The Kids in Berlin and the big Shock

August 11, 2011 § Leave a comment

FYI – I just posted this on blogspot because I forgot that the powers that be had moved the blog to WordPress. Sorry for the confusion. With all the complaining/crying going on, I’m a bit fahmished (as we say in Yiddish).

I’ve been back in Berlin — this time with the kids — since Monday and it’s been REALLY difficult. The kids are super homesick and only want to return to Portland. I cannot count the number of times I have heard from my son: “All I want to do is go back home.”  There has been a LOT of crying. At first I felt I had really made a huge mistake by moving here, but we are now into the fourth day and it is getting a little bit better.

My kids are Arnold, 15, and going into 10th grade and Pauline, 13, and going into 8th. I know it is really hard for them and in retrospect it would have been better to move back when the kids were younger and I was still together with their Berlin-born dad. But such is life and everyone is always smarter in “Hindsight.”
My son’s chief complaints are that the city is just way too big, too crowded, not enough open spaces or green areas. Being a native New Yorker I really don’t get this. Berlin is way more open and less crowded than where I am from, but of course if you are from Portland that’s a different story. My daughter doesn’t like how people behave here — that they are not friendly, sometimes rude and smoke a lot. Both think the tap water sucks. Neither understand why it’s so hard to get tap water when you are walking through the streets. They also don’t understand why women who sit in front of toilets areas should be paid. Neither do I for that matter.
I finally got something positive out of my son today. He’s a pretty big history buff and Berlin has a lot of that. We went to Checkpoint Charlie and he said: “This is really interesting.”
And that statement wasn’t accompanied by “All I want to do is go back home.”

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