The first fortnight, and why I chose Germany

I've been asked by several people why I chose Germany over the other countries in Europe.

For one, Germany is handling Covid-19 incredibly well, like, way better than a lot of the rest of Europe. Of the 248,000 cases, 9500 have died from the virus.

Comparatively, the UK has had 430,000 cases and 40,000 deaths. Despite the German population being a third bigger than the UK.

So, there are the stats.

But obviously, I didn't just move here due to numbers. I also moved here because I've lived in France and Italy and I wanted a new experience. 

I wanted to be close enough to home that I wouldn't have to travel 48 hours to get back in the case of an emergency, and most importantly, I wanted to be somewhere where I had friends.

And despite having never stepped foot in Germany until last week, I happen to have a lot of German friends due to the fact that the east coast of Australia is full of Germans. 

When I lived in a hostel in Cairns, I made friends with an all-German group, and when they moved on, they were replaced with another, all-German group.

Which has left me with friends across the country.

There's also the fact that I associate Germany with being quite a festive country. Where I associate places like Portugal, Spain, France etc with being warm, sunny destinations, I've always pictured Germany as somewhere I would go at Christmastime or in the winter. 

So, on September 19th, I landed in Munich. I actually only went to Munich to see a handful of friends before travelling up to Nuremberg, where I now live. But I ended up falling in love with it. It feels incredibly safe, it's very traditional and it's a happy mix between busy and alive, but not too overwhelming.

It is also, however, incredibly expensive. Which is why I've come up to Nuremberg, a very beautiful old city an hour north of Munich. It's got half a million people, so isn't quite 'dead' but is also a lot quieter to Munich. 

I live in a beautiful old flat which has a tram stop and a bakery right outside, so life could be far, far worse.

My biggest challenge, as I knew it would be, is the language. I just can't wrap my bloody head around it. It's all completely non-sensical to me, despite the fact I speak fairly decent French and Italian. 

Everyone continues to tell me that German should be easy, as it's the closest language to English. However, I beg to differ. German is very similar to English in a lot of ways, however, it's similar in a completely different way to the Latin-based languages, which is the basis of the other languages I've ever learnt. 

As a result, I can speak absolutely no German. In a way which I never even had with Italian.

So, that's great.

I am nothing if not determined, however. And am hoping to find courses to take and continue with good old Duolingo in the meantime.

I'll be registering Anmeldung (my residency) here in a couple of weeks, to give myself more options when the clock strikes midnight on December 31st. Luckily, I don't need to make any dramatic decisions until June, so until then, I can live this German life and go back to the UK whenever I decide to.

So far, my experience has been nothing but positive, with the exception of my roommate walking in on me in the shower (having not met him until that very second). 

Both of us screamed, he apologised and backed out, and later left me some homemade chocolate chip cookies which may have been an apology? 

I'm not entirely sure, but I am prepared to let him continue accidentally walking in on me if he always leaves baked goods. 

Another huge positive is that the dreaded apartment hunt that everyone and their uncle warned me about, lasted approximately 24 hours. The owner of the Airbnb I'm currently renting, offered me to move in long-term after I told her I was looking for a room.

This is both a blessing and a curse. I get to continue to live in this beautiful apartment, in a beautiful city and (hopefully) save up a little bit of money in the meantime...

...But I will also continue to live directly opposite a bakery, which tests my self-restraint every single day.

Love, Alice x