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We’ve landed: at Tegel airport in Berlin, in a spectacular penthouse apartment in Steglitz, in the midst of an intense heat wave, in the place that has become our second home. The stress of the move is now fading into the past along with my sleep deficit of the past two months. Our spectacular apartment is empty except for four beds, our internet hook-up appointment for today was abruptly cancelled, and I can’t seem to find a wine shop in our neighborhood. But we are slowly getting settled in, just as we did at this time three years ago when we made our first move to Berlin.

Cultural outings are taking a back seat to setting up house for the time being. Never one to rush into a purchase, I’ve managed to buy a set of silverware, two coffee mugs, and, after hours of contemplation, a kitchen table. We purchased the table at Möbelkraft, the biggest “big box” store I have ever been in. Between shopping trips to Ikea and Möbelkraft, life may not yet seem all that different from in the States, but at least you can get a good cup of milch kaffee or cappuccino to enjoy during your consumer experience.

We’ve launched our new beginning after a year of planning our return to Berlin. We’re back to daily trips on the U-Bahn and S-Bahn, eating Turkish döner kebaps, nibbling on brezels, lugging our groceries on foot (hurray, we have an elevator this time!), and long strolls through random arteries of the city. Brian has already begun teaching in his new position and we’ve reconnected with the small congregation that so warmly welcomed us here in 2010. After a few more household purchases and another week of waiting for our internet connection, I think we’ll be ready to immerse ourselves in this new phase of living as a German American Jewish family in Berlin.