Expat Voices: Graeme Collins on living in Germany
British expat Graeme Collins loves Germany’s clean and disciplined culture but wishes its service industry was just a little bit nicer.
Name: Graeme Collins
City of residence: Hameln
Date of birth: 06.09.1968
Civil status: Married
Occupation: Regional Manager
Reason for moving to Germany: Employment
What was your first impression of Germany?
Thoroughly enthralling! A very disciplined culture, a very clean environment. The natives were incredibly friendly and had a desire to speak in English!
What do you think of the food?
At first, I found it very meat-orientated and full of big heavy meals. However, once I had spent more time in the country, I found that all types of cuisine were readily available. Fish, of which I am a lover, is sometimes hard to find but I soon discovered that a fish van operated in the carpark to our local supermarket!
What do you think of the shopping in Germany?
Excellent. All types of shopping are available from designer to second hand! And with regards to food shopping, there is a huge retail selection.
What do you appreciate about living in Germany?
The pace of life, the cleanliness, the discipline. The fact that Sundays should be spent indulging in leisure time. The people are very friendly and usually very willing to please.
What do you find most frustrating about living in Germany?
Sometimes, restaurants can only be described as, as the Germans say, “a service desert”! Also, understandably as the culture is disciplined, there is usually more red tape than most other countries when it comes to legal matters etc.
What puzzles you about German culture and what do you miss since you’ve moved here?
How does the quality of life in Germany compare to the quality of life in other countries that you’ve lived in?
Superior to most. On par with the USA.
If you could change anything about Germany, what would it be?
Sometimes Germans only see things in black and white -- they can lack a certain flexibility in personal matters.
What advice would you give to a newcomer?
Embrace and welcome the change with open arms, and do not be afraid of speaking English or for that matter practicing your German -- they love it!
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