“Our house is a mansion!”
It still makes me giggle when I think of John’s reaction when he returned to Georgia the first time after spending a month and a half in Germany. Our house in Georgia is by no means a mansion, but the three bedrooms, two baths and an actual full kitchen were enough to produce this reaction from John! And it’s funny to think of how I’m going to react after spending two years in Germany, the country that loves all things IKEA – small, compact and functional. I find it cozy and have adapted to my surroundings. I spent my first two months here living in a hotel room that provided me a mini-fridge, a stove-top and a microwave in my studio room.
I was sad to leave the hotel, if only for the housekeeping that came on a daily basis, but was excited to finally get a place of my own. Because of certain military pay entitlements, I was placed in an on-base “apartment” in a building for “unaccompanied” military members. (Most of the folks in my building are on the same military orders as me – unaccompanied – which means John can spend 90 days at a time in Germany before we start to forfeit the benefits and entitlements) There are actually four bases here in Stuttgart, three of which have buildings designated for unaccompanied members and my first choice before knowing any better was the one that actually had a full kitchen in it (Where I live now, the full kitchen is a community one down the hall which stays surprisingly clean given I am the only female on our floor and I rarely use it!) But when I went out to check it out – it looked like a roach motel from the outside and was even worse on the inside. No thanks.
Luckily, they had another option at a closer location – and thankfully, it was MUCH better than my first choice. I forfeited the full kitchen, but have found a work around – the apartment came with a semi full-size fridge and a microwave, and through the kindness of a neighbor that was moving, I acquired a toaster oven, a two-burner hot plate and two oscillating fans (much-needed thanks to the aversion to air conditioning in Germany). My bathroom has a sink, and we rented a Culligan Water Cooler, so really – what else could we possibly want? (It truly is amazing what you can adapt to when not having another choice!)
I do believe that although the layout is different, this is bigger than my first apartment in Macon. And the layout does make it easy to have guests (so if you are interested in traveling…come on over!) While, yes – it has been a bit of an adjustment, and my slow cooker has become not only my best investment but also my #1 method for cooking meals – it’s easy, in a great location and I didn’t have to deal with all of the headaches and horror stories that come from trying to set-up off base housing. And! Free laundry in the basement, and because there was also an aversion to elevators, I get an awesome thigh workout every time I do laundry thanks to living on the third floor!
It’s not the lap of luxury – but it’s cute and it’s quaint and it serves it’s purpose as a nice place to relax after work and in-between traveling. And it will apparently make me feel like our cute little perfect-for-two-people starter home in Georgia is a mansion – so it has that going for it too! 🙂