Thursday, March 22, 2007

procrastinating - it's what I do best

Well, one of the things I do best, anyway.

I'm supposed to be packing for our trip. I hate packing. That's why I've chosen to sit here and do the Expat 54321 Meme that Blythe tagged me for.

5) Name five things you love in your new country:

(Hoo boy, this isn't going to be easy)
  • the public transportation system
  • beautiful cut flowers at reasonable prices
  • the cheese
  • my little black Twingo (I hate driving yet I love my car. Go figure.)
  • the fact that Germany is not Belgium or Switzerland

4) Name four things that you miss from your native country

  • my Vancouver family and friends
  • real nature right on my doorstep - the Coastal Mountains, the forests and the Pacific Ocean
  • good, authentic ethnic restaurants
  • the multicultural society

3) Name three things that annoy you a bit (or much) in your new country:

  • cigarette smoke everywhere
  • poorly stocked supermarkets selling low quality food
  • the biting wind, especially combined with the horizontal, never-ending rain

2) Name two things that surprise you (or surprised you in the beginning) in your new country:

  • very homogeneous, xenophobic society
  • the mediocrity of the German school system (here and here)

1) Name one thing that you would miss terribly in your new country, if you had to leave it.

You mean except for the wonderful expat friends I have gotten to meet here? Not a thing, my dears, not a thing.

But that's just me...

Your mileage may vary.

Go ahead and do this meme - it really gets you thinking.

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    At March 22, 2007 1:12 PM, Blogger Sandra said...

    If you left Germany, would you miss speaking and hearing German? I think becoming bilingual as an adult is a real accomplishment. It seems like you might miss the language.

    At March 22, 2007 1:16 PM, Blogger christina said...

    Sandra - Well, I think I would probably continue to speak German with my husband since that has been "our" language all along and I'd definitely make sure that the kids kept it up so I doubt it would disappear completely.

    At March 22, 2007 2:19 PM, Blogger Schokolade Madchen said...

    Yes! The beautiful flowers at reasonable prices are pretty amazing. Orchids are so inexpensive. We are choosing the flowers for my wedding in Munich and I plan on having as many as possible!

    At March 22, 2007 2:26 PM, Blogger charlotte said...

    Thanks for the great meme! I'm going to tag myself. Nothing wrong with a bit of procrastination ... may have to indulge in some myself.

    At March 22, 2007 5:55 PM, Blogger Christina said...

    Orchids (and other flowers and plants) are really cheap here. That's a good point that I forgot about!

    At March 22, 2007 10:01 PM, Blogger Dixie said...

    Wow. I don't have a problem at all with poorly stocked supermarkets selling low quality food. I'm actually rather impressed with the quality of food I have available to me.

    I live in a pretty ethnically mixed area as well. In my building alone there are Germans, Turks, Arabs, Africans, Vietnamese, Russians, Poles and one little ol' American and we all get along very well. :)

    I suppose what area of the country one lives in can make a difference.

    At March 22, 2007 10:36 PM, Blogger CanadianSwiss said...

    I wonder if you wouldn't miss a thing once you had left Germany (except your expat friends.) Maybe you'd have to make this meme a few years after returning? Believe me, I understand your longing to return, but really?? Nothing??

    At March 22, 2007 10:39 PM, Blogger EllasDevil said...

    This is a very interesting meme.

    I've always thought it's amazing how people uproot their entire life and go half way across the world to be with someone.

    I like how honest you've been

    At March 23, 2007 4:00 AM, Blogger Rositta said...

    I love the Wurstplatte, we have it for breakfast every time I visit Germany. My Mom still eats like that for breakfast, albeit not in such great quantities. Love the small cars but on they scare me on the highways with all the big 18 wheelers, also couldn't accomodate Mom's wheelchair. We almost moved to Greece in 1997 but I couldn't hack it there so my sweetie changed his mind, thank goodness...ciao

    At March 23, 2007 8:44 AM, Blogger christina said...

    schokolade madchen - Oh yeah, you can go wild with the flowers, although I'm sure florists around here also charge a pretty penny for their sercives when it comes to a professional arrangement.

    charlotte - I look forward to your twist on this. Today leaves no time for procrastination - I need to get to work now - well, right after I finish commenting on these comments.:-)

    Christina - It's so nice to be able to have fresh flowers in the house every day and not worry about breaking the budget. And the plants for the garden are really a steal most of the time.

    Dixie - Well, I've heard tons of complaints about the hygiene standards and food scandals going on in German supermarkets and it seems like there's something new every week on German TV or in the news magazines. It's all relative, though and really depends on where you come from and what you were used to. My husband just adores the supermarkets in B.C. and says there's no comparison.

    The multi-culti thing does depend on the area. What bugs me is that Germany has such a hard time integrating (and by this I don't mean assimilating) its foreigners and many of them are treated as second class citizens, especially in regards to education, jobs etc.

    CSwiss - There's nothing I can think of at the moment, but of course that could change at any time. I'll let you know. I notice you didn't put down anything either :-)

    ellasdevil - Well, that's exactly what we talked about over the weekend at great length - the things you have to give up (and not just in the material sense) to move and be with someone else and whether it's all worth it in the end. Some people move to get away from a bad situation and they tend to end up being happier, because anything is better than what they left back home, but others who move just to be with their partner can have a rough time of it. As for being honest - I've lived here a long, long time and I lost my rose-coloured glasses quite some time ago.

    rositta - Oh yes, my husband would eat the wurstplatte all the time if I let him! The little cars are great for getting around town but they really are too dangerous for the autobahn and there are so many terrible accidents. That's why I don't drive all that much. Hmm, moving to Greece would have been...interesting. I've read about some of the issues there.

    At March 24, 2007 3:31 PM, Blogger Ginnie said...

    Since I'm not exactly an expat, I find these memes very educational, Christina. I guess I'm the lucky one that can go back-n-forth all the time and get only the best of both worlds?!

    At March 25, 2007 9:38 AM, Blogger woman wandering said...

    I roared with laughter when I read that you were glad that Germany wasn't Switzerland or Belgium.

    No to explain the laughter when my Belgian comes to find out why his kiwi woman is laughing alone so loudly ...

    I'm stunned by the poor quality fruit and veges here in Belgium too ... and the water quality is so poor. They pay the taxes ...

    At March 25, 2007 9:41 AM, Blogger woman wandering said...

    That would be 'now' to explain ... not 'no' to explain.

    Losing my English, not filling the resulting void with anything new ;)

    My excuse, sitting in the spring sun early on a Sunday morning ... of course there will be comment errors.

    At April 25, 2007 10:36 PM, Blogger mar said...

    That's one thing I love in Italy: no smoking all over! it's wonderful. I lived in Germany for 9 years and yes: what I miss is the dear friends, that's it. Ok, maybe a couple of stores and my bakery but essentially is the people. Definetely NOT the weather, lol
    I have to steal this meme


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