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A lot of articles point at German for being a complicated language full of compound words (you know the ones that hurt your head), but it’s also filled with words that describe a whole situation in one word.
These are some of my favourites :
The present a man brings home when he has stayed out too late or done something wrong ‘Drachenfutter’ literally dragon food.
The feeling of comfiness, coziness and all being well with the world, usually when you have a drink in hand ‘Gemütlichkeit’.
To get together over coffee and chat (or rather, gossip) ‘der Kaffeeklatsch’.
This is a preview of The Germans Have a Word for It.
As my time in Berlin slowly creeps to a close one of the thoughts that’s constantly been on my mind is the impending “reverse culture shock” that so many travelers have warned me about. I may have spent 20 years of my life in the US, but I have a feeling that a year in Germany has done away with many of my American habits and rituals.
This is a preview of One Year in Berlin: How German Unis Work.
When you leave your native home and you arrive in a new country, you become the stranger. It doesn’t matter if you moved 500km or 6000km you are still, and will always be, the stranger.
Now ‘stranger’ to me formerly had negative connotations, I was the kid who had ‘stranger danger’ drummed into me at school, at home and everywhere in between. The stranger is foreign, an alien, one not the same as the rest of ‘us’. I’m not saying that I’m a conformist or anything but in the UK I was never the stranger (maybe a little strange) but definitely not the stranger.
This is a preview of Being the Stranger: On Moving Abroad.
For decades the first of May has been known as an International Worker’s Day all over the globe. In many countries, such as Germany, it’s a federal holiday during which demonstrations (usually peaceful) are held in support of the labor movement.
However, May 1st (known in Germany as “Erster Mai”) holds a somewhat special significance in Berlin. Since the late 80s extreme left organizations have organized protests in districts of the city such as Kreuzberg during which riots have unfortunately broken out, leading to violence and police intervention. In more recent history extreme right groups have also proven to become hostile in the streets of the capital city. The violence has thankfully declined in the past few years, but we were nevertheless all warned by our program director to be wary in certain neighborhoods.
This is a preview of One Year in Berlin: Being in Germany on May 1 and Games in the Park.
Cheap and delicious beer – Before I lived in Germany I was a confirmed wine drinker, tepid English beer just did not do it for me. Beer in Erlangen however has been a revelation, with the exception of drinking Tucher at the Berg the first year (big mistake) and suffering the worst hangover in history. The beer here is much purer due to German purity laws, consequently no chemical induced hangover but obviously a normal alcohol induced one if you get carried away.
This is a preview of Five Things I Love About Living in Erlangen.
It’s commonly said that there is a difference between Berlin and Germany. Sure, German is spoken here, German food is eaten here, and the German government convenes here, but the experience one receives in Berlin is generally thought to be incomparable with most other German cities. I experienced that firsthand back in Autumn when the BCGS group traveled to München. Everything seemed more conservative and slowed-down. That proved to be a great trip, but at the same time, the amount of museum visits and excursions on our itinerary gave it a bit of a hectic and touristy feel. This past weekend however, I had the opportunity to head north to the small town of Fliegenfelde, located just outside of Lübeck, where I was able to enjoy a radical change of pace from the sometimes stressful Berlin atmosphere.
This is a preview of One Year in Berlin: A Trip to Lübeck.
Many people in the past have asked me how I obtained the right to live and work in Germany; particularly as a student. Although the answer is somewhat short and sweet, the process you take to have the eligibility to stay is somewhat not. Many people juggle with the concept of living and working abroad and there are various reasons as to why they choose to go or not. Hopefully, after reading this short narrative, you can cross getting a visa off of your reasons not to become an expat!
This is a preview of How I Got a Visa for Germany (And How You Can Get One Too!).