Finding your people quickly is key to settling into a new place. Particularly if you are an English-speaking someone who moves to a country with a new language, maybe even on a new continent. The language barrier can make finding your tribe hard. Maybe you can’t figure out what words to google to find the people you think you’d like to hang out with, or maybe you can’t speak “normally” (fluently, or as you would in your native language).
by Vanessa Abel
I’m just going to tell you how it was. This week, we rented a car with three friends from Berlin and went on a little holiday adventure to the Harz. Stories about this stunning part of Germany will follow soon, but on our journey we needed a pit-stop. Basically, I needed a wee. Ahem.
A sign said Magdeburg City was just ahead, so we left the Autobahn and headed into what can only be described as a super ugly town. All the buildings were cement-grey blocks, no trees aligned the streets and there was building work all over the place.
There aren’t a lot of good Mexican restaurants in Germany.
But this is apparently one of them.
Even the most normal of bike rides can turn into a bizarre adventure when you’re the person who writes Oh God, My Wife Is German.
Wherein Itchy Feet continues to be the best expat web comic ever.
Read their latest installment right here.
Expat couples and their adventures in accidentally insulting each other.
Mistranslation can be…trying. Read Courtney the Ami’s story about that time that her boyfriend called her a stupid cow.
by Nadia Hassani
I was born in Frankfurt and spent the first 18 years of my life there. But, I never quite identified with the city as my hometown. My parents were both transplants from somewhere else. Except for the ubiquitous Frankfurter sausages, I rarely ate typical Frankfurt foods growing up. Some of them I even dreaded, in particular Handkäse, the pungent sour milk cheese usually marinated with oil, vinegar, onions and caraway.
Frankfurt’s signature drink, Apfelwein (apple wine), was a different story. My parents always had a case in the basement. It would have never occurred to me to refer to it in Frankfurt vernacular as Äppelwoi or Stöffche. In that respect, I always remained an outsider. I learned foreign languages without much difficulty but was never able to pronounce a single sentence in authentic Frankfurt or Hessian dialect.
By chance, I had read about Mühlenplatz in a flier detailing the local sights and a circular bike trail that could bring a body to a number of sights along the Fairy Tale Road. Mühlenplatz is an outdoor museum containing miniature models of many of Germany’s most important castles, buildings, and mills. It sounded slightly weird—in that roadside stop, “See the Biggest Rubberband Ball in the World” kind of way—and looked like the kind of thing I would like taking pictures of and a two-year-old would like running around. Correct on both counts.
Read more about Young Germany’s editor’s trip to the beautiful, beautiful area outside of Kassel one rainy weekend, where she discovered an outdoor park that contains models of all the important castles and mills in Germany RIGHT HERE.