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What's so awesome about being part of the NATO crowd?

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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): What's so awesome about being part of the NATO crowd?

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

What's so awesome about being part of the NATO crowd?

I still remember when my husband told me that his next assignment would be a NATO assignment.  I had visions of us going to unit events with everyone laughing, dancing and singing kumbaya or attending embassy-like parties like they used to have in "the old days", pre 1990 (I am REALLY dating myself)!  Now that I've been here a few months, has it really been that way?

Not exactly....but things have certainly been interesting...and aren't too far off from that ideal:

  • Every month I can go to a spouse's luncheon hosted by a different nationality...this  month....Germany...with authentic food, fun and entertainment.
  • I can now say basic phrases in five different languages and make gestures in three.

  • Seeing a soldier with stars on his rank does not mean he is a general.  You should see all the different combinations and colors of uniforms, boots and hats!

  • The Silver Spoon in the HQ building is a neat place to eat, as there are always dishes being offered from the different NATO countries.

  • I like that I can take an Italian cooking class, bank at an Italian bank, shop at a Belgian store (or an American one) and check out library books in about eight different languages.

  • I can have friends from around the world.....right here where I live.

  • My kids come home and throw out curse words languages (okay, maybe this...I don't like).

  • My one son's soccer coach really knows something about soccer...he's Argentinian BTW.

  • Where else can kids say they will be taking a field trip to the Louvre in Paris?

  • We get to celebrate (and have time off) for all the European holidays, which are typically longer than American holiday breaks...more time to travel.... (yes, Turkey Day is a work day....but imagine all the Americans bringing in their turkeys to grill at work and families joining their military spouses too....sounds like good times to me).

  • Shopping the international second hand goodies at the Spring and Summer monthly flea markets and community thrift shops. 

  • The wide selection of crafts, antiques and goodies at our international bazaars.

  • The lowcost language classes....some are even free!

  • Tax free shoppping of European products...just like at the airport.

  • Learning that sometimes things just are the way they the movement of each NATO country's flag in the order of display so that no one flag will be first....or last....every Sunday at midnight like clockwork (wonder who has that duty?).

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    Anonymous Sam said...

    I really enjoy reading your blog...You make the NATO assignment sound great! At the very least the spouse luncheons are probably a lot more interesting.

    October 11, 2010 at 5:19 AM  
    Blogger ****Veteran Military Wife at Life Lessons of a Military Wife**** said...

    Thank-you:-) It has been an interesting assignment to say the least. I mean, when you start having friends from countries that you routinely do not think about...Slovenia, Lithuania, is just so much more interesting and thought provoking. I have learned so much in the short time I've been here:-) Yes, everyone is looking forward to this month's luncheon.

    October 11, 2010 at 9:37 AM  
    Anonymous Ma.Risa said...

    Sounds like a fun assignment. I especially like that bit about the European holiday schedule ;)

    October 12, 2010 at 8:30 AM  

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