Time may fly when you’re having fun, but it really goes into light speed mode when you move to a new country. We have officially been in Germany for one month, and it has been such a whirlwind. In order to properly commemorate such an occasion, here are some of the things we have noticed about our new home.
Things we love about German culture:
- Public transportation: We love the ease of walking a few feet form our apartment onto the Straßebahn (street train) and getting wherever we need to go. Cade is a HUGE fan!
- Coffee and cake: Between 1:00-3:00 every day, you can expect to take a break to have coffee (or hot chocolate, tea, etc.) and cake. It. Is. Awesome.
- Great service: People stereotype Germans as being cold and unfriendly, but people take their jobs seriously. Clerks and servers are really good at what they do, and you can count on them to do a good job.
- Hospitality: Germans know how to host. Being invited to someone’s house is never something quick; rather, you can expect to enjoy great conversation, good food, and — of course — coffee and cake for hours.
Things that have taken a wee bit of adjusting:
- Credit cards: Nobody takes credit cards. Seriously. Even big stores like IKEA don’t take them. That has been a challenge since we have needed things like furniture.
- Paperwork and bureaucracy: It seems like everything in the U.S. is online, and it is pretty rare to have to wait too long for things to get done. In Germany, it is very hard to find good information online regarding how to get things done, and when you do, you can bet that there will be lots of paperwork to go with it. Oh, and you need to print it. Everyone prints everything on real life pieces of paper. We sometimes stare at all the paper we’ve received and have a moment of silence for all the trees whose lives have been lost to German bureaucracy.
- Let there be LIGHT: Or not. Read about Nick’s battle with German electricity here.
- Language: It goes without saying that learning a new language is hard, but immersion is tiring! We love the German language, but after you speak in German most of the day, you have what I call a Deutscher Kopfschmerzen, or a German headache.
Regardless of the good and bad of moving to a new country and culture, we have seen so much good in how God is moving in our situation. He has provided beyond what could have ever expected in the last month: amazing mentors, a beautiful apartment that already feels like home, great new friends with that aforementioned German hospitality, and so much more. We truly feel like we are exactly where we need to be to help spread the good news that Jesus is Lord, and he conquers everything. Thank you to everyone who helped us on our journey to get to Germany! We are excited to see what the future holds.