Sunday, November 2, 2008

"Normal"

For most of our two months, we have lived normal life. Coming with our four children has meant that we still get to clean the same amount, cook the same amount, supervise the same arguments, school the same children, wash the clothes and make the boys pick up their room. We may be in Europe, but we're still grocery shopping. (Actually, Steve is grocery shopping - it turns out our schedule pretty much only allows HIM to do that honor.) That's not a lot to write home about, except that those same things can be and are all different and harder. They take longer, too. So here are some things that are normal .............. but not.


Going to the bathroom: While it may not be the squatty potties I encountered in India, it does have it's own special flair. We have performed unscientific experiments and discovered that smell travels faster in air than in water. Note the special "shelf" in the toilet making all our experiments possible. We like the U.S. ones better. :)


Shopping is a normal activity. But it's not Safeway or Albertsons. It's called Billa or Zielpunkt. Without a van, we walk and carry all our own food (six people eat a lot). With a baby-sized refrigerator, we shop often. The food must have fewer preservatives here, because it all goes bad much more quickly. We pay for our shopping bags, so we re-use them. At most stores, you must put a coin in the cart to use it. Don't forget to weigh your food and mark the price ... the cashiers do not do it for you. And be quick about it at the check out. Really quick. Our Bend Fred Meyer grocery store cashiers wouldn't last five minutes here.


Reduce-Reuse-Recycle. Or die. Or be arrested or fined or something. We all recycle. But Austrians RECYCLE. Paper bin. Plastic bin. Colored glass bin. White glass bin. Milk carton bin. Old food bin. Metal bin. Regular trash. That's not all, actually. Here's the sweet set up in our neighbor's apartment. Much cooler than ours. I admit: I like recycling.


Cooking is three times a day here, too. We have fewer ingredients, because we didn't want to buy a new pantry for three months' worth. The pans in our kitchen are awful! I'm not used to cooking with gas ... so I burn a lot of dinners. I think my sweet Iranian neighbor thinks I actually can't cook. We eat the exact same thing for breakfast every day. Muesli. Muesli. Muesli. The biggest difference? The size of the items. I present to you the largest bag of flour we have found so far.


Television. Actually, we don't have it. But we watched it on vacation. Did you know that Strawberry Shortcake is called Emily Erdbeer (Emily Strawberry)? And Curious George is called Coco. As expected, it's in German.
Have a great day! Steve is at The Oasis right now. It has been our all time favorite thing to be there. The people are absolutely wonderful. It's what I would want to post about every day.

5 comments:

Jessica L said...

I didn't know that other countries charged you for bags until I went to South Africa and now I have a heads up for when I go to Austria ;) Muesli!! That was my favorite breakfast in South Africa, yogurt and muesli!! Glad everything is going well! Miss you all and praying for you!

Joy @ SAH Missionary said...

Thanks for sharing the "different things" with us. Sometimes it's hard to communicate those things to others. Life is different, a little more complicated, not quite what it is in the States, right? You have a beautiful family. :)
Blessings,
Joy

Summer said...

We must be living in a foreign country, too. I go back to Bend and experience culture shock at the Fred Meyer check-out lane. Why is the cashier talking to me and why isn't he speeding me through the line as fast as possible? LOL!

I love reading about your adventures. I wonder if I can make it out there to visit you in the next couple weeks...I want to see those castles.

Summer said...

We must be living in a foreign country, too. I go back to Bend and experience culture shock at the Fred Meyer check-out lane. Why is the cashier talking to me and why isn't he speeding me through the line as fast as possible? LOL! Oh...and there are stores here that charge for grocery carts, too.

I love reading about your adventures. I wonder if I can make it out there to visit you in the next couple weeks...I want to see those castles.

Summer said...

Oops...didn't mean to comment twice...sorry!