Thursday, July 22, 2010

First week in Deutschland

So I’ve been living in Germany a week now. I bought a bike my first weekend and have been cycling to the train station in the mornings. It’s a bit faster than the bus, and despite it being Germany, the buses seem to be nearly as irregular as Ireland! Also it’s a handy way to get some exercise in. Even though my commute to work is an hour and a half door to door, I actually don’t mind it too much. Quite enjoy the cycle and then just relax and read a book on the train.

What I’m not too fond off is getting up so early and having such short evenings at home! Still after being unemployed and after travelling, I’ve been used to not working much at all, and now I’ve got a 40hour week! So was bound to be a bit of a culture shock. I get up between 6.30-6.45 and leave the house 7.15-7.30 and I’m in work by 9. Sometimes I get in a bit earlier and can pop into shops.

Got my bank account set up the other day during lunch. Went to Detusche bank as they’re so international. My account costs 4.95€ a month which is a bit of a pain. There seem to be more bank charges over here.

Getting on great with the boyf so far. Got a nice little routine going. I come home to a cooked dinner- only fair since he’s home hours earlier! And getting on great together. He’s been really supportive as he knows how hard all this is for me: working in a foreign language, new jobs, no friends over here…
So all in all, going pretty well for the first week! There’s a festivals on this weekend so we’ll probably go to that- I know, I know, there’s always a festival on over here! The weather’s been really lovely too- a proper Summer!

Two weeks back home then on to new life!

So I got a job! Found out on the Tuesday, and was flying home on the Thursday. Since I’d already booked two weeks back home then was due back Thursday 15th July, we decided I’d start on the Friday. Friday seems a strange day to start but it suited them as they’d have more time to train me in. Also I thought it was a good day to start. Have my first day, get an idea of it all, then have the weekend to recharge before the next week!

So the next day the Wednesday I went and registered as a citizen and got a welcome pack. Just needed to show my passport and give my address. Then back in Ireland for two weeks! It seemed like a long enough time but it ended up being pretty busy- trying to fit in meeting up with everyone, getting packed, buying some new clothes for Germany, going to doctor, bank etc.

Had a going away night out on the last Saturday- dinner in town with all my closest friends then on to a club for some dancing.Everyone’s been really supportive about the whole thing- though also saying that they’re gonna miss me. Got a mixture of Good Luck, congratulations and we’ll miss you cards! My feelings went from excited one day to nervous the next- the whole thing is pretty daunting! Can I manage working through German? Will I be lonely? Will I be able to make friends? How will I get on living with the boyf? And so on.. towards the end of the two weeks I mainly just felt excited about the new adventure!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Deciding to make the move

Since coming back from my year of travel, I got back to Ireland just right bang in the middle of the recession. So getting back on the career ladder has been proving extremly difficult. During my year away I had a lot of time to think and figure out what I want to do with my life (ok, I still don't really have a clue), but one of the things I realised was that I still think about my German ex boyfriend a lot. We'd broken up three years earlier after a three year relationship when the long distance got too much. At the time I had just started a new job in Ireland and was getting on brilliantly, and he was still in college, but had another three years to go- higher qualifications. Not to mention in Gemany, people stay in college much later than anyone else- you get people not graduating till they are in their 30s sometimes, it's crazy! But I digress. So I decided to go visit my German Ex for a few days.

During my visit we both realized that we still have feelings for each other. I visited a lot over the next few months- that's one advantage to being unemployed, you have time to go for long weekends, and we got back together. This time he was finally finishing his studies but since the job situation was so bad in ireland, and also because he wanted to have at least one year work experience on his CV, and since I was unemployed, he asked me to come to Germany and move in with him. The logical solution- this time we didn't want to let the long distance break us up and we wanted to give the relationship a proper shot. Even though it made sense, I still resisted the idea a bit- I'd only just come back from a year travelling and was enjoying being home, I'm quite a homebird at heart, and not to mention I hadn't spoken German in years!

So over the next few months, we continued our long distance relationship- visiting each other as often as we could, and I started revising my German and applying for jobs over in Baden W├╝rttemberg. The German was tough, but I gradually started getting it back. I borrowed some language learning tapes from the library and chatted to the GerMann in German over skype.

So finally I was called to an interview. This one was in a town that was quite far from the boyfriend, so we wouldn't be able to live together, but seeing eachother at weekends would be better than only every few weeks and it was a good company. However the place was really in the middle of no where and really hard to get to and going to the interview I has a feeling I'd be really lonely living there. Despite all our email correspondence being in German the interview was in English. It went quite well but I didn't end up getting the job. However, I wasn't too disappointed as I knew it wasn't for me!

Now I'm over in Germany again for two more interviews and if I get a job, I guess I'll just stay! And just go back some weekend to bring more of my stuff over. We've also been searching for apartments together, looking for one big enough for the two of us. I am finding this move quite scary to be honest- missing my friends and family and worried about how I'll get on working through German. I know the first few months settling in will probably be the difficult.