Today is my one year anniversary.
One year ago today, I arrived (a day later than planned) in Stuttgart to start my new life here.
It's been a tough year in many expected & unexpected ways, but I know i did the right thing. I feel more relaxed here and, in many ways, happier & less stressed.
The transition to a new country/language hasn't been as traumatic as I expected.
However the transition financially & emotionally has been harder than i expected. Weird - the things i thought be hard haven't & the things i assumed would be OK haven't been.
Germany is a great place to live - the people are nice, it's more laid back than i expected & the beer tastes good. Sometimes the people here in the south of Germany fulfill all the stereotypes of Germans (all work & no play; lack of humour & so on) but that's HERE. It's not true for the whole place (and K isn't from here, so he really doesn't fill any German stereotypes. Well, expect for the beer drinking part...)
German, the language, isn't easy by any means, but at least I don't have to learn a whole new system of writing/reading. And there are a lot of words that are similar. Grammar though is a lot harder - but i am very very slowly improving. I understand a lot more than a year ago, but i am still unable to have conversations. I can, however, read enough on a menu now & order what i want...
On a personal level, it's been tough. K & I have been having a lot of trouble settling back into couple life. The whole balance of 'us' changed by me moving here. So it's been a very bumpy ride. But, on a positive note, we're still together, still smiling & still working on us and making things work - some days being better than others.
People ask me if I miss Japan. In truth, i don't know how to answer that. I don't feel aching pangs for Japan. I have moments where I miss certain things - mostly food. More though, I miss my friends. But I know that even though they re not here, and I am not there, they are still my friends. So in a bizarre way i also don't miss them. Don't know if that makes any sense...
So, yeah, that's been my year.