Thursday, October 13, 2016

Weeks Two and Three in Munster

Friday, September 30
We got up very early in the morning and headed to the city office to register with the city of Munster. We were warned that the lines are long and getting there two hours early is important, so we got there around 6, when they opened at 8. 

Well, it turned out that it's the immigration office that's like that and not the registration office, so we actually wasted a lot of hours of sleep. We also discovered that the version of our marriage license that we had my mom mail from the states wasn't THE OFFICIAL version we needed here - we have to have a document that translates our license and verifies the signatures - so we had to mail that off to South Carolina Secretary of State in hopes that they can send it back to us before our temporary visa period runs out. We did get registered with the city successfully, there just wasn't a line until about 7:45 (and we were freezing outside until then).

We went home and went back to sleep. We woke up later and took a walk around the lake, but no pictures.

Saturday, October 1
We missed the weekly market, but we did spend some time exploring downtown and shopping for boots. Our search was fruitless.

They have these lanterns with different people depicted on them in the Prinzipal Markt. I'm not sure if they're saints or important Munster people or who they are, but I made Carson pose with one of them anyway.

I'm not sure how we missed it, but we stumbled upon the biggest church we've seen so far in Munster, St Paul's. This church is pretty old, and parts of it were severely damaged in the war, but it's been rebuilt. It's beautiful. The greenish roof made me think of the churches we saw in Salzburg. 

Big astrological clock

Art and Culture Museum

We had dinner at this cafe. I had a chicken Caesar wrap that was delicious and Carson had this tunafish salad. They just plopped tuna from the can on top of a salad. We thought it was funny.

Sunday, October 2
We had a relaxing rainy day. I painted a little and we watched a movie.

Monday, October 3
October third was a national holiday here, Unity Day. It's celebrating the reunification after the wall went down dividing East and West Germany. There's a big celebration at the Brandenberg Gate in Berlin, but the celebration here was small and in fact I'm not sure if it was for that or if it just happened to be a festival for something else on the same day. There were lots of tents with food and activities, and a big bike race. It was a rainy day, but there were lots of people out and about.

Stores were closed as they are on Sundays, but I took a picture of "TK Maxx" because I think it's funny that there's a place just like our TJ Maxx in the states. I'm not sure why the names are different, but I wonder if it's because the letter J is pronounced differently here.

Tuesday, October 4
On Tuesday, I FaceTimed with Brooke and Clayton in Washington. They're 9 hours behind us, so it was my evening and her morning (6pm and 9am). This time difference gets me! I was able to wish Brooke a happy birthday as well, as her birthday was the following day.

Wednesday, October 5

These are our laundry coins. We buy them from our landlady and they're good for a wash and dry. They're 3 Euro apiece, which feels very expensive to me, but sometimes she'll give us an extra one just because. I've noticed laundromats are the same price or more, so I guess it's normal. We have one washer and one dryer in our building. 

I walked out to meet Carson at the Dom. Caught this bird mid-flight when I got there. 

We just walked around aimlessly and then went into a shoe store that looked inexpensive. It was cheap and I found the boots I'd been looking for - success!

Beautiful sunset over the lake that night.

We found this place on our walk home and laughed at the idea of pizza and Asia wok, but we decided we had nothing to lose (except I guess the food if it was very bad), so we went for it and got a pizza and some Chinese food. They were surprisingly both really good.  

Thursday, October 6
I spent the whole day cleaning and tidying in my fancy slippers that we got for free on our Turkish Airlines flight. We walked around the lake that night.

Friday, October 7
We had a lazy morning together, and then walked around the lake and through a little bit of town. We played around with Snapchat.

Oh you know what? This is the day we found boots. We were unsuccessful that other day. Didn't find them at TK Maxx but took a picture as we passed it.

Saturday, October 8
We started out lazily again, the beginning of a week of making that habit. We like lazy Saturdays though!

We got our act together and walked around the lake and around a bit. We decided to go back to Asia Wok and Pizzaria because it really was pretty great. This is when we discovered that they only took cash and I was the only one with cash but I'd left my wallet at home because we hadn't planned on doing anything. Carson sprinted to the nearest ATM and not all was lost. 

Oh, this is common here: cigarette dispensers. Lots of people smoke, so I guess smoking vending machines are a thing. 

Sunday, October 9
I got to wear my coat for the first (but a long way from the last, sadly) time this fall. It felt a little excessive, but everyone else had theirs on, and it was certainly needed.

Monday, October 10
We explored an area nearish to us and I found Carson a beanie, which he'd been hoping to find since he forgot to bring any, for 1Euro. We also found towels and a few other things we needed to have guests here, which was coming up rather soon.

Tuesday, October 11

Well, we realized that the area around the heater in our bedroom was not weird looking plaster, it was mold. Oh no! Our landlord said it was because we didn't open the windows enough, so we started opening one when we leave, but we also bought some spray and Carson worked to scrub it away. It was hard to find things for it in another language. Lots of websites had homemade mold killers with basic things like peroxide and white vinegar, but we haven't found those things anywhere here! I'm sure they exist, but even when we ask in German, people shake their heads at grocery stores when we're looking for them. 

Wednesday, October 12 
Among other errands in the evening after Carson worked (I'm mentioning that he worked because I don't have pictures of him working and yet I have pictures of him at home, but he's basically always working, wherever he is, but he went to the office this day), we reloaded our phones at Vodaphone, and stopped by the grocery store where we saw the biggest truffle I've ever seen. I'm not much of a hazelnut fan (and hazelnuts are EVERYWHERE here) so I wasn't even slightly tempted. That night, I did a Google Hangout with Emily, Christina and Jillian.

Thursday, October 13

So it turns out that part of our rental contract is that our landlady cleans our apartment once a month. I didn't know that until the day before, but I guess she does things like the shower, mirrors, and surfaces. I don't know if she cleans the floor, but I swept it before I left her to clean it because I shed a lot of hair, so I couldn't tell if she did that or not. 
Anyway, we got out of the apartment so she could do her thing. We had errands to run anyway. We began them by going to this hot dog place that boasts "American Style" hot dogs. I don't know if you can read those hot dog names on the sign below, but they sound pretty American for the most part. 

They weren't though. They were good, but were more like a bratwurst or sausage dog than a hot dog. I like just mustard on mine, and their mustard was spicy! There was a LOT of horseradish on this thing. And the bun, I didn't hate (actually it was all pretty good), it was a hollowed out roll sort of thing with a circle cut out for the hot dog. They squirted a bunch of mustard in the hole, shoved the hot dog in and it was good to go. It was great... except there was so much spicy mustard in the bottom that my eyes teared up, so Carson finished it off. We also ordered their mozzarella sticks because we hadn't seen those here and were curious. They had a strange onion sauce but were otherwise good.

 This doesn't usually have ducks inside!

We were successful in our quest for a few last things for our guest coming the next night - a blanket, a pillow, and a little rug. These were all a lot less expensive than I would have guessed - the rug was 1Euro!

The leaves were beginning to change!

So we watched a movie where someone had their palm read and we sort of laughed about it, and then we decided to look up how to read a palm just for laughs. I'm pretty sure the lines in our hands are just sort of there and that all they mean is "you have hands that aren't exactly like everyone elses". The things online were super general things that anybody could take as true, like "you are a decision maker". This is what we expected, and I don't think we'll be hitting up the local fortune teller anytime soon. 

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