I have an announcement to make. We are moving back to Germany next month. The timing of the move was a bit of a surprise, but it was always in the realm of possibility. We were away for two years, and as I’ve started the arduous process of organizing another overseas move now with three small kids, these are my passing Germany Way thoughts on the move:
- Car seats. What a total pain. We sold five car seats when we left Germany. Our understanding was that if we were ever in an accident in the United States, coverage would be limited if the kids were not in a US-approved car seat. I bought five more car seats when I moved to the US, and I am now selling all of them. Luckily, in both countries, this has been an easy thing to sell within existing networks (preschools, neighborhood, playgroups). I’m not sad to let go of these American car seats though as I have always thought that German seats were much easier and safer to use. ISO-Fix seems much safer than the Latch system.
- Trash, rubbish, Muell. Although this is a corporate move, i.e., we don’t have to pay for moving costs, it is in our best interests to get rid of as much of the stuff that we don’t need here in the U.S. Getting trash collected is costly in Germany while in San Diego it costs nothing. We also have many things to donate, and in the U.S., we can get a tax receipt for our donation of goods. I don’t know of anything comparable in DE.
- We will miss the diversity of cuisine and being able to have Korean food so readily, but we are looking forward to the better quality of food and better regulated (and tasting!) organic products.
- Childcare costs. Kaching kaching kaching. Each kaching represents each child in our case. Daycare, preschool, babysitters, nannies. They are all far more expensive in the US and wonderfully, humanely more affordable in Germany. I did a rough calculation of how much it will cost to send all three of my kids to the same Kinderhaus for care between the hours of 8-14, and it will cost us about 280 Euros ($345.00) per month. This is in comparison to the $1100 I spend per month on sending my older two kids every day to the Germany preschool for the opening hours of 9-14. And I’m not even mentioning the baby’s daycare costs here.
It is really sad to leave San Diego, a place on earth where I think you can easily live the German Way – only in perfect weather, but I am not sad to leave the general pressures of parenting so many of which I have written about in the past two years. I am OK with a random Oma making a comment about my not putting tights on my baby in the summer.
Tschuess San Diego…hello, Germany!