Leaving is such a sad moment in one’s life. Whether leaving for a new job, new home and in my case, new life. When I was processing our visa application it felt like they were just ordinary papers. I just looked forward to being together with hubby and our family to be whole again. Three months after submission of documents, our visa applications were approved. Reality started to sink in. I thought of everybody and everything I’ll be leaving. My parents who are kind of dependent in me, my only brother who I’m very close with, my friends who I have loved and knew the true “me”, my home which saw every single day of my life and my career which I have mentioned was just starting to soar. Even our car! Hubby laughed at me when I almost cried over the thought of leaving it. I told him I was just beginning to get attached to it. The feeling gave me mixed emotions. I was happy because finally, after one year of being apart my family will be together again. Sad because I’ll be leaving every bit of my life and start anew. New country, new language, new people to meet and hopefully make new friends.
I can say that one of my weaknesses is a massage, especially leg and foot massages. I can still recall when me and hubby used to massage each others’ foot after a long day of malling. We just lie down, heads on both ends and massage each others feet. When hubby went here in Germany I usually get my massages from companions at home, my nanny, my househelp and even my father. Every time I get a massage Ryz is always there “helping”. Actually she just wanted to play with the lotion although she spreads it to my legs. I also massage the kids’ back especially when they have cough or if it’s cold and I need to apply to them a warming oil. Certainly they have loved massages, especially Ryz. One time I was seated on the sofa and Ryz was lying down on the other end, she suddenly put her legs on my lap and said, “Mommy, I want massage.” I really laughed because I used to do this to hubby every time I see an opportunity. Even if he’s sitting down on the floor and leaning on the sofa I’ll just put my leg in front of him as if signaling that I want a massage. When Ryz did this to his dad, what else can he say? “Manang-mana ka sa Mommy mo ah.” (You’re really like your mom.) But he does it anyway…
“Alles Gute, Ryz?” When I heard Zyrch say this, I laughed. I was surprised because I didn’t teach him that phrase. It means “Everything alright?” when he saw Ryz stumbled in our living room. It’s really true that kids can adapt a new language more easily than adults. That’s because it’s what they hear in school. Learning a new language could give you a feeling that you’re a baby again. Identifying every sound of every letter in every object you see. This was what I felt when I was enrolled in a German course before I came here. It was in 2007 when having a basic knowledge of the German language was required to applicants for immigrants here. A certificate for passing Start Deutsch 1 exam should be presented upon applying for visa. And it doesn’t stop there. We have to take an Integration Course here and have to reach a certain level in language proficiency and pass the examination to be able to work. English and German alphabet basically sound almost the same, except for a few letters. C is pronounced as “tse”, J as in Y in English, V as “fau” and W as “ve”. That’s why Volkswagen as pronounced here as “Folksvagen” and BMW is called Be-Em-Ve. And that’s only for the phonetics and not yet for their sound when they are joined by other letters. Did you know that every noun in the German language has a gender? Yup, you read it right. A noun here is either Feminine, Masculine or Neutral. An article before the noun indicates its gender. “Die” (pronounced as Dee) for feminine, “Der” for masculine and “Das” for neutral. That is for their nominative case. I wonder how were the nouns identified…? Who said the “wall” should be feminine, a “table” masculine and a “book” neutral? I haven’t mastered the language (and how could I? We talk to our kids in English and hubby and I talk in Filipino) and I think it will take a lifetime for me to memorize their rules. Uh.. or maybe not, with constant exposure and of course application of the language it will take me just half a lifetime!
Never in my entire life I have imagined that I’ll be living in a foreign, non-English speaking country. It was a 360 degree turnaround for me. There I was, a banker for 13 years with career just starting to soar and now, a full-time housewife struggling to manage a household, taking care of two kids aged 3 and 5 and doing chores I haven’t been doing for years! I had to leave everything and everyone back home and lead a new life. STRUGGLE… a strong word indeed! But it really is for me since I had everything every working mom and wife could have wanted back home. A house-help, a nanny and parents who make sure that everything’s in order at home. This time, it is only me. Of course hubby is helping me but most of the time he’s at work and I’m left alone with the kids. Now you might ask, why is it a struggle? First, I’m not sure I dreamed of being a housewife ‘coz for one I’m not a home buddy. I get bored just staying at home. I love strolling until my ankle hurts, going to malls even just to window shop. Second, I can’t cook. Uhm.. yes I can but only the basics, frying and cooking rice! I can’t even perfect adobo! I can wash clothes. But I usually get fever after doing it manually. Good thing our washing machine here is automatic. You’ll just hang the clothes after the time’s up. I can iron clothes too! My dad taught me when i was in highschool. He was so meticulous and I think maybe that’s why every time I iron our clothes I’m not easily satisfied and I think of him and what he would say if he sees my work. Third, I have no friends here! Except for Bernie, also a Filipina and hubby’s officemate. Back home, I had lots of them. Officemates, confidants, companions, acquaintances, name it! I had a social life then. Fourth, I have no career here! And I think it would be really hard for me to get one. Language is really a big factor. But that’s another story. Since we’re only here for 3 months, obviously I’m not YET happy here but will I leave all of these to get everything I had back home? Nah… I love my family so much and seeing us happy together is more than PRICELESS!
Hi everyone! I’m Che to my family and close friends, and Chy (pronounced as Chai)/Chichy/Chuchy to my former colleagues. My husband’s Zyzi and we have two kids, Zyrch (a boy) and Zhlryz (a girl). Can’t pronounce all three names? I understand, you’re not alone. Hehe.. I was a banker for 13 years until me and my kids followed my husband here in Aalen, Germany last December 21, 2010. Now a full time housewife, with nothing but a whole family. And just like a newborn baby, I hope you can travel with me as I explore this new world I live in.