Celebrating Thanksgiving in Germany

This is my second year in Germany during Thanksgiving, and although nobody else here is celebrating it, I won’t let that stop me. I already wrote a short guide on Expat Focus about how to celebrate Thanksgiving abroad, which included a little bit about what I would be doing this year. Basically, I just tried my hardest to make a few of the Thanksgiving staples. These were most of the ingredients for my German Thanksgiving meal. I started cooking around 3 p.m., and we ate around 6:30 p.m. Here are each of the dishes I made: Green Bean Casserole For Continue Reading

German Apartment Tour: Living Room

Finally, here is a tour of our new living room! One half of the living room is used as a dining room. On the left we have a cabinet with wine glasses, beer glasses, and shot glasses. Next to that is our dining room table. There are only two chairs at the table now, since it is just me and Marco eating there each day, but we do have two other chairs. We also hung a shelf above the table, where we keep a bottle of wine from 1983 that Marco’s father gave to him, some LED candles, and an Continue Reading

German Apartment Tour: Closet

I know some of you saw my German bedroom tour and were thinking, “Where is the closet?” Well, Germans do not build closets into bedrooms. Instead, they have to buy huge armoires for their clothes. The issue with this is that it takes up a lot of space. Luckily, our apartment has a storage room (Abstellraum). The tenants of the apartment before us had used it as a walk-in closet, and we thought this was a great idea. The door into this room is directly next to our bedroom door as well. Our goal was to buy all the shelving Continue Reading

German Apartment Tour: Kitchen

Unlike many German apartments, our kitchen is actually attached to our living room/dining room. This is one of the top reasons I like this apartment, as the other ones we looked at had the kitchen as a separate room down the hall. Our kitchen does have a door on it, but we removed it. So this is the entrance from the living room to the kitchen. It is a pretty small kitchen, but it’s alright for just two people. Marco and I can both cook in here together without bumping into each other too much. When you look to the Continue Reading

German Apartment Tour: Bedroom

Welcome to the bedroom tour of our new apartment in Germany! When you walk into our bedroom, the first thing you see is the floor-to-ceiling window. Our view is actually pretty nice. You can see another building on the left, but straight ahead there are just trees. Also, since windows open like doors in Germany, you can see that there are bars across the bottom half of the window so we can’t fall out. Marco was worried that we wouldn’t find curtains that could block out all of the sunlight, but these dark blue polyester curtains we got at Ikea Continue Reading

German Apartment Tour: Bathroom

Today we journey into the bathroom, which is the door on the right, with the vents on the top and bottom. The good thing about German bathrooms, is that they tend to be larger than their American counterparts. If I compare our bathroom now to the one I had in my one bedroom apartment in Chicago, it is easily double the size. The bad part is that, like almost all rooms in German apartments, they come completely unfurnished. All that’s there was a shower, toilet, and sink with exposed plumbing. So we had to purchase our bathroom furniture on our Continue Reading

German Apartment Tour: Entrance

Marco and I moved into a new apartment in Germany on November 1st. After building a lot of Ikea furniture, unpacking some boxes, and making it feel a little more like home, we are ready to share it with you! Over the next two weeks, I will be giving a room by room tour of our new apartment. We will begin with the entrance. On the right, you can see the door to our apartment. In typical German fashion, when you walk through this door, this is what you see… When you look left: When you look right: What the Continue Reading

How to Wear a Dirndl

The Dirndl is the traditional Bavarian dress that originated in the 19th century. If you are already familiar with Lederhosen, then you can think of the Dirndl as the female counterpart. Nowadays, they are typically only seen at Oktoberfest celebrations each year, although you can buy them year-round throughout Bavaria. Marco’s father recently bought me a Dirndl as an early Christmas present when we were visiting him and his girlfriend in Bavaria. I was so excited going to the dress store and picking one out. Although, as soon as I got in the dressing room, I realized I had no Continue Reading