20 November, 2007

Ladies and Gentlemen! Presenting: Blog Ness Betsy!

My blogging muse seems to be taking a sabbatical, so I was very relieved when Jen offered to put together a list of interview questions for me. And here, without further ado:

1. What is the easiest/hardest thing about living in Germany?

The easiest thing about living near Stuttgart is staying fit. We chose a house near a nature reserve so that we can spend a lot of time outdoors. The area is also very hilly, and we live about a mile out of town. I try to walk everywhere and get a relatively good workout most days just through doing errands and school runs.

The biggest hurdle has definitely been learning the language. I've got no shortage of posts about embarrassing language gaffes I've made, especially in the beginning. And as someone who is rather articulate in English and Dutch it was hard to be reduced to grunts and sign language in order to get even rudimentary ideas across.

I've been taking intensive language lessons for about a year now and am really enjoying them. I've always wanted to have a chance to jump into a foreign language head first and am savoring the opportunity. most of the time... ;-)

2. You've written some absolutely hysterical pieces on clutzy/embarrassing moments - what was your number one of all time?

The worst, absolute WORST moment of my life?

Was when a kindly male colleague informed me that the hem of my skirt was tucked up into my pantyhose, effectively displaying my underwear (and posterior) for the world to see.

Suddenly it all made sense: The honking, the shouting and the waving from passersby while I had been walking to work that morning...

3. Of all the places that you've lived, where was your favorite and why?

You know, I think that this one will probably end up being my favorite.

We're building up a great social network and I am involved at the kids' school. I volunteer at the kindergarten and have made some friends through German lessons. That and it's beautiful here-- the rolling hills, woods and verdant fields really speak to me.

4. How did you and your husband meet?

14 years ago I was living in Moscow and went back to Florida to visit friends. M was doing a month-long roadtrip through the States and we happened to be staying in the same house for a couple of days.

I liked him immediately-- enough so that when he and his friends left to go camping down in south Florida I tagged along for two days.

After returning to our respective countries we wrote each other a lot of letters. He came to visit me three months later and that was it. I remember thinking "This is how life should be."

M moved over to Moscow 6 months later and we got married a couple of years after that.

Several of my friends were astounded and even a little dismayed at how quickly we became serious. I was never one to fall in love easily and they wondered how trustworthy M was-- he did, after all live a thousand kilometers away, and those Dutch are just so LIBERAL, don't you know! ;-)

But this was one of those serendipitous occasions that have a happy ending. A summer love that actually lasted! Even after this much time I still think he's the bee's knees. He's my best friend and our meeting stands out as one of the best things that's ever happened to me!


anno said...

This was so much fun to read -- thanks for playing along!

My single year in Karlsruhe was one of the most idyllic of my childhood; I can certainly understand the appeal of living outside Stuttgart. What were you doing in Moscow?

Greg said...

other than the embarrassing stories you tell on yourself, your life seems charmed.

Goofball said...

cool answers, very interesting. But I agree with Anno...give us some Moscow stories :p. Any Russian language mistakes that will crack us up? ...I miss your language stories, I regret your German getting so good ;).

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

This was great to read and I'm having such fun satiating my curiosity on so many blogging buddies!

Betsy said...

anno: I'll tell you what I was doing in Moscow if you tell me how you ended up in Karlsruhe!

greg: do you think it would jinx me if I agreed with you?

ellen: You know, I had all sorts of language mishaps in Russia but I've forgotten them all. That's one reason I'm glad I'm keeping this blog-- to put these things down so that I can laugh about them later. That, and to keep me humble!

I've got all kinds of strange stories about living in Russia, though-- maybe that's something to blog about! It was certainly a contrast with my mild-mannered (yet very satisfying) life as a SAHM now...

jen: Thanks so much for sending these-- I had a lot of fun answering them!