The last 6 months have been a gift of time when I could walk aimlessly through Berlin, allow aimless thoughts to meander through my head, read, knit, eat, shop, listen to the voices of my children, stare out the window, and so on. As fortunate as I am, I always feel that the time is never enough to catch up with myself after 13 years of working and parenting. I will have a little less of that precious free time starting next week when I resume my teaching career with EforP – English for Professionals, a company that offers tailor-made English courses for businesses in Berlin. My first client is a real estate company, which is fitting since I spent months communicating via phone and email with realtors in Berlin before our move here.
I never wanted to be a full-time stay-at-home mom and I get very touchy when people ask me if I do all the housework now that my husband has a full-time demanding job in a foreign country. But I confess that I enjoy keeping house in our apartment which takes only a fraction of my time. The best part is how environmentally sustainable our family life has become.
Our amazing Siemens washing machine has such a powerful spin (“schleudern”) cycle that I have never once used our dryer (it’s not for your delicate items though!). Our apartment building has paper, plastic, glass, and aluminum recycling along with composting. This means we produce almost no garbage and no longer even have a garbage can in our kitchen! Any recycling that is not done in the building can be found nearby. I previously wrote about the recycled clothing bins that generously dot the streets of Berlin which I find almost as amazing as the cork recycling centers that are available in some grocery stores.
We still don’t have a car which is one of the best parts of our urban lifestyle. So next week I’ll take the U-Bahn near Alexanderplatz when I re-enter the workforce and begin another Berlin adventure. I’m sure I’ll still be doing the laundry though…..