Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Mannheim, Germany

First impressions:

It's gorgeous! We've arrived for Fall and the leaves are yellow and red and falling. The temperature is brisk and it hasn't really rained yet.

I arrived less than a week ago and was whisked down from Frankfurt to Benjamin Franklin Village just outside of Mannheim. I was checked into a nearby hotel (Platanenhof Boardinghouse) that will be our home for the next month. We rented a car and did some initial in-briefing stuff on base. The hotel is about 20 minutes walking distance from the base which is great as I don't like driving here. We have a manual transmission which adds to the's been a while.

Kerri and Rowan arrived less than 24 hours after I did, and I took the train up to Frankfurt to meet them and we rode the train and public all the way back to our hotel. We then had the weekend to explore a bit, and I had my first day of work on Monday. Mostly paperwork. Had Tuesday off to look for houses, and I'm in the office today (wednesday) as Kerri continues to look.

We've seen a couple of places in Käfertal (very close by), one of which we liked. If we don't find anything by the weekend we're gonna go for it! Eventually we'll post some pics.

Really looking forward to getting our bikes as it will open up our travel options much more.

Kerri and Rowan leave for the US in a week and a half, and I follow in the 27th, so we want to have our house figured out before than, at least so we have a place to put all our boxes (all of which were here when I arrived!).

BTW, if you are shipping base-to-base and using the typical "tough" boxes they sell at the PX, do not imagine they will be used for more than 1 trip. They arrived in much abused shape, wheels missing, cracked casing, etc... The box that made it through fine was a rubber-maid box with more give.

We've explored the post here and are very much surprised (and shocked) by how big the PX/commissary are. It's nothing like Kuwait that's for sure. I'm a bit used to the weirdness of walking through a gate and basically being in America, but for Kerri it's quite the culture shock, but she's working through it.

Germany's gonna take some getting used to also. Everyone's been very helpful so far, but we can already tell learning the language is going to be very necessary as not everyone speaks English and we are not obviously "different" so that people assume we can speak German.

Well, that's it for now, we'll update more as we have news to post.