Thursday, February 10, 2011

Making Friends... Making Enemies

Okay so maybe not enemies, but definitely not friends.

So my day started out like it usually does with a 30 minute walk with the girls.
I dressed Alessandra in her winter cap and snow suit, I put on my coat and my Baby K'tan carrier (just another one of my "little bit hippie" things that I love), I got Alessandra all settled in said carrier, got the leashes on the girls, and  remembered to grab the keys so I wouldn't get locked out.  I started to make my way down the stairs and thats when my grouchy old neighbors even grouchier daughter decided to come for a visit and met us half way up the stairwell.  Well of course my very skittish, slightly neurotic Ripley Girl barked her head off.  If looks could kill we all would have been goners, not even Alessandra was safe from the evil glares from this lady.
What can a girl do?

The walk was pretty uneventful, I only got a few "schlecht Hund"'s which is good and the weather was beautiful.

I got home, put on some makeup and went to Rockzipfel.

This is where the friends come in.

Two weeks ago I went to the dm (imagine Walgreens) to do some shopping.  As I was walking through the store I bumped into a nice lady who wanted me to sign something.  I told her I was sorry but I don't understand and she started speaking to me in English telling me how she was hoping to get a grant from the city for a project she was working on.  She told me a little bit about it.  In a nutshell it's a daycare facility but half of the parents take care of the kids while the other half are working and then they switch.  I signed her paper and was getting ready to walk away when she invited me to come.  I explained that I wasn't working and she said, that's okay a few of the moms speak English you should just come and play.

Well it's taken me two weeks to find the courage to do it, but today is the day!

I walked over to Rockzipfe, the building looked a little old and scary from the outside but then again a lot of the buildings look that way around here so I didn't want to make any assumptions before I even got in.  I rang the bell and tried to explain to the guy that I was here for Johanna - that didn't work.  Then I said I was Frau Eichelberger -still no luck.  It wasn't until I said Rockzipfel that the door buzzed and he let me in.  The inside of the building was even scarier than out and I made my way upstairs.  I found the room and slowly opened the door. It was nicer in here but not much.  It was warm and clean and there were a bunch of toys all sorted into different tubs and labeled.  There were cubbies with tiny shoes in them, and hooks with tiny coats.  There were beds, desks, a VERY scary bathroom a dining room and a kitchen.

At first everyone just kind of stared at me.  I didn't know what to say and to top it all off I was super nervous so the little bit of German I had practiced saying all went out the window.  I asked for Johanna and they pointed me toward the dining room.  I walked in and was so relieved.  She looked up from her computer and said hi, told me she was glad that I made it, and then took me into a room with a 20 something girl (Nikole) and her daughter (Nia) introduced us and then explained that she had to get back to work but that after lunch she would give me a tour and until then make myself at home.   She then abruptly turned and left me in a room with a woman who speaks just as much English as I do German.

We struggled our way through an hour and a half long conversation as we played with Nia and Alessandra (okay Alessandra didn't play but she did watch all the other kids play and she held whatever toy the other kids handed her and for a two almost three month old I'd call that playing).  Then, all of a sudden, everyone started to clean up and went into the dining room - it was lunch time.  Little Nia came over and grabbed my hand and hugged my arm and took me into the dinning room.  It was so sweet and when we walked in and everyone saw me and Nia, it was then that I made my very own German friends.  They all looked at her with her little hand in mine, hugging my arm, with a huge smile on her face and that was when they all knew that I was okay.

We sat around the table and ate our lunch.

It was a very good day.

I'll be seeing my friends again on Tuesday.



  1. You are my hero!! I'm so proud of you!! That is soooo awesome, I hope you make some good friends.

  2. Thanks Kelsey!
    It was pretty scary but they were all really nice. When I was getting ready to leave Nikole came up to me and told me in her Denglish (Deutsch/English) that she comes Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. She wanted me to come on those days so she could help me with my German and I could help her with her English. I am so happy and I can't wait to go back! How are you doing? How is Matt and the girls?
    Love you,

  3. Charm - when you describe the buildings being scary it reminds me of when I first got to New York. I was looking for apartments all over the city and man, there are some scary places there. I remember one time I got off the subway (which was above ground - not a good sign) then got right back on. Found out later I was in Spanish Harlem. Not a bad neighborhood but not a good one for little girls from Colorado.

    And I didn't have to deal with a language barrier! (for the most part... )

    Stay brave and strong! It's such a great adventure!

  4. I can only imagine, New York is so huge there has to be scary parts.

    I'll try and get some pictures of Rockzipfel the next time I go so you can see the scary too. I was going to go today buy Alessandra is a bit under the weather - nothing serious just a runny nose and a little cough but I don't want to share it with the rest of the kiddos.

    Brave and Strong - Done and Done!!!
    I am loving this little adventure!