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.
Germany might be well known for big ideas in fields like green energy and engineering, but it also supports a thriving counter culture, which means that thousands of small groups and individuals are also trying their hand at making the world a better place. A Wagenplatz is one form of collective living (almost entirely) unique to Germany. In the video below, an American expat living in Germany talks about her own tiny house, how she renovated it herself, and why she chooses to live the way she does. Could you imagine living in such a small space?
Today L of Cup of tea anyone? is joining us for another guest post about why she loves Berlin. Enjoy! You can find her here talking about her life in Germany every Monday.
I don’t like to pigeonhole my blog, though I guess I could become famous in the internets, like my friends Working Berlin Mum and Expat Mummy, if only I would stick to a theme. Since I mostly bitch and moan, hopefully along the way making valid points and intelligent arguments, I thought I would post something positive today for a change…Hold on to your hats!
Everyone settles into life in a new country at a different rate. Some are immediately at home, while others never feel completely comfortable. Homesickness, awkwardness, loneliness: they all are parts of the expat experience to a greater or lesser degree. But fitting in is too. You might surprise yourself.
I have been in Germany for eight years now, but it has only been in the last few years that I have been noticing the telltale signs of “German-ification.” Though I have felt at home in Germany for many years more, it seems my transition into this culture is now complete. How did I know? Well…
You know you’ve been in Germany too long when
Today we’re welcoming L of Cup of tea anyone? to the Young Germany blog! You will be able to find her posts about life in Germany’s capital city on Mondays right here. Today she’s celebrating her six year anniversary in Germany. Welcome L!
Six years ago yesterday, I arrived in Berlin, following a harrowing journey (involving me spilling boiling hot British Airways coffee all over myself) via a London airport with nine other intrepid ‘Neuberliner’. We were all part of the Leonardo Da Vinci programme and didn’t know one another from Adam but the cold and unfriendliness of Berlin had us more or less clinging to each other for the best part of our three month stay together.
Sarah of workingberlinmum is an expat from the UK who has made Berlin her home. She blogs regularly about what it’s like to raise children abroad and away from family, raising bilingual children, single parenthood, kids crafts and fashions, and more. Today she’s joining us on Young Germany to talk about her experiences raising bilingual children and what that can be like for grandparents who only speak one of the child’s languages. Welcome Sarah!
As the title of this post says, it must be tough being a grandparent to a bilingual child. It of course depends on whether the grandparent speaks the child’s dominant language or not, but if they don’t, they face a lot of challenges communicating with their grandchild.
“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.