Today, I read the blog of a BFA staff couple. They serve as dorm parents and have two young children. Looking through their photos reminded me of what it was like to live in Germany as a kid; we lived there for about a year when I was seven. A few of the photos on their blog made me think I was looking at my family from the 90s, in our glorious purple, pink and black jackets and head socks, these wonderful fuzzy tubes of fabric that my sister and I wore on our heads. These may be called tube scarves in real life.
So, in honor of being a child in Germany, I thought I’d recount some of my memories. Here I go.
We moved to Germany from Hawaii. Before we left Hawaii, I remember telling my mom that I was glad we were moving to Germany because I was sooo hot. I wanted to move to Alaska, because then I wouldn’t be hot anymore. I think Alaska might have been a little more than I bargained for. Germany was just right, like Goldilocks and her porridge.
Germany had the coolest playground equipment. They had zip lines and cool merry-go-rounds and other fun stuff that I can’t remember the specifics of. And it was all very colorful.
Playmobil! Enough said.
We took a ski trip to Switzerland in the winter. We went with a whole group of people and rode together on a bus. I flirted with a boy who was playing a Game Boy. Then, Dad got us a German ski instructor, because none of us could really ski. And the ski instructor was mean and made us all cry. And then my sister Amy peed her pants because she couldn’t get her snow suit off in time. Good times.
Fasching is the German Carnival celebration. Apparently, it’s really big in southern Germany, where we lived. Amy and I dressed up as clowns for Fasching. I don’t remember what we did in the costumes, but I remember the curly blue wig, full-body costume and face paint.
We went to the I.S.S., the International School of Stuttgart. We rode the bus to school everyday. And by bus, I mean a bus with nice reclining seats and a table in the back with cup holders. I don’t think they have big yellow school buses in Germany. Anyway, one day there was a transportation strike. So our bus driver was really late. Since Amy and I had time to kill, we made a Snow Cake—a big white rectangle of snow. How creative we were. When the bus driver finally came, he was slightly inebriated. I don’t think my parents knew about this until we got home that day.
In the spring, Amy and I were very excited about the first warm day of the year. It must have been like 65 degrees or something. Well, Amy and I, being the Hawaiian girls that we were, put on our bikini tops and went to the park and played in the little creek. I remember getting a lot of weird looks from the Germans, who were all wearing their winter coats.
One of my fondest food memories of Germany is spaghettieis. It’s this wonderful ice cream treat that looks like spaghetti. The ice cream is pressed through some sort of pasta machine so that it comes out in small strings. Then, it’s topped with strawberry sauce and shaved nuts, or coconut, or something else that looks like parmesan. I’ll definitely be having some spaghettieis once I return to Germany.
In case Playmobil and the playground equipment didn’t make it obvious, Germany has the best stuff for kids. They have so many cool toys. We went to some sort of event that had a warehouse full of toys. It was like a fairy tale. And they have Kinder Surprise, those little chocolate eggs with toys in them. And Christmas time is awesome, because Germany goes all out—decorations, and festivals, and food and little trains that travel through a land of Christmas delight. Sigh.
In the interest of keeping this post from taking 30 minutes to read, I’ll stop there. I left out: cracking my tail bone while running after my lunch, eating at the German restaurant in Hawaii and the Hawaiian restaurant in Germany, and Amy getting stuck in every bathroom stall she went in.
But, I will leave you with a few photos. This is me in Kindergarten in Hawaii. I’m the blond. And yes, I am wearing my bathing suit.
This is Amy and me playing in our plumeria tree, the best smelling tree ever. Amy’s the one in yellow. I believe we were pretending to be homeless orphans…living in a tree….
This is the only photo I have of Germany. I’m the tall one. Amy’s the tallish one. I’d like to tell you that I’m eating spaghettieis, but I think we’re at the Baskin Robins on the base, so I’m probably eating Cookies and Cream. And please, note the outfit. All parts of it are equally wonderful.