Expat Life / General / Writing

Peeing from the Top Floor

Essen, here we are! We’ve been living in our new city for the last eight weeks and finally, in our new house for just over one week. Of course, so much has happened: the initial euphoria and adrenalin that comes from being somewhere new and meeting only all the nice people at first, enjoying this strange sense of being on holiday since we were living in a furnished flat initially, being hit by a form of culture shock at week three accompanied by a fatigue from having to drive my kids so much more than usual, and managing the restlessness and impatience of waiting for our house renovations to be finished. It has not been easy, but it has felt largely like a step in the right direction. I posted an update on our transition in September on the German Way blog.

So many more anecdotes, impressions and experiences to share. To start backwards, I’ve decided, while still contemplating many other things in my life, that I need to kickstart my writing. Yesterday, while cleaning out my Inbox which had more than 400 unread messages (we didn’t have WiFi in the temp housing, don’t ask), I read a BlogHer post on National Blog Posting Month (NaBloPoMo) for October 2014 and spontaneously decided to jump in and do it. It was already the 7th of October, and I knew I was late, but I also know that there is no time like the present for these things.

NaBloPoMo October 2014

I convinced one of my favorite fellow expat girlfriends, Sonny Ilner of Vintage Fireflies to join me in this challenge since she is also hunkering down and focusing her talents on her writing and editing career right now. (Living as an expat in Canada right now, Sonny is also an American woman married to a German and used to live close to the same corner as mine in south Germany in Schwabenland. We met as fellow members of the then newly formed International Women’s Club of Stuttgart. She and I are confidantes to each other when it comes to riding the roller coaster of uncertainty and potential moving/not moving aspect in this expat life. We don’t get to talk that often, but when we do Skype, the first question is usually, “Where to now?”)

There is more to come since I will be blogging every weekday between now and the 31st of October, but today started very early for me so I will leave today with this. Shortly before 2 AM, my son was screaming for me that he had to pee. Not quite sure what happened: did I not react fast enough? was it so uncontrollably urgent? Our bedroom is now on the 1st floor (European first floor) and his is on the 2nd floor. As you might have guessed, I didn’t make it up there on time. Sh*t, in this case pee, happens all the time. So, cleaning up pee after a three-year-old is just part of my life again. That wasn’t the worst of it though. He was standing at the top of the stairs and just as I heard the uncontrolled rush of urine seeping through his pajama bottoms, I heard something else: the sound of that same urine dripping from the top of the stairs to the next floor. And to the floor underneath that. The good news was that my son went to bed pretty quickly after I cleaned him up. The bad news, other than I had to clean up pee on three different floors, was that I couldn’t fall back asleep for a good two and a half hours.

Good night and till tomorrow!



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