I have changed quite a bit since moving here. No doubt about that one. I remember telling Joern that what I would find most difficult in marriage would be a lack of independence! Since moving here, I have slowly let my independence be chipped away. Because I didn´t learn German right away, I have come to depend on Joern in many social situations, at the doctor´s office, and well, any situation involving speaking German (besides ordering dinner and beer.) I found out in October that I was officially no longer employable by the US Government, for stupid reasons. Instead of blazing the trails and looking for a new job, I rolled over and became a "stay-at-home-wife," or as the Germans love to say hausfrau .
The worst thing though in becoming so entirely dependant was the loss of my license. I was among the group that had to get my license as soon as I turned 16. I was afraid to drive here for about a month, until I discovered the joys of driving without a speed limit. Because I started working on the military base here 4 months after moving, I received a driver´s license through the Armed Forces and never thought another second about getting a German license. Unfortunately, I didn´t know that you have three years from when you move here to get your US license switched to the German (for a CT driver, that meant only taking the written exam, in English.) We found out about this rule after I was here 4 years, when it was too late. So, since October, when I lost my US mil. id card, I also lost my permission to drive here. I now have to take the written and practical exams, which I am not looking forward to. The people who give the driving test here are not known for being the kindest, most forgiving, or speaking English. Joern has really been draging his heels about setting me up for the testing (see above as to why I cannot do this alone either). And now, we´re in a crunch because my CT license expires in June. If I try to give them an expired US license here, I will have no hope, and be required to take driver´s ed - an expense and hassle I don´t need!
It wasn´t until October that I realized how much I valued driving. It is so embarassing to have to be driven everywhere. And in this country of great public transport, I live in Transportation-less valley. It takes me 40 minutes just to get to the train to bring me into Stuttgart. Argh! So, despite my need to go shopping, here I sit in my living room, writing this post and sorting laundry. It´s enough to drive one crazy!