Whoo-hoo, we have a washing machine! Tuesday morning (which is the good day for classifieds here, for some reason) we scoured the ads for used washing machines and found one. It’s being sold by a nice Polish lady who needed a bigger machine since she has 3 kids. I’m thrilled to have one! We don’t actually have it yet, as Wayne is renting a truck again today and he’ll pick it up later, but I’m saved from the Laundromat.
Tuesday we also took the bus to Real to buy cheap plastic things. Real is pretty similar to a super Wal-Mart (though smaller) and I have to admit that it made me very, very happy. Embarrassingly so. We bought some kitchen things we need, a car seat for Abby for when we rent a car, a door mat, that sort of thing. Plus they had a bigger selection of groceries than we’ve seen elsewhere, so we were able to get things like whole-wheat pasta and flour. It’s not in walking distance, so won’t be a regular shopping place, but it’s nice to know that it is just a bus ride away.
Bus fares are actually more expensive here than the price with an Oyster card in London, and Abby’s not free here. Luckily, we’re in a great location, in walking distance of most things we’ll need. The pedestrian/shopping zone is less than a 10 minute walk away, which is nice. This afternoon Abby and I will be heading there. Next week Abby’s class is spending the week at a children’s farm, and she needs to be outfitted with rubber boots and waterproof trousers. She had a good second day of school. She thinks it’s the “coolest school ever,” primarily because, as she says, “we don’t have to work.” (We’re implementing a daily journal requirement at home!)
Tuesday we also went to visit my school for a language assessment, which was humiliating. My German is still terrible. Evidently I have to actually be immersed in the language before I can be bothered to learn it! So, in mid-January, I start what I am calling “German boot camp.” It’s 4 hours a day, 4 days a week of German at the adult ed center. It sounds just like Peace Corps language training, and I know some of you will groan at that memory. The funniest part was when the lady asked how many years of education I’ve had. When I answered 20, she thought I must have my numbers wrong. I think she had difficulty reconciling my level of German (equivalent to David Sedaris’ “Me Talk Pretty One Day”) with someone who has clearly had too much formal education.