Friday, 4 January 2013
Emigrating to Germany? Well, yes!
A seismic shift is rippling through the intercultural perspective. Germany has suddenly become the country people move to. For work, yes - but not just. For a more agreeable and relaxed lifestyle. For going to university and not having to pay. For living in an exciting and culturally vibrant environment (Berlin) whilst not having to fork out masses of money for a flat. For understanding that it's not necessary to lumber yourself with a mortgage all through your life - and yet still be able to live ina nice flat or house -because in Germany renting is the genrally accepted norm. And for safety. And for a thousand other reasons...
The once frowned-upon country which never even featured on the travel pages of magazines (despite having some the most spectacular scenery in Europe) has suddenly become the go-to place of choice Maybe Germany had just been overlooked for some time. Maybe there didn't seem to be a particular reason to go. People had it down as solid, but boring, unexciting - just sort of there.
The deteriorating economic climate in many European country turned out to be the intitial spark that made people aware of Germany. But suddenly it's quite literally on the map. Tourist numbers are up, people - especially Britons - are suddenly very knowledgeable about Germany, discussing export figures (up?) versus retail sales (down?). And who would have thought - they're even reading German novels that had been all but forgotten in Germany were it not for the boost from Britain, yes I'm talking about Fallada's Alone in Berlin which became a bestseller in the UK! http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/may/23/hans-fallada-thriller-surprise-hit
Quality standards improve quality of life - it's as simple as that. And not just for those who can afford it - in Germany, class inequality is a lot less pronounced than, say, in the UK. Decent standards in all wakes of life (housing, transport, food are available to all. Concomitantly, there is much less (or actually no) class hatred, and a lot less crime.
Nobody's saying Germany is the new Eden. You will still have to put up with a certain staidness, with hermetically shut shops on Sunday, a strong regionalism, and an often technological way of thinking. But these disadvantages are far outstripped by the enormous benefits and the pleasures of living here.
If you have any specific questions about life in Germany, please don't hesitate to contact me. I'm also on twitter @Margit11