What I would do different if I ever move to a new country again:
- Learn the language. I'd never use it to talk to anyone probably, but at least I could read signs and my mail. I hate going to the grocery store and in the checkout aisle seeing a big sign in capital, red letters which is saying something that is obviously important and I have NO idea what it says. It took me forever to translate the swimming party flyer. To learn Danish now would just be silly, we are leaving in a year and I doubt I'll ever hear Danish again. :) (Awww... sounds a bit sad... and a bit relieving!!)
- Bring more supplies. Instead of bringing however many 25lb cat food bags would fit in my trunk I'd estimate how many I'll really need and bring that many. I still feel bad about not finding a cat food my cats like yet. Running out of peanut butter is my worst fear. Scotty would FREAK. :) I wish I would have filled every single empty space in that shipping container.
- Go shopping. Spend a week and go into every store and shopping center to see what is there. AND write down where you find something good because you won't remember where you found it. AND buy it if it's really good because they may never have it again.
- Public Transportation. In the first week ride the train and the bus around so you know how to do it. I think the train is much easier than I thought and it could have been helpful all along. ...and riding the bus is a survival skill as well. I had to drop off the car the other week at the shop and was able to confidently walk to the nearest bus station through the freezing rain with my poor two children and make my way home. (Then call a friend for a ride back) :)
- Go to Bakery and buy one of everything. Maybe something is yummy. You'll spend the first year trying everything anyways to find the ONE yummy thing. Just get it over with. I'd do this at the grocery stores too. If you don't know what it is and there's a possibility it is yummy - buy it and try it. You'll get desperate enough eventually... so again, just get it over with.
- Find activities. ...and be a bully about it. It took me forever to get my kids in activities here. I roamed the halls of gymnasiums "FYI these are NOT gyms, they are high schools"; I visited swimming pools; I harassed other parents... :) It took me too long to sign the kids up for things.
- Find Websites. Find a good translating website... one that will translate most words. I used a terrible one and put up with it for most of the year. Then I found gram trans and was able to translate... and thus able to find activities for the kids. :) ...also a community website that tells about activities in the city would be nice too - haven't found that one yet.
So there you have it... Those are my less obvious ones. I'm sure there's more, but I need to get ready for the first of five parties in the next three days. :) Sierra wants me to wear something sparkly... Sierra is WAY too into this party. She's planned her outfit for the past two weeks, she spent an insane amount of time on her "snack mix" to bring (pretzels, crackers, American GOLDFISH!, popcorn, etc...) She even got out of bed on my first request today. She said today will be better than Christmas! :)