The Munich airport was small compared to the US airports that I had come to know during my travels. There were about 16 baggage belts and you could see each of them when entering the hall. What you could’t see was the other side, the entrance hall where my aunt and uncle would be waiting for me hopefully without one of those embarrassing signs they found so funny. The last one had said „Grant-lhuber“ which was a play on words with our last name and also meant something like „grumper“ in Bavarian. I didn’t even pretend to laugh at that one. I easily spotted my pink bag on the belt and picked it up, my knees almost giving in under the weight. However heavy it was, I still couldn't believe that my whole life as I knew it fit into one, admittedly rather big, suitcase. My parents were going to sent me the stuff that I couldn’t fit anymore but I still took most of what was important to me. So now I had my bag and everything else I needed and all that was left to do is walk out of the door and face my new life. I really wasn’t ready yet, so I sat on my suitcase and pulled out my phone. When I switched it T-mobile greeted me in German. I obviously didn’t have a German card yet, so I had to keep myself from switching on viper to call Joey., but luckily he had already texted me. „Miss you already, let me know when you get there and kick some German butt“. A smile passed my lips and tears formed in my eyes as I pressed reply and did my best text message Arnold Schwarzenegger impression „UH JA I will kick sam Gerrrman butt for ju. I love you“. I hit sent. Now I was ready.
My aunt and uncle were outside the sliding doors behind customs. I could tell I was in Germany because everyone stayed behind the yellow line that was painted on the ground waiting for their loved ones to come to them instead of the other way around. Sure that would be possible in the States as well but only if you had some armed police officer watching the whole thing but here everyone just seemed to know what to do. Fortunately they must have felt my discomfort last time and they didn’t have a sign waiting for me just a warm embrace and a huge kiss on each cheek from both of them. „Emma, we can’t believe your finally here. We are so happy to see you“ My aunt slid her arm underneath mine and my uncle took my suitcase and even my purse and carried it to the car without complaining even once. Stefanie looked so much like my mom, it made my heart flinch. She was almost as tall as her husband with blond shoulder length hair, cut into a clean bob. She had bright blue eyes and tiny little wrinkles in the corner of them from laughing a lot. She almost didn’t wear any make up, that was something she didn’t have in common with my mom but she was dressed to the nine in a black turtleneck dress and black leather boots with a small heel. Peter was as fancy as she was, sporting a combination of dark red pants, a mustard colored shirt and a blue sports jacket, something no American would ever want to be caught dead in. While Peter was busy carrying my bags, Stefanie chattered away asking me all sorts of questions about my trip without ever stopping to let me answer them and I was thankful for that. We got to their car, a silver grey Mercedes and Peter loaded my stuff into its tiny trunk. When I got into the back seat and we pulled out of the parking lot I realized how tired I was from not sleeping the night before and the hours of contemplating if I was doing the right thing on the plane. Stefanie must have had picked up on that because she stopped asking me and started enquiring Peter in German instead. I had always felt comfortable around my aunt and uncle and when we came here on vacation I always looked forward to staying with them the most, but this time it was different, because the home I would get to go to after staying with them would be my own little apartment right in the center of Munich.
The first days in the suburbs of Munich were a blur. I was jet lagged and miserable and I don’t think I was good company to neither my aunt and uncle nor my cousin Anna who had stopped by on the weekend to see how I was doing and if I was ready to go out yet. She had just turned 20 but she looked 30, with her sleek blonde hair, her cat like eyes, tight pants and fur vest over a see through blouse. I hadn’t really been interested in doing anything yet, so she had stayed for an hour or two and then made an excuse to go meet her friends at some bar in the city. I had been fine with that. Originally I had come to Munich early to get acquainted with the city and meet some people that would make the transition of moving out of my aunt’s place and into my own easier but so far I had done nothing like that. It was the beginning of March and the semester was starting in April and I had to move into my new place in a couple of weeks. I really didn’t have any time to loose. I gave myself another two days of moping around and then just getting started with my new life here.