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6 years….

January 20, 2013

6 years ago yesterday, I arrived in Berlin, following a harrowing journey (involving me spilling boiling hot British Airways coffee all over myself) via a London airport with 9 other intrepid ‘Neuberliner’. We were all part of the Leonardo Da Vinci programme and didn’t know one another from Adam but the cold and unfriendliness of Berlin had us more or less clinging to eachother for the best part of our 3 month stay together.

3 months it wasn’t to be. I waved my new-found friends off and made a life for myself in Berlin. It sounds easy but it wasn’t. There were hiccups. Dating, for example: With no queer connections and men seemingly running for cover at even a hint of eye contact, I decided quite early in the game that the only way I was going to get laid was by returning to the UK for good. 3 days later, I went on a date with the (German!) man with whom I want to spend the rest of my life.

Despite having studied German, the language was still hard to deal with. That plus the ‘Berliner Schnauze’ had me willing spontaneous combustion on many occasions and hibernation in Winter would not have been a bad thing. However, there’s also an excellent expat community in Berlin and that discovery halted my route to certain insanity (or murder) πŸ™‚ I also managed to gain the trust of some of the natives and actually have some good German friends (see, I am totally integrated!)

3 years into my German adventure, our little half-German, half-Brit was born and in a way, I was born again. Yes, it sounds sappy but all of the ‘little stuff’ (or Kleinigkeiten- one of my favourite German words) became so utterly insignificant. I could do things I never thought I was capable of. So what if my German wasn’t perfect? I still had to call the doctor, go to the Amt to do treacherous paperwork and speak to people I didn’t know. I also got to know a lot of other parents for sharing not only stories about giving birth, poo and pipi but also for real practical support, which is needed even more due to the lack of extended family members in the area.

Of course I miss my family and friends in the UK terribly and feel a little pang of jealousy when I realise how much people who live near their loved ones can rely on family for support in every facet of their lives (man, how I would love to have my big bro close by to fix the washing machine!) BUT I love the life we’ve made for ourselves and don’t at all regret my decision to stay on in Berlin all those years ago.

 

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 20, 2013 21:55

    Happy anniversary, it goes quickly doesn’t it?! Berlin is highly populated by people who only ever planned on coming for a couple of weeks or months. It is an addictive city. I wish we could have hung out a bit in the partying days too πŸ˜‰

  2. March 14, 2013 22:09

    Very nice story! Mine is very similar, coming from Hungary, starting my 7th year in Denmark where I came to study, but fell in love, learnt the language (more or less…) and now I have a husband, two bilingual kids, a dog and a house… how did all that happen? πŸ™‚
    I am going to enjoy reading your posts! πŸ™‚

    • Mama-L permalink
      March 15, 2013 13:40

      Thanks Poppy and welcome! πŸ™‚

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  1. An Expat Anniversary: Six Years in Berlin | Young Germany

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