Two Years in D-Land

Two weeks ago today marked the two year anniversary of my life here in Bremen. My life is not too much different than it was 1 year ago, but it's still much different than my life in Boston. Over the past year I've been doing pretty much the same things as the year before. I've been traveling a lot (about 15 countries on 10 different trips), playing ice hockey during the winter, running in the summer, working a lot, still trying to learn German, ... oh, and making a baby.

Yes, I will be a father soon, sometime at the end of April. We weren't trying, but we have been talking about starting soon anyways. Stefanie and I are both pretty happy about it. One thing is for sure, I'm glad we're having it here in German instead of the US. The laws here provide some comforts that do not exist in the US. We are both allowed to take off as much time as we want from our jobs for the next three years. For the first year we get money from the government equal to ~60% of our normal pay for all the time we're not working. For example, if I work 20 hours a week I will get half the money I normally get from my employer and 60% of the other half from the government. It's pretty cushy.

My German has been coming along pretty nicely too. Things are getting easier for me and more natural. I think I'm currently at the upper end of an "intermediate" level. Although I still can't understand a conversation between two natural speakers. When that day comes then I will have reached "expert" status.

I'm trying to think of other exciting things I've learned or done in the past year and, other than what I've already blogged about, there isn't much else. But that is the way of things. The longer you stay living somewhere or doing something, the more you get used to it and the more it becomes normal. That's how it is for me now. I'm used to the way things are now. Soon I will have a child and that will change.

Anyways, things are still going pretty good here. I'm still looking forward to the future, as usual.

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