Geek Mädel: Finding German penpals on dating sites
Meg McFarlane finds a pleasant, surprising twist about German culture after signing up to a local dating site.
Last week I had two different problems on my mind:
1. I wanted and needed to practice writing in German but found the topics set in textbooks unbelievably boring and unrealistic.
2. I really wanted to meet other lesbians in Hamburg cause I know exactly zero and this makes dating really hard.
So, I decided to basically kill two birds with one stone, and after a long internal debate, I put a profile on a German lesbian dating site. Since I'm absolutely dreadful at writing dating profiles, let alone one in German, I decided to keep it simple and highlight two main things about myself; that I'm Australian and that one of my hobbies was murdering the German language. I decided to totally cash in on the foreigner thing and this time make it work for me rather than against me. I figured it would get people interested and I would get a bit of writing practice before they figured out that I wasn't that interesting or it was too painful to read my badly written emails.
Surprisingly, I got 5 responses within 48 hours of putting up my profile. One was so unbelievably odd and creepy that it wasn't worth responding to, but the other four people seemed totally normal. Unfortunately, two of them didn't live in Hamburg but were kind enough to keep writing to me even though my written German isn't fantastic. One of them actually corrects my emails, which is helpful and amusing at the same time.
The two (which actually became three this morning) who do live in Hamburg want to meet up, which while this is awesome, it is also unbelievable stressful because, oh my god, I will have to try to speak German and not sound like a three-year-old. Definitely not going to be impressing anyone with my conversational skills.
Still this week has been fantastic in terms of getting in some German writing practice as I'm writing about four emails a day. All of them are still in the getting-to-know-you phase, so I'm repeating a lot of the content. But for the first time ever, I'm finding writing in German fun rather than a chore.
If you are looking for German penpals, I can definitely recommend using dating sites. If you aren't interested in dating you can make it clear in your profile that you are just looking for friends. People will still reply because I find that Germans as a whole are really interested as to why you would choose to live in their country. It is a great way to practice your German writing, get to know some Germans, and learn more about the German way of life.
Meg McFarlane is an IT geek whose company gave just 30 days warning before transferring her from Sydney, Australia, to Hamburg, Germany. Three years on, saying yes to that transfer was the best decision ever made, even though she was in no way prepared. Her blog Geek Mädel is a chronicle of her attempts to integrate into life in Germany and get her head around German grammar. As a social media addict, she can also be found on Twitter and Tumblr.
Photo Credit: jjpacres.
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