The First Two Weeks: Some Observations and a Life Update
Well… I’m here! Not only am I here but I’ve survived my first two weeks of living in Germany and honestly I’m really proud of how I’ve handled it so far. Yes, I feel lonely. Yes, I feel overwhelmed. Yes, I’ve cried on Facetime to my parents multiple times but I honestly think it would be weird if I hadn’t. The majority of the time I am absolutely fine, even if my most used phrase so far has been ‘Ich verstehe nicht’ (=I don’t understand).
The biggest thing to note from my first 2 weeks is something I wasn’t really expecting. I absolutely love my job. The people I work with are all so lovely and kind and have gone out of their way to not only welcome me and make me feel comfortable but also speak English to me when they can and introduce me to German culture and food. They’re so understanding of the fact that I’ve never lived in Germany before and that everything is new to me at the moment and I will forever be grateful for the wonderful welcome they’ve given me. I am also in constant awe of the fact I can go for a walk around the factory if I finish lunch early and see helicopters that are worth millions of euros in various stages of production. I also don’t know if I’ll ever get used to walking to lunch and seeing people making airplane doors. It’s such an incredible experience and even though I’m only a week in I already feel so grateful to have this opportunity.
Some things I’ve noticed since I arrived…
- The first two weeks have involved a lot of miming things and describing words I can’t remember. My personal favourite has been trying to describe a freezer when I forgot the word for it, and having to say things like ‘it’s where you put frozen things’.
- As in the UK, there are certain YouTube adverts that seem to pop up all the time in Germany. The one that pops up the most seems to be an advert for Hollister jeans. Every time I see it I notice that the models look like real girls, not like the models we see on adverts in the UK. They’re not overly skinny, obviously plus size or strikingly beautiful. They’re just normal, pretty girls who don’t make you feel the same pressure to look like them as some UK adverts do.
- Marmite is hard to find and stupidly expensive. I’m talking €4.99 for a tiny pot. If you’re a marmite fan and moving to Germany, learn from my mistake and bring it with you!
- Another of my most used phrases is ‘Es ist mein Auslandsjahr’ (=It is my year abroad). Saying this seems to make people more patient when describing things and it also makes me feel less stupid when they know its the language that’s the problem!
- Nothing is more terrifying than a stranger asking for help and you having absolutely no idea what they’re saying. I’ve resorted to just giving them an answer that may or may not be right based on the context of their question and it usually does the trick.
- Double decker trains are absolutely amazing and I don’t understand why we don’t have them in the UK. Everything about German trains seems to put UK trains to shame.
I’m not ashamed to say I’m pretty proud of myself for how I’m doing so far. It has been scary and it is definitely difficult having to get used to so many new things at once but I’ve got through the first 2 weeks with only a few hiccups.
Just another 10 and a half months to go!