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How many years have you been living in Germany, Rob?
I’ve been living in German speaking areas for about seven years.
seven years. Erm..I spent…erm..about four years living in Germany the
first time in..in..Frankfurt, or Giessen rather, and…near Cologne. And then we
moved down to Basel for a couple of years, and now I live back up not
from Cologne again.
How does life in Germany compare with life in the UK?
. It’s more
organised. Streets are cleaner. Erm…the bureaucracy is a system that….i..it’s
one people laugh about a lot; Germany bureaucracy and
and organisation…but the system does work.
So you can get things done. If you have t..to go to the local government to get
some papers, you can do it quite easily.
, yeah. To
register in a new area is something that takes a half an hour. It’s very simple,
very easy. You take along the papers you need, they get stamped and you
again. It’s easy.
Sounds fantastic! Erm..what about the weather, the food?
Heh…heh..heh..erm..it depends on the area of Germany. The area I keep
landing in is grey, relatively cold. It never gets really cold in winter, it
never gets really hot in summer. Erm..i..it’s quite like England,
southern Germany is..is really warm..i..it’s beautiful and they have good heavy
winters…lots of snow,
degrees in summer…
Lot’s of skiing presumably..
They have..yeah.. lots of skiing in Schwarzwald….yeah, it’s…er..there’s a
How’s the food?
Heh..heh..heavy! Heh…the food is very heavy..erm..lots of pork, lots of
cream sauces..on..on foods..erm…lots of… Bratkartoffeln …these fried potatoes,
very fatty. Erm… sauerkraut..this pickled cabbage that’s cooked..sauerkraut..it’s
No, and I don’t intent to.
How would you describe German people..erm..
and the Italians...Mediterranean people. How would they compare?
. It takes a long
time to get to know..erm..German people in comparison, I would say, to..to..Mediterranean
peoples. They’re very direct. If you ask a..a direct question, however personal,
you might be told ‘that’s none of your business’, or you might be given a fairly
complete answer. They won’t go…they won’t talk around the subject. They’ll tell
you what they think.
So, quite direct.
Very direct. Erm..and that can be…as a Brit moving to Germany that can be
to start with.
But you obviously feel comfortable with that.
I like it because you know exactly where you
no bullshit, you get exactly what..what the person thinks.
Is it easy to get to..to get to know…to meet people if you go out socially. Are
It depends. You move into a new village, then it will take a good six months
or so before people start to speak to you. They want to
, they want to
come to their own decision about you first. Erm..once they decide that actually
you're not too bad, erm..then.. once..once they decide they like you then they
mean it..erm…and then you’re really there.