I am already back in Germany for 4 months right now. Time is really flying and March is marching in (what a brilliant pun hah!) and brings its entourage of green leaves, sunshine and warmer temperatures. And the days get longer again! No more sunset at 4 PM!
Living far away from home and returning after a long time, makes you able to see things in a different light. I spent my whole life in Germany and after one year in Asia I still felt a great culture shock. Now I am back to a routine and after all the first enthusiasm of being back home is gone (how did I miss bread and Bratwurst!), there are things which (probably) annoyed me before, but have been buried in oblivion, while being abroad.So here is my small list about things I despise the most about Germany.
I know, nobody likes the paperwork, the waiting and the driving all around city just to get one form from on place to hand it in at another one. But upon my return I had to face a new problem, which I never occurred before: Health insurance. While I stayed in Japan, I stopped being insured through my mother and had to open an own one. And I just realised it is expensive. I wished I could be a student again.
2. late trains
Whoever said that a supreme example of German punctuality is how exact on time the trains are running, should show me when and where he took a train. I remember that I arrived at Munch Airport and was about to take a train to the city centre, when it was announced the train was delayed. One may say that this was bad luck, but starting from that point I rarely took a train, which ran exactly on time. Fortunately there are finally bus companys, which offer cheap trips all around the country. The train might be more comfortable and fast, but as it is so much more expensive and also prone for delays, I go for the cheaper option.
It is true. Germans are not very smiley and warm. But I realised that especially people who work in the service sector often are rude, snippy and show annoyance to have to deal with you. It is not hard to return a smile.
Yes, I hate Sundays. The reason for this is that everything is closed. Too often I went to be hungry, because I could not do any grocery shopping. It is just a plainly boring day, destined for doing nothing.
Sometimes it would be nice to see the sun. Or the blue sky. Winter in Germany is depressing. I guess, my time on Okinawa corrupted my sense for weather.
6. Being the foreigner
I guess, this is a thing a lot of people face, when being a ethically minority. As I mentioned before, I was born and also grew up in Germany. German is my first language, I went to a school and university with mainly Germans. German culture and spirit is a big part of my life, of my own being. But still I never had the feeling I really belong here. In my year in Asia, I indulged in the feeling of not being different from others. I enjoyed being a part of the majority without sticking out because of my looks. Being back in a country with mostly caucasian people, I feel out of place. Especially in rural parts, people tend to stare. I frequently encounter people, which comment with "Ching chang chong", "Ni hao" or "Konnichiwa" on my appearance as Asian person. Experiencing such stuff your whole life, kind of makes it hard to make you feel at home. I always will be "the foreigner".
That's it. I do not have a lot of strong negative feelings for living here. Like every country Germany has good and bad sites and learning to accept both is important.
The last day of the year 2014 is going to say goodbye in a few hours and listening to the sound of premature firecrackers and hissing rockets, I can not really comprehend that this year is already over.
I made some beautiful memories in this past 365 days. I finally realised my dream to live in Japan, I travelled to places I always wanted to go and I met wonderful people from all over the world. Looking back there are more good then bad memories, more moments to remember then to forget. This map shows the places I went to and I hope the next year will be full of travelling and good memories as well.
I have a few solutions for this year and I hope I going to stick with them:
- I finally want to start to blog regularly. This is something I am trying for years already and I never could to persevere it.
-I want my waist to go down on Pre-Japan times size. I gained six kilo in the year living in Japan and I have a hard time to handle my extra weight now.
-I want to finish my Kanji-learn programme Wanikani.
-I want to master the art of webdesign.
-I am going to do real business with my best girl.
But before all of this I want to be good. I want to be a better version of myself. I want to challenge and exceed myself and be the best version I can be.
I am ready for 2015.
It has been a while since I was "really" doing something the last time. My recent days are filled with monotony and a slight feel of solitude. I know, I should be grateful for this time, since I can not remember, when I was really free of any obligation or schedule. But still... The feeling that I waste my time, while only "relaxing", will not just go away. Therefore I decided it is time to wake up from this comfortable embrace of dull days and silent hours. I spent way too much time alone in my head thinking about this and that without coming to an conclusion.
It has been while since I was home. And still I am not home completely. My heart lingers in a faraway place, refusing to come back and here I sit, thinking, remembering, full and still empty. I tried to organize my photos on my external hard drive and every time I start I am only able to go through some pictures and videos and before I know I just indulge myself in memories, completely forgetting time and location. I think I still need some time to sort this out.
After a year far away and seeing so much places and people, I wonder how everything can still be the same in this town and especially at home. I guess I am just too used to see something new everyday, every week and every month. And for that reason it seems so completely irrational, when something just plainly stays the same.
My travels are over for the time being and settling down for a longer time now, is a little bit odd and unwanted, because my wanderlust is not even slightly satisfied, but I just tell myself it is for now. And I am too broke to go anywhere else anyway. For now I just try to enjoy being at home, being fed 2 meals a day and having a soft bed to sleep in.
Somehow I have a feeling that something is somehow irretrievable over. A new chapter is opening. Trying to figure out where to go next is scary without compass and map. But I guess without having a given direction any option and way is open. Even if I am scared of the future, this is kind of comforting.