Change and the unknown don't scare me I embrace change I see change as a new adventure so right now I am in my element...I say bring it on Army. I don't feel comfortable talking about life on just "any Post in Germany" since I am only familiar with life on Illesheim so I will be sharing my advice, tips and observations on living on my new post.
we are adapting well to our new home today is day 11 in Illesheim Germany.
Miss Maddie Belle still refers to our new home as the hotel even if we correct her she just looks at us like "you people are crazy" at times I think I might be.
I admit it is different going from living in a single family home to stairwell apartments in reality calling it an apartment doesn't do it justice more like a suite. I can see where Maddie could mistake our place for a hotel it's big, spacious, sweet bathrooms the tub is to die for, shiny new wood floors and furniture that is not ours I can see how that could confuse a 3 yr old at times I feel confused.
Some things that really stick out in my mind that I think newcomers should know.
* Store hours are different here
Be prepared to be living on an Army post that pretty much follows German customs holidays and work hours.
Everything is closed on Sunday except the library however the Library is closed on Friday and Saturday seriously why have a library a learning center closed on days when people more then likely will be able to go to the library it's the weekend craziness and the shopette which is a convenience store so if you run out of TP be prepared to pay $3.00 or more for a 4 pack of toilet paper.
To German Sunday is a quiet family day you are not suppose to be "seen" doing chores in public now I don't know about y'all but an excuse to not do yard work or wash windows outside sounds lovely to me lol however living in stairwell housing you really don't have a yard so skip cleaning balconies or windows. So I would say living on Post we observe this Sunday quiet day more by being quiet hence not letting your kids outside at 9AM to run around and have fun...plus suffering from no retail therapy.
The commissary is closed on Sunday and Wednesday so you have to make sure that you have enough food on hand to keep your family fed during the week even though Illesheim is a small post it's a little jot to the commissary and I will admit it is hotter then hell here right now so it makes for a long hot sweaty walk back if your carrying a bunch of groceries trust me I have done this way too much in the past 11 days..
* Money $$$ be prepared to have to restock your pantry & household items...My advice before moving overseas hit the store and buy your favorite shampoo, conditioner, hair products, deodorant, tooth paste, tooth brushes, makeups, bath products double bag them and use a large flat rate USPS shipping box for $12.50 you can mail this to your CRM box at your new post...WHY?? well because 1 there is no guarantee that your favorite shampoo is at the PX or better yet you don't want to be me put off buying a new bottle of cover girl liquid cover up and end up living on a Army post that's PX doesn't carry make up yep you read that right NO MAKE UP AT ALL ok so let me also for warn you the PX at Illesheim also does not carry clothes, shoes, socks, underwear, purses or Jewelry ok so you get the picture right? lol so come prepared with the above items either pack them and bring them on the plane or mail them prior to coming..since you will have to leave the Post to get these items either on the economy or at another Army Post.
ugh well in all honesty it's expensive when you first get here especially if you are unlucky like our family and your soldier didn't get to finance until the middle of week 2 of you being here. So currently we are living off base pay & single rate cola which is ummm difficult since you have to restock your pantry and refrigerator so my advice is have some money set aside and maybe have a ride lined up to help you transport the groceries.
Being car less is not fun...living over in Germany means you are in the middle of everywhere so plan on traveling once your car arrives if you don't have little children to tote around traveling by train is not that difficult for me personally I'd prefer traveling by my POV the kids would be more comfortable.
* Internet / telephone less
here is my major angst I could live without alot of comforts from my old home, my comfy bed, my perfect pillow, my snuggily blanket, my couch, my kitchen stuff all this means nothing what I am missing horribly is internet ugh ok so here is another thing to be prepared to drop $$ money on TKS which is the internet/ cell/home phone and cable provider has a store on Post..you can get an Iphone for 1 euro with a contract only thing you need to do is set up a bank account with the on post bank...this is for cell phone service however if you want internet/home phone/cable then it is a $$50.00 deposit plus you have to buy the modem which is $$50.00 as you can see it adds up so this is something else you will want to have money for or have your soldier have set up prior to you arriving..trust me in this isolated area you are going to want to have your internet to keep you sane .
* Time Differences
Big one my friends back in the USA are going to sleep when I wake up it's weird and makes for quick mathematical calculations every time you go to call a friend back in the USA 6 hours to the East Coast, 7 Central, 8 Mountain and 9 Pacific ...
* GHOST TOWN ok if it weren't for all the kids on the playground you would think that you were the only wife/mother on the post I don't know where all the wives are hiding but don't be surprised if you hardly see them my first day here it was like the Children of the Corn movies where there are no adults in the town lol ok well on day 2 I did catch a glimpse of a woman walking a dog lol
So other then meeting the nice wife who I had been corresponding with to get our new puppy snazzy,1 couple from my husbands unit had us over for a BBQ on my 2nd weekend here, 1 other guy from my husbands unit, the 2 ladies at ACS and the cashier at the PX I have had no other adult contact not one wife has stopped by asked if I needed anything, welcomed me or just said HI...so lack of manners?, rudeness?, disinterest?, shyness? I don't know but I plan on changing things around here...there isn't a facebook page for Illesheim wives but I will get one up and running as soon as I have internet there is a page called What's going on in Illesheim that list activities and stuff but I think newcomers should be getting a warm welcome and that means forming friendships before arriving so new families know someone and feel like they already fit in...so if you are reading this and headed to Illesheim let me know I would love to meet you...
What Illesheim has....that I have seen so far wink wink..will keep adding as I find more places
* There is a thrift store on Post it's open on Tuesday and Thursdays 12-5PM
* A movie theater
* A Bowling Alley
* A gym
* A Bank
* A Commissary
* A PX & A PXtra
* A Shopette
* A Chapel
* A Library
* A Subway
* A Pizza Place
* A awesome playground
* A Elementary School
* A Train stop right outside Post
* A CYSS for teen program
* A Do it yourself Auto place to work on your car
* NO POOL