Friday, March 16, 2007

Expat Meme = Easy Cookbook Post for Friday!


I got this expat-themed meme from J at Germany Doesn't Suck and am going to attempt it, though it looks pretty difficult!

5) Name five things you love in your new country:

1. Being able to get around town on a bike with considerably less fear for my life than in the US.

2. Being able to get around, even to small towns, on trains and other public transportation.

3. The sheer lack of fake people. The US, especially the midwest, is Fake Central.

4. Wine and food are cheaper! (In the case of wine, much cheaper!)

5. Lack of suburban sprawl between cities. Even cities close to one another have green space between them!

4) Name four things that you miss from your native country:

1. One-stop shopping.

2. Being able to talk to anybody - no language barrier!

3. Big apartments! Big kitchen sinks and big refrigerators! Big washing machines!

4. There are many foods I miss. It would be quite a job listing all of them.

3) Name three things that annoy you a bit (or much) in your new country:

1. Lack of social interaction at work - all the office doors being closed.

2. Two taxes in particular - the 19% sales tax (but at least it's included in the listed price) and the 17 EUR tax just for owning a TV, no matter what your income level.

3. Grocery stores aren't open on Sundays. (Both good and bad, but when I'm sharing the store with 10000 other shoppers on Saturday afternoon because we all have to get it done today, and there's no produce left and I can't get my cart past's more on the bad side.)

2) Name two things that surprise you (or surprised you in the beginning) in your new country:

1. How expensive the trains are. Somehow I thought it would be less.

2. How reliant Germans are on cars. It's certainly nowhere near US levels of car-reliance, but they are still quite dependent.

1) Name one thing that you would miss terribly in your new country, if you had to leave it.

1. The relaxed atmosphere and reduced commercialism relative to the US. Of course if I next moved to another country that was also relaxed and less commercial than the US, maybe this wouldn't be a problem.

I think there are many other things I could have mentioned in all categories, but these are what came to mind this morning!


  1. It sounds (from previous posts mainly) that you're having a bad week. I hope you get to relax this weekend (do you have classes?) and things look better next week.

    We had snow here today, on March 16!

  2. Sara: I usually try to avoid anything that's not specifically relevant, but this one is :)

    Mary: Well, just one bad night :) No classes, just painting. I can believe you're having snow! Winter isn't over in that part of the country until the end of April or so!!

    Arashi-Kishu: Hey, it's for everybody who wants to :)

  3. Interesting how many of your items would show up on my list too.

    The Saturday grocery-madness would certainly be there. That was one thing I tried to avoid.

    The car-reliance was surprising to me too. I think the car-culture in many ways is just as bad as in the US ... in some ways worse because of the agressive driving and insistence on no tempo limits.

    >> The sheer lack of fake people.

    I found this refreshing also, but on the flip side, often a seemingly forced sense of detachment ... where people seem to go out of their way to pretend you are not there, eg, when walking through the neighborhood.

  4. Brian: I think car-culture is a little less bad than the US because in the most of the US you simply cannot get around without a car, where as you can do pretty well without one here. The lack of speed limits here is an interesting aspect, though.
    The way people try to avoid each other is just like where I last lived, Boston, so that hasn't bothered me so much. I think it was actually worse in Boston - people here at least look at you while ignoring you - in Boston people try really hard to look another direction!!


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