Author Archives: Kristi Fuoco

About Kristi Fuoco

Social media enthusiast, English Teacher, writer, marketer, traveler, music lover. West Coast Canadian gal living and working in Germany and traveling around Europe. Current city - Hamburg. Twitter @kristifuoco

Teaching English in Germany: Funny Mistakes

Photo copyright dpa/photo alliance

“Lernen” and “lachen” go well together.  Photo copyright dpa/photo alliance

One of the best parts of teaching English in Germany for me really has to be the funny mistakes my students make. I have laughed so hard I’ve had tears streaming down my face on numerous occasions. And don’t worry, I laugh WITH my students, not AT them (I was teaching some students today just how important this distinction is). Most of the time. I always remind them that I make just as many mistakes in German (like when I told my German teacher that I cook my TV instead of “watch” it) and that with language learning the best thing to do is keep it fun. I polled some of my other teacher friends and here are some of the greatest hits of English mistakes we came up with. Enjoy!

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My Love (and Hate) Affair With the German Language

Just say yes to German.  If you dare.  Photo copyright dpa / picture alliance

Just say yes to German. If you dare. Photo copyright dpa / picture alliance

I once compared my experience learning German to dating a guy that I really want to like, but I just can’t seem to click with. We keep going out, because it seems like we should get along great, but he just doesn’t really do it for me.  Everyone tells me he’s actually a really good guy, once you get to know him. I’ve never been a quitter. Ever. In fact, I once won a trophy for “Perseverance” in my 4-H Horse club back in my youth. I also won an award on my field hockey team for “most determined player.” Like I said, I’m not a quitter. But German, well, trying to learn this complex and challenging language has made me want to throw in this heavy, hyper-structured linguistic towel almost every other week, or sometimes every other day.

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Long Night of the Museums in Hamburg, Germany

One of the highlights of the long night of the museums was Hamburg's International Maritime Museum. An incredible museum in an incredible building with a beautiful setting.

One of the highlights of the long night of the museums was Hamburg’s International Maritime Museum. An incredible museum in an incredible building with a beautiful setting.

Got museums? Hamburg sure does. I’m sad to say though, that until this past weekend I hadn’t been to a single one. Crazy? Perhaps. (But I sure know where to go out for a drink though, which is another cultural experience in and of itself.) But, now I can happily say that thanks to Die lange Nacht der Museen in Hamburg (the long night of the museums in Hamburg) I now have had a wonderful taste of the cultural life in this amazing city.

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One Year in Germany: What I’ve Learned

One of my favourite spots back in Vancouver was UBC's Nitobe Japanese gardens. When I discovered this Japanese garden at Klein-Flottbeck in Hamburg I immediately felt at home. You just gotta have slices of home when you're living abroad.  Photo copyright Kristi Fuoco

One of my favourite spots back in Vancouver was UBC’s Nitobe Japanese gardens. When I discovered this Japanese garden at Klein-Flottbeck in Hamburg I immediately felt at home. You just gotta have slices of home when you’re living abroad. Photo copyright Kristi Fuoco

“It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves–in finding themselves.” -Andre Gide

It’s hard to believe that a year ago today I walked off the plane in the Hamburg airport with a mind buzzing with anticipation, a stomach full of butterflies and not nearly enough winter clothing. My cousin and his girlfriend greeted me with giant German welcome signs, much to the delight of the rest of the crowd, and it immediately made me feel right at home. I remember so clearly a moment later that day, when they took me out for my first Kumpir (delicious Turkish stuffed baked potatoes) in Hamburg’s funky Schanze neighborhood.

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Germany, Land of Contradictions

At the entrance of the lovely and peaceful Klein-Flottbeck Botanical Gardens stands this strange, naked statue. To me, this is the perfect example of the strange contradictions in German culture.  Photo copyright Kristi Fuoco

At the entrance of the lovely and peaceful Klein-Flottbeck Botanical Gardens stands this strange, naked statue. To me, this is the perfect example of the strange contradictions in German culture. Photo copyright Kristi Fuoco

There are some days living in Germany where I want to smash my head against a very clean German wall and yell profanities very loudly in English for a good ten minutes while wearing shorts in winter (you’ll understand this later). Welcome to expat life. I feel I should preface this post by saying “I love Germany and Germans and this is a wonderful place to live”, but you all obviously know that from my previous posts. Also, it would be really Canadian of me to worry about offending people. After nearly a year in Germany, I’m not quite as worried about offending people as I used to be. In fact, I even smash into people without apologizing now in the train stations, along with everyone else. When in Rome, right?

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There and Back Again: An Expat’s Tale

A brief moment of sun on my beautiful west coast at Christmas. My friend and I took a stroll on the famous Stanley Park Seawall so I could soak up my beautiful BC.  Photo Kristi Fuoco

A brief moment of sun on my beautiful west coast at Christmas. My friend and I took a stroll on the famous Stanley Park Seawall so I could soak up my beautiful BC. Photo Kristi Fuoco

Happy be-lated New Year from Hamburg! It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, and it’s partly because I feel like I’m going through a processing phase of my time abroad. Enjoying the fruits of my culture shock labor from the first nine months and processing you could say! It takes a lot of work to settle into a new country and when a new place finally starts to feel like home, then it becomes just that…home.

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Hamburg, Germany: Top Ten Reasons I Love Living Here

Despite my fear of heights I climbed around 500 steps up to the top of St. Petri’s Church and it was worth it to get this gorgeous view of this beautiful city! Photo Kristi Fuoco

How do I love thee Hamburg? Let me count the ways! As an expat it’s really easy after a while to just focus on the negative aspects of your new culture or country. And the thing is, we really do need to get things off our chest sometimes and we need other expats to complain to—this life ain’t easy folks! Every little day to day activity is more difficult in a foreign country, and even though many of us Canadians are descended from Europeans, there is still a rather elephant-sized cultural mountain between us at times. So, since Thanksgiving just passed (well the US one anyway) and Christmas is coming, I thought I would do my best to put on my hat of positivity and focus some of my favorite things about living in Hamburg, Germany.

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