My husband had an interview in Dortmund, Germany. I hate to admit it but I had never heard of this place and had to look it up. Of course my husband always takes the opportunity to tease me about American education, he’s Chilean, when I don’t know where a place is in the world.
I asked my husband if he would mind if I went with him on this trip. Dortmund is a drive from Sønderborg, Denmark and a 28 minute train ride to Essen where they have a Veganz grocery store. I have been dying to go to one of these stores since before I moved to Europe.
He agreed I could go and we packed for overnight and took off. The drive there was a pain as it was raining heavily almost the entire way. We finally get to Dortmund and the rain stopped, of course. We drove around for a while and found the hotel and where he would have his interview the next day. Then we found a coffee shop nearby where I could hang out while he was in his interview.
While driving around we spotted a nice Greek restaurant and stopped for dinner. The place and the people where nice. Their coffee was fantastic but their dinner was so-so. I ordered pasta with just a plain red sauce and no cheese. I had to say no cheese about 3 times because the woman just couldn’t seem to believe I would not want cheese on my pasta. She keep looking at me and asking , “no cheese?” I’m pretty sure I’m not the only person in Europe who is lactose intolerant so I’m always shocked when people react this way to my requests to leave cheese off dishes.
The pasta was cooked perfect but their tomato sauce was so salty I couldn’t even finish my dinner. I tried scraping the sauce off the pasta and just eating it that way but this stuff was thick and was like trying to scrape glue off of a paper towel; it hung on for dear life.
For the first time in I don’t know how long I ordered a dessert because I was still hungry after dinner. The dessert was fantastic and it managed to fill me up where the dinner didn’t. After dinner we headed back to the hotel.
The hotel was definitely on the cheap end of the spectrum. The lobby was very nice and the rooms were decent but the place they really looked like a cheap motel was their hallways. The stains on the carpets were so bad they were almost disturbing. I took a short video following what looked like a drag mark from a room to the exit door where there was a puddle stain. It was really rather gross and brought to mind a body being dragged down the hall. I posted the video on my Facebook page and almost instantly my deranged family and friends, which is basically all of them, started posting comments about the Hostel movies and if we see kids following us to go in our room and lock the door.
To be honest though, the room was decent, even though the TV was something from the 80s and we couldn’t find a single show in English. We ended up watching Married with Children in German. I didn’t understand a word but I never really liked this show anyway so it actually made it a bit more interesting trying to figure out the German.
The next day we checked out of the hotel and wasted some time checking 0ut a local pharmacy, I was almost out of my Excedrin Migraine pills and wanted to see what they had in Germany for migraines that you could get over the counter. I ended up getting an Ibuprofen with Lysine. It worked amazing!! I love this stuff. One pill and my headache was gone. Another reason to hope we move to Germany.
When it was closer to time for my husband to go to his interview we went to a coffee shop and had a cup of coffee together then he left for his interview. I spent the next two hours hanging out at the coffee shop slowly trying all their coffees and eating a sweet roll. After the third cup of coffee I had to ask for a bathroom. This was when I realized that the women working there did not speak any English. One thing that is nice about Denmark is everyone speaks English.
Luckily toilet means toilet in a lot of countries, so with a few hand gestures I was given directions to the bathroom and handed a huge wooden cutting board with a skeleton key attached. I get the feeling they lost a lot of keys in the past to go to these measures.
By the time I got to my second game of Monopoly on my Kindle my husband came back to get me. He got another cup of coffee and sat down and told me about his interview. Things seemed to go well and he is hoping to hear from them soon. As we headed out to the car I asked him about going to the Veganz store; my reason for going with him to Dortmund.
Tony looked up the store on his iPhone and saw that is said it was a 45 minute drive at that time of day and he started huffing and shaking his head. He said he thought I said it was a 28 minute drive and I pointed out the website had said it was a 28 minute train ride and it was currently rush hour so it makes sense that it would take longer to drive at that time. Tony said he wanted to get something to eat first so we spent about 20 minutes driving around in circles trying to find a McDonalds’s. He eventually asked a local where it was and we found it.
We sat inside and ate and when we were done Tony told me he didn’t want to go to the vegan store and just wanted to head home. I was angry to say the least. He offered to find a hotel and stay the night in Hamburg and we could go to the Veganz store there tomorrow. But with me never having worked since moving to Denmark and him being out of work at the moment I really thought it was a bad idea for us to waste another night in a hotel when we could have just gone to the store in Essen right after his interview instead of driving around trying to find a McDonald’s. We could have just found something on the way to Essen. There are tons of McDonalds’ and Burger Kings along the highways here. We spent the 5 hour drive home in virtual silence.
At some point we talked it over and I told him I was disappointed we didn’t go to the store but I was mad about how he reacted to my request to go there with huffing and shaking his head no. He knew that was why I went on this trip and for him to change his mind at the last moment and the reaction he had to my asking to go was rude. That is what I was mad about. He said he was sorry and it was over.
Tony has more interviews coming up in more towns in Germany. He has a few in Hamburg. I’ve already bugged him about me going with him on at least one of those trips to go to the Veganz store there. I will get to one of these stores one of these days!
My plan is to go while Tony is in his interview so there will be no issues. I know he hates going grocery shopping with me. He wants to run in, grab what he needs, and leave. I, however, like to look around. Unlike Tony, I have never lived anywhere but the midwest in the U.S. I have no idea what is available here and with my food allergies and being vegetarian I have to spend a lot of time translating ingredients. This is part of the reason why I so desperately want to shop at Veganz; it would cut down the time I’d have to take checking labels. I know going in I don’t have to worry about any products containing milk, cheese, meat, gelatin, or rennet. As long as I can read the word peanuts and avoid those products, I’m good.
Tony feels good about his prospects for finding a job he wants but for me I still do not see a lot of hope for finding a regular 9-5 office job until I learn the local language which will depend on where we end up. At this point I would settle for a babysitting job. Anything that would get me some money coming in.
I finally admitted to Tony that I feel lonely over here. I was used to being on the phone with friends everyday, seeing family everyday, going to lunch, dinner, and movies with friends and family and over here, it’s just me and Tony. I have no one here to vent to. It’s tough but I’m committed to this marriage and this adventure. I keep reminding myself that nothing worthwhile is ever easy. I just hope the stress lightens up soon.
Next up: Stress, Stress, and More Stress