...Should I stay or should I go now?So, while I have been recovering from the pneumonia from heck, dealing with some kita problems, and running off to the US for a long weekend to go to BEA (my favorite time... it's a fantasy of free upcoming books, ARCs in all directions...) we have also been dealing with some other items.
Should I stay or should I go now?
If I go there will be trouble
An if I stay it will be double
So come on and let me know
This indecisions bugging me...
One of those leads to the above question. The German has been off to Duesseldorf and to Munich interviewing for another long-term project. This project is being spearheaded by another country and the leads have been looking for a German co-lead for some time. After more interviews, at a faster pace, than seems possible, they made him an offer. They actually wanted him to start last week, but what with me being out of town Thursday through Monday, he actually started in Munich yesterday. So. Shall we stay or shall we go... from Berlin to Munich, that is.
I sent this out to a few fellow expat bloggers and received some feedback but I'm still not certain what to do.
I am very fond of Berlin right now. I have my halal shops, my decent Asian food and markets. We have friends, the children have playdates, my gosh- I have playdates! Today I had my first date to tandem (language) with a mom I met at ballette and we had great fun and then I ran across a neighbor and we had spontaneous coffee and kuchen (she ate the TwD Cinnamon squares, although I need to query her for her opinion...). I really have friends right now, more than I have had in years, and the children do too. We have playdates as often as we like, and at least twice a week. A schoolmate has just moved 4 doors down and another is around the block. The girls have a friend from ballet and her mom (a different one from my tandem partner) is great and reads the same type books that I do. I was asked to be on the board of a women's group. I love my apartment and we could never afford anything like this in Munich (floor to cathedral ceiling windows, roof deck with tomatoes and cukes and a kiddie pool....
The groseltern come in two weeks to give me three days to look at Munich- a city I have never seen. I have appointments with what would be the girls' kita and grundschule, because if I don't like them that will give me an easy answer and then I need to look around and see whether the quality of life (for me and for us) in Munich can be good enough to go against the quality of life here. It's a strong point that here I would be a single mum for 4 days a week, but here I can also drive the girls to school. I can change my mind about which school to send Thing1 to and keep her in the attached grundschule, which would make my life so easy! She loves the environment, both girls love their classmates and teachers, the new school director is absolutely wonderful and has created a real change in the school, with expectations of parental involvement....
In Munich, the schools are in the Altstadt and I understand that there would be no way to drive them in, so then we need to expect weather with pick-up and drop-off and to not be in walking distance. We would need to look for a place on the lines that give us easiest access and then expect to walk, in snow and rain, in dark and cold, to and from subway stops. I have no idea where best to look and what I do know is that housing is about 3x the cost from here to there as well the schools being significantly more pricey and requiring us to be enrolled for Kirchgeld rather than simply paying fees (a very significant amount and one without a cap that we will see, unlike the cap on other income related taxes, payments, and fees).
The school year starts September 14th in Bavaria and September 1st here, so all our decisions need to be made at what Germans would consider the speed of lightning (rather than the normal German housing decision speed, which I would consider the speed of molasses in an Upstate NY winter). We have already had estimates on moving, but we cant really do anything else until we (that is, I) have gotten out there and at least looked around. I would also like to make sure that the German is enjoying the project, because if it were only for 6 months, we definitely wouldn't bother to move. For longer and it becomes vastly more important.
The reason I want to decide rather rapidly is primarily for the sake of the girls: Germans don't move very much. Please, don't tell me you know individuals who do: I married one. But the general German does not move and children know each other from nest through gymnasium. It will be hard enough on the children if I move them and they lose the dear friends they now have (especially Thing1, who still misses her American friends) and their familiar routines and loved activities: what I don't want to do is to move them after the beginning of the school year, so that they are not only the odd ones, the new ones, the ex-pat ones, but also the ones who didn't become part of groupings and cliques that might actually have a bit of lee-way at the beginning of the year.
Any folks have recommendations? We are lokking for a sunny three BR, garden space (to actually plant in), easy commute/walk to Marienplatz/Altstadt, nice area for a family with playgrounds and safe bike/rollerblade areas? Help?