Expat Voices: Li Su on living in Germany
Taiwanese student Li Su has only lived in Germany for six weeks, enough for him to give you his first impressions of Germany and how it compares to other countries he has lived in within Europe.
Name: Li Su
City of residence: Hamburg, Germany
Date of birth: 20 August 1985
Civil status: Single
Reason for moving to Germany: Exchange Program/Language Learning/Travel
Lived in Germany for: six weeks
What was your first impression of Germany?
What do you think of the food?
Too greasy, with too much meat.
What do you think of the shopping in Germany?
Not too much discount and not too many alternatives (for fashion) as Spain or France.
What do you appreciate about living in Germany?
The student benefits and classical music.
Student benefits mean discounts everywhere. Here are a few examples (requested by Expatica Germany's editor!): 50 percent Discount Card (for a year) for the train (Bahn Card 50): EUR 118 Euro from EUR 236.
Performances (here is a selection): Last minute tickets: (most of the time they are the best seats available, usually available one hour before performances start), Staatsoper in Hamburg: EUR 15, Staatsoper in Berlin: EUR 13, Staatsoper in Würzburg: EUR 7, Staatsoper in Düsseldorf: EUR 7 (50 percent off booking in advance), Oper Frankurt: 50 percent off, Laeiszhalle in Hamburg: 50 percent off, Berliner Philharmonie: EUR 10, Münchner Philharmonie: EUR 7, Schauspiel Haus in Hamburg (theater): EUR 8.
Museums: always discounts from EUR 1-5.
One-year Museum Card for the National Museums in Berlin: EUR 20 (from EUR 40)
Insurance: around EUR 64 (from around EUR 80-120; depends on the types of employment)
What do you find most frustrating about living in Germany?
No Aquafresh (toothpaste).
What puzzles you about Germany and what do you miss since you’ve moved here?
People don’t smile. I miss the food in Taiwan!
How does the quality of life in Germany compare to the quality of life in other countries that you’ve lived in?
Fair. (Slightly cheaper than the Netherlands; not as clean, yet acceptable considering the scale of the governing.)
If you could change anything about Germany, what would it be?
What advice would you give to a newcomer?
Get a Brita water filter, even if they tell you the water is drinkable. I suggest people get a Brita filter because I subjectively think drinking the tap water here causes hair loss and bowel discomforts. On the top of that, Brita filter is made in Germany and hence offered at the lowest price here. On the top of that, Brita filter is made in Germany and hence offered at the lowest price here. These reasons apart, Brita does make the water taste better and makes a good jug.
Li Su freelances as a project manager, freelance features writer, translator (Chinese, English, and French), interpreter (Chinese and English), language consultant and artistic consultant for independent agencies in Taiwan.
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Photo credit: Fußball Wandbild in Hamburg Sankt Georg: Markus Merz (flickr.com)
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