May 16, 2015

Six months two weeks, and one ER visit

On Wednesday I started writing a post about how we've crossed the six months benchmark, which means we are officially not new here anymore. I wanted to write about how crossing this six months benchmark, silly as it sounds, really does make a difference. How there has been somewhat of a change in the air lately.
Everyone sees and feels change in different places, different instances in life. For me, I think it was last Sunday when I found myself sitting at this very computer typing a very long and detailed response (for some reason I can't seem to write shortly)... On Facebook. To a stranger. I just couldn't help myself. Now don't get me wrong, I like Facebook as much as the next totally addicted person, but actually participating in public discussions with, well, people who are totally wrong? This is where I draw the line. Until last Sunday it seemed. So I figured there can only be one explanation for something so strange - I miss writing.
Which in turn can only mean one thing - I have turned a corner. So I did the math, and sure enough - it's the six months benchmark. Also it's spring, which means sunshine (And spring coats, which I adore, but have no relevance here).
So I tore down the "Haven't cried in XX days" sign from above my little corner of tears (also known as the sofa in my bedroom, which doubles as the perfect place to watch TV and the weekend's breakfast corner), got on the treadmill (yes, I know, I'm a sucker for punishment) and sat down to write this post.
But I forgot the cardinal rule - Never ever write about how well things are going.
I know, it's crazy, but how else can you explain the fact that not two hours after I started this post, and was in the middle of writing a "we are adapting to life here" sentence I found myself in the ER?
I have no one to blame. Really, I brought it on myself.
Just so you know - an ER in German is Rettungstelle 
Calls from school are one of the scariest things there are for parents, especially the prone to anxiety type to which I will be the first one to admit I belong, and so I manage to teach every person in every school the kids attend, to always start the call (or letter or email) with a very clear "everything is ok". In this instance I didn't even get a phone call. Imagine yourself walking down the street in a heated discussion with a five years old about the correct colour for his next MineCraft sheep (don't ask. Just don't ask. You'll get a two hours long response) when a stranger stops you and says "are you Ron's mum?  I am his football teacher. Ron is in the car and we are on the way to the hospital. He had an accident" (ok, he wasn't a complete stranger, I vaguely remember seeing him around the school, but as names and faces were never my strong suit, in that moment he seemed like a stranger).
He had to repeat himself three times before I could actually understand all the words.
A German ER looks nothing like any ER I have ever seen, including those on TV. It looks exactly like you'd imagine any German establishment should look - big, clean, quiet and ruthlessly efficient.
To this day, this is the only German establishment I've seen that was actually true to all German stereotypes.
Ron was not extremely happy with my insistence to photograph every thing. On the other hand, he also didn't want me making idiotic jokes. So what is a person to do?
In the past six months and two weeks we have been fighting our way through the German bureaucracy. It had gotten to the point in which we've decided it's all actually a test. They test you to see when the endless and needless bureaucracy will break you. This is how they check how serious you are about living here. Well, we are rarely serious (ok me. Hidai is a very serious person) but we don't do breakable, so we adapt and learn how to live here.
Ever so slowly we manage to claw our way through the significant cultural differences, the language barriers, and our bottomless todo list.
But an ER? In German?
Getting the splint fitted
I have been studying German religiously for the past eight months, and have reached the point in which I can think of the words I want to say, and sometimes I can even string them together to a really simple sentence. Hey, the other week I managed to tell a Taxi driver to take a different route. I rock in German. Until they answer. I swear when they (and that includes everyone I come in contact with) talk, it sounds nothing like the German course. It's like it's a whole different language. One I do not understand at all. Add the child with the swollen and bleeding hand, the child who doesn't like unknown situations, and the husband on the way to the equation and you can understand how when they said "Ron D to room 5a" what I heard was "Ron D to asdf sertst  aefasf". Eventually the doctor found us wandering the halls trying to find room asdf sertst  aefasf.
At least I know my English has improved enough that I can use it in this kind of situations, but I guess I have Yon to thank for that more than my amazing knowledge of the English language. That is what happens when you visit a hospital every 3 months.
This is what Yon did while Ron was getting treated
It took them less than two hours (which I think in hospital-time is the equivalent to 20 minutes) to determine Ron's hand is not broken (told you we don't break easily) and all he needs is a splint for a few days to let the hand rest so the swelling will subside. He chose a bright red bandage, Arsenal colours after all, and I thought about how apt it all is - Just like Ron's hand, all I needed too was somewhere to hide for a little while while I recuperate. Because I might not do breakable, but I most definitely do wonderfully intense panic attacks complete with chest pain and inability to breathe.
And like Ron, I also chose red.
I bought a bright red sofa for it.

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