Back at home while I was stalking every web site about Berlin all I read about was how great life there is, laid back and easygoing, diverse lifestyles and cosmopolitan structure of friendly neighborhoods, cheap rent and affordable meals and most importantly free public transport included in the semester tuition fees was more than I could grasp. There were rumors, now and then, about Germans being not so friendly and brutally honest yet I’d always choose to ignore that part. I decided to trust my guts and go for it so voila, here I was.
My first friend
Since I have contacted my future roommate online and reached a virtual agreement all I knew about him was his name and my future Berlin address. When I got there he was waiting for me out front, introduced himself formally and helped me with my bags. He seemed nice as I reckon, yet being extrovert and nagging like I am I was a bit disappointed at first. The first few days were awkward; he was overly polite, quiet and behaving like I wasn’t there. Days would pass with us accidentally bumping to each other starting and ending with a simple hello. I went nuts, so one day I reached to him and explained how I felt asking if he was annoyed or irritated in some way over my presence. He laughed softly and explained how Germans are more withdrawn and less responsive towards strangers however that didn’t necessarily mean that we wouldn’t end up as best friends.
My first friend’s friends
As I mentioned before since I came to live in this country I have grown to love and cherish the art of cooking immensely. My favorite thing about cooking is inviting people over to enjoy my recipes. My roommate has a lot of friends, German and International which at one point became my friends as well. There is Andrea the nurse, Karla the yoga instructor, Ulrich the pianist and Anton the DJ. Timo my roommate works as a police officer charming really yet in real life he is timid and so shy. I have met all of these guys separately, of course through Timo, and now we have become more like a family. Andrea has 2 beautiful daughters, aged 3 and 5 and I grew to love them life they’re mine. I even promised I will take them to Paris and Nice, my hometown.
Friends at the University
At the University I have met great people as well like Sara, Greg and Francine. In my class there are people from all kinds of nationalities, It’s very interesting to professionally engage in relevant taboo discussions amongst people from all these different backgrounds sharing completely different perspectives on similar matters. I think this would be the most beneficial kick in my career that has taught me to genuinely think outside the box.
Random acquaintances: Neighbors
Ok, maybe people are wrong on labeling Germans as cold, lacking sense of humor and unresponsive towards tourists and expats. They can be a bit harsh on their critics however in time one learns how to respect and value that honesty. On the other hand NEIGHBORS are something different. It’s like they have this well deserved stigma of behaving like complete jerks. They are nosy, very rude and negative about every request ever. I realized that they wake up in the morning thinking on how to make others lives miserable by finding some sort of idiosyncrasies to complain about. Though there is this adorable old man at the bakery across the street who always greets me smiling at the doorsteps of his store.