Life Update: Lockdown in Germany

When I moved to Germany back in September, I knew that a second lockdown was highly likely. 'The second wave' was already being discussed, and half of the reason I moved when I did, was because I wanted to be away from the UK if and when that happened.

Needless to say, at the end of October Angela Merkel announced a nationwide lockdown for the month of November. And, whilst I wasn't particularly worried about anything, I naturally felt a bit down.

The good news is, lockdown in Germany is less intense than in the UK. We can meet people from afar, and see one other household, which has been a blessing.

Last week, I was actually tested for Coronavirus as I returned from Berlin, Germany's number one 'hotspot', and wanted to ensure everything was ok. 

In typical German fashion, the process was highly efficient and incredibly regimented. I was in and out in a flash and had my results within 48 hours. My friend, who I'm in lockdown with, was tested and had their results back within 24 hours - so, Germany has clearly nailed that process.

The UK could never.

Luckily for me, Coronavirus doesn't impact my job. The industry I'm in is entirely online, and I was actually hired into this position during the last lockdown, due to growth within the startup. 

So day-to-day work life hasn't changed at all. And I count myself incredibly lucky to still be employed and to not be worrying about that side of things - particularly because I spent four months in lockdown 1.0 job hunting.

My general update is fairly dull, and life here is similarly quiet. However, I did think I'd share a few of the series/listens/life bits which are keeping me going at the moment:

Top of the list comes Phone a Friend, a podcast which I've actually been following since day one. It's a mental health podcast between George Ezra and Ollie MN, and highlights the importance of talking through your feelings, your thoughts and your problems. Not only does it emphasise men's mental health, but as it's a weekly podcast, it's also extremely relevant and relatable to what we're all going through right now.

I heard You're Wrong About... being mentioned on The High Low (another of my favourite podcasts, with Dolly Alderton and Pandora Sykes), and decided to give it a listen. I'm now hooked. Essentially, the two hosts debunk myths and dig into fresh takes on conspiracies, true crime and subjects that we're all familiar with. It's well researched, and considering the topics covered, stays fairly light. Right now, they're covering a 5-parter on Princess Diana and it is GREAT.

I'm a self-confessed true crime addict, from documentaries to podcasts. As an avid Buzzfeed Unsolved viewer, myself and my friend are re-watching some old favourites. One of these was an episode on the Collar Bomb Bank Robbery, which led us into watching Evil Genius on Netflix. Evil Genius is a much more in-depth look at the masterminds behind the robbery, the story of the victim, and what really happened. If you haven't seen it already, it is amazing, however, the first episode is quite graphic at one point. 

Over the last couple of days, I've started watching The Queen's Gambit. I've seen everyone and their uncle raving about it, and I can absolutely understand why. It follows Beth, an incredibly talented chess player who is orphaned at age 9 and becomes addicted to tranquilisers. I'm still not finished with this series, but can confirm, it is excellent.

I'm only reading one book at the moment, which is The Book of Two Ways, by Jodi Picoult. Anyone who knows me, knows she is my favourite author and thus far, this one doesn't disappoint. I try so hard to slow down my reading, because I'm often in the habit of reading too quickly and feeling disappointed at the end, instead of savouring it. The book version of a binge-watch. This book follows a woman who has just survived a plane crash, and instead of returning home to her family, decides to follow a former path in her life.

I've also just finished Invisible Women, which I truly believe every single person on the planet should read. Typically, the readership is women, which is ironic because really, it's men who need to be clued up on some of its context. Essentially, this book is a data-driven, scientific approach to the reality of our world being designed for men as the 'neutral', and how this impacts everything.

Despite the obvious, I still am extremely happy here in Germany. I have a lovely home, I'm in lockdown with great people and I'm still able to leave the house to see friends socially-distanced. 

Frankly, the biggest disappointment is Christmas, which I've always known would be hard to fly home for, but has now been written-off.

I hope you are all staying well, and safe.

A slightly different, more chatty blog post from me, but that is a roundup of my life right now.

Love, Alice x