Can you believe it? I hardly can. I can hardly believe I’ve been living here for 9 years. Celebrating my 9-year-anniversary this week. Thinking back to the past nine years … so much happened (of course, it did!) First the exciting time of getting into my new job, looking for an apartment, the move from Austria to Germany, furnishing my apartment, travels to England, New York, Borkum, Berlin, Zandvoort, Amsterdam, … the Rangey car issue, the partnership search, my depression, moving in with someone, moving out again, the third apartment and my cat, Covid, home office and a new working life altogether.
9 years in Germany. Sometimes it seems like yesterday when I had my job interview here in Germany and continued my way to Bregenz to visit a friend, where I received the news that I got the job. Deliriously happy, what an excitement, having to plan everything … 9 years ago. 9 years to get used to the German way of … well, everything. Even though we share the same language – kind of – the Germans are different. And it’s starting to get to me, the differences. Missing my home country more and more every day, so many things I miss. Not even the groceries I lug back from Austria can compensate that.
What do I like about Germany? Apart from my special friend, my job and colleagues? My apartment? A handful of people? I really have to think very hard about this question when it comes to everyday life.
1.) First and foremost: No speed control on some of the highways. I really love that. And Rangey loves it too. To go 160 km/h or more when it’s possible, getting across Germany a little more quickly, especially when I’m on a long-distance drive to Austria … Distances are quite different here to those in Austria. I wouldn’t even think of driving an hour or two somewhere here in Germany for a one-day trip. In Austria? A trip to Vienna (merely a drive of about 1.5 hours from Styria) would mean a weekend away. The endless construction sites on the highways though, where you can barely see anyone working, with constant traffic jams, are an endless annoyance.
2.) Cheaper groceries: as awful as this sounds … trying to save my money for books, vacations, retirement and my future move back to Austria … I treasure the luxury of more affordable groceries. Due to my freezer and home cooking, I can live on 5-10€ a week, if I want to. Even though prices have increased here too due to Covid and especially the Ukraine war. But they are still less than in Austria.
3.) The closeness to England: yep, that’s right. My car and I love England and the short distance to either drive or fly there, is a definite advantage. In hindsight, I wish I had gone there more often. But – missing out on the two years of Covid – one can only go on vacation that often. And I did manage to go to England a few times together with the US and Austria, of course. (Plus seeing more of Germany, which is not so bad either!)
4.) Believe it or not: my female gynaecologist. They are much rarer in Austria and I don’t believe there is one in my “home of my heart” town with a common practice. So, yeah, I would miss this luxury of being examined by a woman.
5.) My favourite drug store “Rossmann”. I just love the products and once again the affordable Rossmann brands. My cat would be very disappointed if I didn’t feed him his “Winston” cat treats anymore. But he will adapt and will have to live with other brands. Or live on cooked chicken and tuna (at least that’s what he would prefer anyway).
6.) The crazy one day trips with my special friend (and my special friend). No more Hard Rock / Heavy Metal / Gothic concerts or soccer games … which I only went to in order to spend time together because, well, otherwise it’s a bit difficult.
7.) Basically, the still cheaper way of living. From insurances to fixed costs, books and groceries, appliances and beauty treatments. That’s what I will really miss. Cause this will mean that there will be less money to put away – and for vacations.
8.) The “Ostsee” Baltic sea islands. I really enjoyed going to my little retreat Borkum. And yes, I should have visited the other islands and the North sea as well. If only … On the other hand, going to Italy for a long weekend won’t be so bad either. The food definitely will be better! And the sea warmer …
9.) Hmmm … well …
10.) Nope, can’t think of anything else on top of my head right now.
9 years. 9 German years. And the hope of returning home in my 10th …
4 thoughts on “9 GERMAN YEARS”
May the 10th year be the icing on the cake!
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Congratulations on your 9 year of wonderful life. And may your happiness grows as time goes by. It’s so nice to hear that you can buy so many things in reasonable prices in Germany. The inflation here is out of control almost, especially for Asian food.
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Thanks for your kind words. Sadly, it’s getting worse here as well with prices. I try to use special offers and as usual plan ahead what to cook. Thanks to this mad Russian despot energy prices are going through the roof.