I always knew that I am pretty nomadic and would move abroad. My extremely loving husband is the only reason why I am in Germany. Its been three months so far and it has been a spirit-lifting journey so far(P.S. I have my occasional lows and I blame it on my female hormones. Perks of being a female!!).
I live in Freiburg which is a beautiful eco-green city located right on the foot of the beautiful Black Forest. Splendid alpine landscape, medieval cobblestoned cityscape which was laid even before Columbus set sail, timbered houses with flower pots of crimson geraniums, cafe rimmed Altstadt that would totally charm you up. This little city is also the sunniest corner of Germany. Far more warmth and hospitality than I ever imagined was showered to me by almost everyone I came across ever since I moved here and I eventually felt that little cliche´d word “being at home away from home”.
Being an “Ausländer” I have had my series of culture shock and I am am slowly carving my way out of it. After all I am experience to handle it!! Since I was18 years old I left home for higher studies and since then life has been a non stop journey or rather like the pages of Lonely Planet. Its always a pleasure to learn with experiences. As said by Saint Augustine “The world’s a book, and those who do not travel read only a page”.
Some of my experiences so far in Deutschland:
I have enrolled myself to an Intensive German course and trust me when I say German is the most difficult language with hell lots of grammar. And the funny part is there is an incomprehensible jumble of exceptions to it. The vocabulary is fun; however it has those super long concatenated words that I can barely pronounce such as “Staatangehörigkeit”, “Kraftfahrzeugzulassungstelle”. The genders – der, die and das has been assigned to every single thing under the sun arbitrarily with only few rules. So the only thing you gotta do is memorise those. However, if you want to blend in, you gotta have “Viel Spaß” and learn that language ASAP!!!
Did I just hear you say that you wanna head to the supermarket on Sunday? Then you might be NOT in Deutschland. Because here everything is closed on a Sunday, its dead silence on the streets. Being from one of the World’s most populated country like India and living in densely populated Singapore for the past 4 years, silence seems like apocalypse to me. By on the positive note, I have started to enjoy this day to explore the wild, go for hiking and spend a little “me” time.
Germans are famous for the recycling and each and every one is so passionate about it. Really impressive! Every household has 3 bins – biodegradable, recyclable and general wastes and then there are additional bins for paper and three kinds of glass. It took me more than a week to learn this and trust me Timo literally lectured me on appropriate recycling and supervised me on the initial days. I wish we could get this simple mindset inculcated in each one of us back in India.
I already learnt to be a wee bit punctual while at Singapore. Kudos to Singapore for that!! While in India, if a train is an hour late its considered normal. Here, if we are 5 mins late that we better have a good excuse for it.
When you ask for a glass of crystal clear water its undoubted still, uncarbonated water right? errr!! not here my dear friend. Fizzy water is a synonym to normal water. It its a retreat after long tiring day specially when topped up with apple juice. Its termed “Apfelsaftschorle” and is a common household term known to everyone.
Freiburg is a bike friendly city, every one owns minimum two bicycles at an average. So sooner your learn to respect the bikers and stay off the “sacred” bike lanes you are not calling for any trouble. This is something I learnt within my first few days here after being yelled by a few.
As they say “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” and I strongly believe in it. I am a part of all I have seen and encountered after moving across several time-zones with different people and different lifestyle and I can proudly say that I have left my heart in so many places. Will definitely write more about my life experiences as time passes by. Until then….. Bis Später! Tschüsss!!!