Starting married life in Germany was interesting, to say the least. Neither of us had ever lived away from home, except for my year in college and his Army training. We’d never lived together as a couple, much less married. Germany was going to be an adventure!!
We had a basement apartment that was fully furnished. It had a large bathroom with a beautiful old sink and a shower with a tiny tub. The toilet was the strangest thing I’d ever seen. It basically had a “shelf” inside of it instead of the bowl like we have here. Let me tell you, I had issues going for awhile!! That super sonic flush would remove anything there though!! Our kitchen was tiny. It had an apartment sized stove and refrigerator. One counter and barely any cabinets. The living room had a couch and 2 chairs and a beautiful shrunk. The dining table was on the opposite end against the wall. The bedroom was huge with a king size bed, a dresser, 2 night stands, a closet shrunk and a vanity. We lived in that wonderful apartment our entire 3 years there. It was so cozy. German window open different than ours and they have these sliding blinds that go down outside. You can close it tight for total darkness or leave gaps to let light in. The windows open wide to the inside or turning the handle the other way, they slant in at the top. Trust me when I say there’s NO way to break in and I know this from experience!!
I’m a bit ahead of myself though. Before I realized what a great apartment we had, I had to get there first!! Hubby picked me up at the airport and you can’t meet in the terminal like we used to here. You’re never supposed to let anyone touch your bags, but I was beyond exhausted. I let some nice guy carry my bag to baggage claim and then he dragged them all out the door to the waiting area. There stood hubby!! I had to have the “deer in the headlights” look when I found him. He introduced me to his friend/co-worker soldier and his wife who were our ride home. Hubby didn’t have a car yet. We rode from Frankfurt to Kaiserslautern in the backseat of the bumpiest stinkiest car there was. I was sick from the carbon dioxide by the time we got home. They threw my bags in the house and waved bye and I just fell on the couch. The Man told me to go to bed because it’d take a few days for my system to regulate to all the changes. I didn’t argue, but just about the time he got me tucked in, the doorbell rang. It was his best friend and ex-barracks buddy. It seemed like they stayed forever.
I adjusted fairly well. I learned how to get on the bus down the road and go to Vogelweh to do laundry and small shopping. I carried my clothes to the laundromat in a duffle bag. I didn’t buy any more food than I could carry up our steep hill. I kept the car on days I had alot of errands to do or had waited too long to do laundry. There was a duplex of American military across from us and they’re about the only ones I talked to. Here or there, I’d meet a wife from the unit.
From our apartment, you could see the ruins of a castle. We’d hike from our apartment to the castle on weekends or we got to Ramstein Air Base to go shopping. Virtually any savings we both had disappeared fast. It was expensive for low ranking to live on the economy. We had outrageous phone bills from calling our parents. We only had 2 tv station….AFN (Armed Forces Network). We had a good life in that cozy little apartment. Plenty of hard times, but we’re still here.
Next week: Germany – The Tours and Travels