zone, but residential areas are 30) than they are on the Autobahn.