From Detroit to Deutschland

Hello everyone, it’s been a minute. With all of the stress of moving and finding an apartment and being without internet I took a little break. Now, sitting on my bed in my apartment that has working internet now I’ll gather my thoughts and tell you all about what it’s been like living in Germany.

One year post-grad

Another important thing to note is that I graduated from Western one year ago. So much has happened since then it feels like 5 years honestly. It’s been a year of extreme highs and lows and in the process I’ve grown immensely as a person. I have an idea of who I am and I’m finding my place in the world and I’ve never felt more myself.

The funny thing is that life never goes the way you expect it will. I thought I was ‘supposed to’ or wanted to live in France forever and ever. Obviously that didn’t happen. Maybe it was meant to be. That my fantasy version of the country was shattered because it needed to be. It was painful of course but I think it did need to happen. To find what really makes you happy sometimes it will be surprising and sometimes it’ll break your heart but in the end it’s necessary. I’m extremely lucky for the opportunities I’ve been given to have a great place of work I enjoy in a city that is starting to feel like home.

Spoiler alert: they really don’t say ‘auf wiedersehen’

They actually say “Tschüss” and who knows if I’m pronouncing that right…”danke” however is my most used German phrase

I never imagined I’d live in Germany but it’s definitely a good thing. I’m not an expat per se because I’m not on a visa instead I have kind of a residency permit because I’m a US governmentally contracted employee. It makes life immensely easier than it is doing everything on your own in a foreign country.  It’s also so weird to go from being the only American in a small town to a mid-size city with the largest amount of US citizens outside of the states. I’m definitely feeling like I stick out less. All in all it’s kind of like having one foot in one world and one foot in another.

I’m accidentally still speaking French

I do feel a bit guilty for living somewhere I don’t speak the language now since I spent so many years (and so much money) learning French. At least I do have a personal connection to German with my family and I can take classes for free through my job so I think that’s definitely something I’ll take advantage of.

I’ve moved SO many times in the last 5 years and now I finally get to stay put. I’ve got an empty-ish apartment and an ikea in town and I’m just waiting to put everything in place. I guess I’m impatient to be settled. Once I am I’ll be taking German I hope and then getting ready for grad school.

“Mrs. King” -errr

Differences between where I lived in France and K-town Germany
– Obviously things are open later
– Way more things to do
– Actual train station instead of a bus stop
– People are friendlier
– I don’t have to speak a foreign language perfectly (for the most part) not judged for it or rather I’m putting less pressure on myself to do so
– Things are much easier
– I’m 100% less stressed out
– Grocery shopping is an adventure because sometimes I don’t know what things are but in any case German food is great anyways and lots more bio/v/vegan options
– Craft beer is readily available
– A lot of things are cheaper than in France

Things I miss about France
– Expensive to buy pain au chocolat and I’m having trouble finding my favorite french cheese (sorry total first world problems)
– I miss hearing and speaking French actually way more than I thought that I would
– Being closer to friends, assistants, people I know- starting over can be difficult

So I don’t get German holidays off but I do get American ones and Memorial Day is coming up! I’m thinking of maybe doing day trips of Freiburg and Frankfurt or maybe elsewhere. Give me your ideas!

xo Liz

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2 Comments

  1. Bola
    May 15, 2017

    love reading about your new experiences! keep writing and posting!

    Freiburg is really cool! i went there for a day trip, it’s a cute town, not too big, not too small

    Reply
  2. Rebecca
    May 16, 2017

    So great to hear that you’re happy and doing well in Germany! Sounds like you’re having a better time adjusting to the country and its culture, compared with France. Hope to hear more of your adventures soon!

    Reply

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