A Travellerspoint blog

January 2014

Our new home

Reporting from Düsseldorf

sunny 25 °C

I know this is well overdue... and that in fact we have been living here for nearly to 6 months... but my new year's resolution is to get my blog back up to date and write about our travels regularly!! So look out for a few rapid-fire posts!!

So remembering back to early August, when the sun was shining and the air was warm, we were welcomed to Düsseldorf and met at the airport by our settling in 'buddy', who had the keys to our house and the directions for the taxi driver. I felt a bit bewildered as we drove along, and in no time at all, we were pulling up at our new house. We are in a small apartment building (compared to our 30 floor block in Shanghai). There are 8 flats in the block, and our flat is on the top 2 floors - no lift, but our front door is on the second floor of the building.

We were pleasantly surprised. The flat was polished and shiny, we had a welcome box waiting for us. The kids loved the spiral staircase, and the furniture package we had pre-bought was all installed and gave us enough to be comfortable for a little while at least. Our buddy left us for a little while, and then came back to show us where the closest supermarket was... so we all wandered down for our first foray into Aldi. We didn't buy much, just some fruit, vegetables, milk and groceries... just enough to set us up for dinner and breakfast!

Over the next few days, we headed off on some little walks around and our buddy took us in to town to help us get mobile phones, internet and home phone all connected and sorted out. And of course take us to our first German pub for the Düsseldorf special beer, Alt. We went into our school (employer) to fill in lots of forms, and get acquainted with the German Bureaucracy, and get all our visas and so forth in place. We spotted the Rhine when we walked up to Kaiserswerth, and were amazed at just how close it was!!

Germany turned on the heat for us, and we spent a day at the pool. We wondered how many of the kids who were swimming there that day, we would know or be friends with by the following summer. We found our 'local', and couldn't believe how cute the square was where we sat for a few cold beers... while the kids ate ice cream.

In our first full week, we enrolled Jie Jie into a swim camp. Our logic behind this was so she knew some people before she started school, and it was a good ploy - we met a handful of Grade 1s, who have remained her friends all through first semester! Her teacher at swim camp also turned out to be our downstairs neighbour. It was a bit of a palaver to get her there - 2 trams there and 2 trams back, and a longish walk to/from the pool.

Our next week, was when Mike started orientation at work, and the kids and I took a few careful exploratory outings on our own, and also attended what we could of the Orientation program for newbies... including a walking tour of Düsseldorf, a river cruise and lunch. Didi charmed all the other new teachers when he was asked at lunch what a four year old could do, and his response was that 'I can dress up like Superman'. We went to a dinner for all new staff, and sat on a table (lucky for me) with the deputy head of the Elementary School, and she was over the moon when I said that I was a qualified teacher and was hoping to do some supply work once the kids were settled.

We had made friends on the tram with another Aussie family, with a girl and a boy (each one year younger than our two) and the husband works at the school too, and they invited us over for our first real playdate on the Thursday before school was due to start... We turned up there, only to be met by the HR Manager from school... She mentioned that they were short a part time teacher for 10 weeks and would I be interested... I left my two kids for a play, and went down to chat with the Elementary School Principal, and agreeing to attend a training session the next day (when babysitting was provided) I had accepted a Literacy Support Teaching role, part time for 10 weeks. I turned up the next morning to the training session, only to be pulled out again after an hour, to meet with the Director of the whole school, and after a quick chat with Mike, agreed to take a full time role teaching Grade 3... aiyo... school starts Monday!!

Posted by aboo10 11:55 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

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