It's officially been over 8 months since I moved to Germany. Since then, I've completed a semester at a university, worked 3 months in my internship, lived in 2 different cities and visited 16 others (I just counted and I'm quite suprised at that!). It's been a challenging half a year, but it's been an amazing experience too.
I've had a few people requesting more posts on my life abroad, and I'm more than happy to oblige. The thing is that right now, my life probably isn't as exciting as you might think it is. That's what working a full time, 9-6, Monday-Friday job does to you. I will post another update soon (you can read my old updates here) as I've recently visited Mainz and Wiesbaden, been back to England and I have a few things to talk about, but really, my life has been quite quiet. That's what less time and expensive rent does *sad face*.
So for today's post, I thought I'd talk about some of the things that I've learned or experienced since I've been living out of the UK. If you've ever lived abroad, I'm sure you will relate to some of these, and even if you haven't, you might find it quite amusing to see what happens when you're taken out of the British isles for a period of time.
Things only British people who've lived abroad will understand:
The British accent is a truly marvelous thing
I never thought I'd miss a Norfolk accent but oh wow, I miss EVERY accent of the British isles. When I hear someone from Britain talking in the streets, I want to chase after them and ask them to talk to me a bit more. I'm sorry Germans, your English is actually very good on the whole, I'm just more partial to a Liverpudlian accent.
Phone companies need to sort out this whole using your phone abroad thing
I know we're making process with getting rid of data roaming charges and all, but this doesn't help me now. I really didn't want to have to get a new German phone number or not use my British one so I ended up getting a deal with EE where I paid £10 more a month and got free texts and calls in the EU. I was also promised 1GB of data, but turned out they lied and I don't get any data, so I've coped with no mobile data for the last 6 months. It's not been as nightmarish as I thought, but my life would have been a hell of a lot easier if I could just use my normal phone contract abroad.
British TV is simply world class
Oh British TV is SO good. Nothing quite compares to the Bake Off, the jungle, or Jeremy Kyle for that matter.
British people actually do live up to the stereotype of being super polite
Who would've thought it.
I'm not sure I will ever get used to the German's bluntness or their staring (even after you've made eye contact - pls stop that).
Finding a British food shop is like finding the end of the rainbow
I remember the day as clear as though it were yesterday when Tom and I stumbled across a British shop in Bonn and found all the heavenly goods from England. We weren't leaving without a bottle of the nectar that is orange squash. If only Frankfurt still had a M&S, I would definitely do my weekly shop in there. Well, until my ERASMUS ran out.
Never knowing which way to look when crossing a road
I still get confused with which way to look, why do we drive on a different side of the road? Cars seem to come out of every direction. I've even nearly been run over by crossing the one way street outside my flat in Mannheim that I crossed everyday because a car was reversing up it. When I go back to England, I look the wrong way. Now it's just easier and safer to look in every direction at least 7 times.
The culture shock coming back to England is a real thing
All jokes aside, this is something I NEVER expected. Everyone warns you about the culture shock of moving abroad, but no-one warns you of it coming back. Maybe it's just me. It's such a strange concept, that you can be so used to a country that you've grown up in and lived in for the first twenty years of your life, and then a few months living abroad can change how you feel about your country so much. I'm sure when I move back I'll re-adjust much quicker than I adjusted moving here, but it still doesn't quite feel right, and everything feels a little bit odd. Notably, the fact that no-one seems to be in a rush (excluding the tube), people say sorry, and drinking on the street is highly frowned upon (and actually illegal in some places).
Have you ever lived abroad and can relate to these? What did you struggle with?