Monday, 31 August 2015

My first week in Germany! (The German Chronicles)

Wow. Here we are, aren't we? Last week this time, I was getting ready to get on a plane. I was a bundle of nerves mixed with insane excitement. Since then, a lot of people have asked how we are and if we're adapting.

The answer is good and yes. But I'll get there.

The flight was interesting. First of all, Kayla apparently likes flying about as much as I do. This means not a bit. It also means she was crying and moaning basically constantly, didn't sleep for more than 20 minutes at a time and was soaked with sweat for the entire flight. Also, a lot of things went wrong.

For example, I had to handle Kayla and two hand luggage bags, as well as Barney (where could any parent of a toddler possibly dare to go without a Barney toy?) on my own at all of the airports where we landed. I started vomiting on Tuesday morning, so I skipped breakfast. Not a smart move, as I'd later discover. At Frankfurt airport, I had to be patted down at passport control, because Kayla refused to let go of me for an instant to be scanned. This meant stripping down and having my shoes and things scanned too. It also made me late for my flight.

Now, at this point both Kay and I were exhausted. Neither of us had slept on the flight and I was still nauseous. But there was a light at the end of the tunnel. Jan had taken a train to meet us at Frankfurt and fly the last part with us to Dusseldorf. I clung to this, knowing everything would be OK once we were together again. I promised Kayla over and over again that she'd see her daddy there. 

And then we finally reached the boarding gates and I was informed Jan hadn't shown up. 

The ladies there had held the flight for Kay and I, knowing we were stuck at passport control. They refused to call Jan on his cell (mine wasn't activated yet) and basically told me to get on the plane or miss the flight. So I had to board the plane. Meanwhile, Jan's train had been delayed with over an hour, but while he had reached the airport, he was on the other side of it and couldn't reach the boarding gates in time. 

That right there is the drama they put in movies. :P

Anyway, Kay and I flew to Dusseldorf and she was hysterical for a little while, before she fell asleep. When we left the plane, it was the last stretch and I was ready to collapse, but we managed to get to the luggage depot. Of course my luggage didn't arrive either, because this story wouldn't be complete without some added bad luck. Turns out that it got left behind at Frankfurt for some reason. At this point, I burst into tears and a really nice lady from Lufthanza came to help me. She called Jan, found out he was on his way with another train, that his new boss was waiting for us and sorted out the luggage (which was delivered to our apartment within a few hours, thank goodness). 

After that, we met up with the boss and then, finally, with my hubby. Kayla squealed and ran to him, which was probably one of the most beautiful moments in my life. And then there was peace in my heart. Everything was instantly OK again. I can't describe it to you, but it was (and is) incredible to be whole again. Does that make sense? I hope so.

I'm OK after all of this, really, and so is Kayla. The same peace that hit me came over her too. For the first time in weeks, she's sleeping through the night again, she's eating like she used to and she can even go without her dummy and comfort blankie again. She's smiling and laughing a lot more again and she's just... Kayla. Herself. It's amazing and it was instant, from the moment she saw her daddy again.

I love it here too, really. We're adapting just fine. The language is a barrier, it's true. But we're learning and we'll be OK. 

If I've learned anything from all of this, it's that home isn't a place. It's something we carry in our hearts. Something that comes alive when we are with our families. 

I'm home now. 

Here are some of the pictures of our last week!




Shants and Tanja, this one is a four story BOOK STORE. SWOON WITH ME NOW!!!!!!



Tune in sometime for another one of The German Chronicles. If you have a burning question about the move, please let me know. We're starting to look at a more permanent residence now (we're still in holiday accommodation and we don't have adsl yet), so I'll share that process with you. In the meantime, Rita has a good post about house hunting here. Give it a read!!

By the way, my posting times are probably going to be a little weird for a while. I know I used to post at around the same time in the past, but while we find our feet, new posts may just go up at midnight. Things will go back into equilibrium soon enough, I promise. Or at least, I HOPE. :)

Have a good one, folks!


Monday, 24 August 2015

Here we go... (The German Chronicles)

It's weird, this feeling. I'm leaving home. Sights and smells will always be imprinted in my mind; the way I feel today.

It's a big day, after all. I'm leaving home.

I barely slept last night, because a haze of excitement, bitter-sweet goodbyes and anxiety whirled in my head. And here it is. D-Day, so to speak.

I'm leaving home.

But even as I type that, I have to smile. Because today, I'm leaving home.

And I'm going home.

Love, I'm on my way. Where you are, I am home.

Chat to you all from Germany, folks!


Thursday, 20 August 2015

Update Version 2.0 (The German Chronicles)

This was the post I typed for you yesterday :

"I'm still in South Africa. That's all I have to say about that.

I've been quiet, I know. Currently, I'm in limbo. Being a creative kind of person means that life events have a profound impact on my mood. I know that life events impact all kinds of people, so I mean no disrespect when I say that. I just mean that *in my experience*, creative people tend to take these things harder than others. As in, at the moment, I have no drive to do anything more than raise my kid, eat and sleep. Sometimes the eat part is optional, while at other times I cannot STOP MUNCHING ON THINGS. Emotional eater here.

This means that writing or creativity is a massive effort at the moment. Writing the blog and writing in general, drawing or doing makeup holds no allure for me right now. I feel kind of down, if you haven't picked up on that yet. And, you know, since this is my blog and all, I thought I'd tell you about it.

I feel like Emma after the Boxx thing in Emma Approved at the moment. (Currently reading the Austin to accompany this web series. It's good. The book and the web series both, I mean.) I want to loaf around in my pajamas and eat ice cream. In fact, I have photograph by Ed Sheeran on repeat as I type this, so you can use that to gauge the depth of my descent into broodiness from that.

The thing is, we spent a lot of time saying goodbye. We cried over family and friends. Wept. Wept is a better word. We sold all of our stuff. Stuff of sentimental value included. We packed up some little things and put that on a plane to Dusseldorf. We lived out of suitcases for a little while.

But during all of this, we never said goodbye to each other, because Jan, Kayla and I were going on this adventure together.

Now, he's gone and Kayla and I are still here. Obviously, this is going to impact me and Kayla somehow. Am I whining? Maybe so. It needs to come out though, before I become a broody mess.

This post isn't for any other reason to ask you to bare with me. I'll be back soon enough, writing about all kinds of exciting things again. Or I hope so.

I can just hear Arrow telling me to grow a spine in my imagination. Sorry, Pigtails. I'll get there.


Don't worry. Dark-and-depressed-Yolandie has since been replaced by over-the-friggen-moon-Yolandie.

I'm flying out on Monday.


Tuesday, 11 August 2015

The German Chronicles - An Update

I've been without a computer for a while now and I've barely switched on my laptop. It's been so hectic here that I've only visited social media sites maybe three times in the last week and a half. I would say I'm sorry, but I haven't had time to be sorry since we moved into my in-law's place on the 2nd.

I wanted to update you on the German-move, which is why I'm popping in today.

Last night, my husband got on a plane without me and Kayla. While his visa is obviously ready and currently in use, mine and Kay's isn't. We have no indication of how long it will be, because the allotted time-span they initially gave us has now been lengthened greatly. 

I can't explain to you what I'm thinking at the moment, so I won't try. Just know that it's difficult. I know that many couples are separated for long periods of time and make it work, just as Jan and I are making it work now. That doesn't make it easier though. I have to be strong for Kayla's behalf, because she doesn't understand anything other than her daddy is gone. 

This is the first time in our marriage that we're separated and we have no idea for how long. Before this, we haven't spent longer than a day apart without seeing each other (in the seven years we've been married) and we've been separated for 5 nights in total. That includes my stay in the hospital when Kayla was born. I don't want to whine, I'm just really sad about this distance thing. 

I'm also sad that something that was supposed to be a great adventure and a new beginning has turned into an I-don't-know-when-I'll-see-you-again-situation. Initially, we were assured that my visa would probably take four weeks at most. Now that has changed to three months. At the moment, I'm scheduled to fly out on the 24th, but we'll see if that happens or not. 

Has my faith been shaken? No. Not at all. Does that fact make it easier to be away from my soulmate? No. Not at all. We're that couple that does everything together. We barely ever change Kayla's nappies alone when we're together, for goodness sake. So it makes being apart difficult to say the least. I do love him, after all. 

But as I said, we're making it work. 

I'll keep you updated on what happens.