Moving West #1 Preparation

Wait, wow. I realized I really haven´t been writing anything this year! And its already end of May. Sorry for my absence. I´ve been really busy…and honestly a lot has been going on. So I´ve been receiving quite a lot of questions about moving to Germany, like what I did to prepare, my struggles, and so on. So I thought I would want to write each of these parts one by one.

Perhaps the most common thought of what I will write here is how awesome it feels to move from South East Asia to Europe. Wrong. Its about struggles and how much effort can one do in the process. Now I would say I haven´t  successfuly move here yet as I am still looking for a job (but I just got VISA extension for job hunt, yay!!). Nonetheless, here are some things you actually can do in advance before you depart. Continue reading

Advertisements

Hamburg

I spent nearly a week in this city, visiting a very good friend of mine whose practically like my older sister. Having known her for more than 10 years, she is probably one of the people I’m still close to after a long time. First impression of this city: its beautiful. It’s a port city, where you can enjoy a beautiful sight nearly everywhere you walk. However, its freaking cold and the wind is strong. I instantly fell in love with this city and wish my fortune could bring me to get a job here. I had the same feeling every time I’ve been somewhere and think “this is perfect” I normally always ended up there. My dorm high school which I doubt at first (well, if I can survive or not) – but feels so right the moment I step in the center of the school. The university where I pursue my bachelor, my uni here where I’m still undertaking my master degree – and now this city. I love Ilmenau and the peacefulness (despite all the freakos that recently invades) but I get the feeling that I might not be able to find anything for a living here. But Hambug looks like it offers vast chance for me, and one small part of it has suddenly pop up. So, who knows? Crossing fingers.

Plus, the oddest thing is I actually kinda like all the people I just met there (well, so far) which is very rare for me. Both my bestfriend and I are trying our best to ditch PhD. Not a thing that would make us happy, at least definitely not at the nearest time.

So now, hopping on to the pictures!

Continue reading

Things You (might) Discover When You’re An Asian Who Hangs Out with Germans.

1. They eat everything with a fork. Really. EVERYTHING. Yesterday I had lunch with my friend’s family and they eat rice and curry with a fork. As an Asian, I found this really strange, especially because I use to eat everything with either spoon or chopsticks.

2. They think Asians are incredibly smart and talented. They said, at least most of the Asians who lived here. Well, maybe. But I’ve seen some who are contrariwise.

3. They eat milk rice with cherries. I found this disturbing, so I ate it with frikadelle (meat balls) instead, or just plain. They also thought I’ve done an abomination. But as an Asian, it makes more sense to me to eat rice with meat than cherries.

4. They like to collect vintage/antiques, and this is not only limited to the senior citizens. I’ve mostly seen old train miniatures.

5. You won’t find any street vendors other than those selling bratwurst. Even if you do, most likely it will be meat or spices. Of course, unless its Christmas.

6. They love chocolates and any dairy products. You’ll be given chocolate in St. Nikolaus day and find one small piece every day in their advent calendar.

7. You’ll find bizarre “Asian” spices that doesn’t make sense to you, such as sambal hot sauce (sambal already means hot sauce) or Asian spice mix. They even have “Greek spice mix” which made my Greek best friend raged. I mean, its understandable when they don’t get a hang of Asian spices, but Greek is still in Europe. Man… Continue reading

What Chinese People Would Probably Say to German Vendors

Before you read this please note that I’m a half Chinese who currently live in Germany, so I only write this subjectively to my experience. No hard feelings whatsoever.

1. in Germany, ALL stores are closed in Sunday, even groceries, supermarket, restaurants or drugstores (except those who are probably not German or decided to open). Chinese people would say, especially groceries and supermarket are places that someone would suddenly want to visit when they remember they need something – because these shops sell daily needs. As a vendor you should be standby for your customers. Its the same for restaurants. In the end the Chinese would say: you could loose your fortune.

2. Germans said its rude to come to a store when its like 5 minutes before its closed. Chinese people would say, even if you’re closed already and you see someone running into your shop with a shopping list, you should serve them because that’s a fortune for you and you should be grateful. Rejecting fortune and disappointing customer beyond any reason is stupid. It could cost you your fortune.

3. Its common for offices and even shops in Germany to have an irregular opening hours, even in weekdays. They could open from 9 am to 3 pm today but from 8 am to 12 pm tomorrow. Chinese people would say, its preposterous to trouble your customer with such thing. It will make them feel uneasy and troubled. They are customers, they bring you fortune and they are supposed to be able to know for sure when they could come. They probably won’t bother memorizing your silly opening hours, then it means they probably won’t use your services anymore because your opening hour is too troublesome. They will go to your competitor (in this case, most likely immigrant vendors). You will loose your fortune.

4. The shops, restaurants, etc normally closes earlier in Friday (and or) Saturday. Chinese people would say: that’s the day people want to gather with friends/family after they’re off work/school. Its a peak time, its a good chance to earn your fortune. Closing early means loosing the fortune you’re suppose to earn.

5. Some German vendors doesn’t really like being visited by auslaender (so to say, foreigner). They just don’t like them, thus they don’t give friendly services. Chinese people would say, you should be friendly to ALL of your customers. If they are from somewhere nearby, they will bring their friends and relatives to come with them, thus more fortune for you. If they are from abroad and you give good services, they will recommend your services/shop to other people who want to visit the country/city where you live. You are throwing away your fortune.

6. Next pinpoint from no.5. Generally, German vendors doesn’t like speaking English. So when there are some tourist who came asking for something in English, they will give you a clinching look. They think if you come to Germany then you should speak German. Chinese people would say, if you know foreigners would visit your shop, then YOU should learn to speak English instead of vice versa. Or if you already speak English, get used to it. Deal with it, that’s how you earn your fortune. Being prideful beyond any reason in this case means loosing your fortune.

7. When you come to a German vendor and you don’t find something you were looking for, then its your problem. Chinese vendors would note if this happens continuously, and consider if they should provide them (if its visible they will certainly do so) – instead of ignoring it – because it probably means you’re wasting a chance to get a fortune.

8. Don’t be so happy when you enter a restaurant at 11 pm when it closes at 12. The last order might be taken at 10.30, so practically you can only order ready to serve drinks like Coke. Contrariwise, the Chinese normally takes ANY last orders, if its a home-owned. Franchised ones would normally take last orders up to 30 minutes before closing. Chinese people has no words for the German vendors.

will be adding more once I found something else 😀 but I think what I’ve written so far is quite enough to give you the picture, that German vendors aren’t the best businessman in they eyes of the Chinese.