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Leben In Deutschland: 3 yr recap

As a Mexican living in Germany here are the things I like the most and the ones that I am still getting over with.

Gutes Leben in Deutschland

(The good life in Germany.) I really like and appreciate how calm the city I live in is. Leaving the window open and being able to hear the birds sing, just like I used to back home.

The Germans like rules and to follow them, which is also something I agree with. Among the many rules that shape life in Germany, there is one that regulates how loud or not you should be, and even stipulates specific hours and days of the week in which no housework is allowed (moaning the law, using heavy machinery, or using building tools, etc). This reduces noise pollution and allows babies and seniors to nap, and everybody else to have quiet time. I love it!

I absolutely love the feeling of safety, I mean I still carry with me the embedded security practices learned in Mexico which make me far from careless…still that overall feeling of tranquility is so nice and comforting, just like the clean streets and the recycling practices.

Avoid wasting time (yourself and causing other people to do so). This involves behaviors that make a lot of sense, but many others that I don't fully agree with, hence the reason why I would put this point in both the advantages and disadvantages of living in Germany. This unwritten rule allows you to complete tasks such as grocery shopping in a very reasonable time and with less stress - at least for the clients, but this may not be the case for the cashiers.

The disadvantages? Little to no modals are seen most of the time, since “ain’t nobody got time for that”.

Planning social events and outings with the most anticipation, similar to the previous point, can be found within the pros and cons. Disadvantages? Not enough no room for spontaneity, which is not so good when when are feeling low and would like to catch up with friends.

A whopping minimum of 20 days of vacation per year in comparison to Mexico’s minimum of 12 and maximum of 20- after working at least 5 years for the same employer. The labor law has the employees' back. For instance, the maternity leave in Mexico is a maximum of 84 days (12 weeks) just as in the USA, while Canada allows up to 17 weeks. The UK offers 26 weeks as a base with a maximum of 52 weeks, and Germany offers a minimum of 15 weeks up to 3 years.

Also, in Germany, all supermarkets and retailers are closed on Sundays, except for gas stations and convenience stores located in them or within the train stations. This allows for most of the workers to have the day off to relax and spend family time. This means that as a consumer you have to plan ahead your meals and possible events during the weekend, which to be honest is doable.

Speaking of time to unwind and to be with the family, I absolutely love the term “Feierabend”. It refers to that time to relax after work. Once you “call it a day” and decide to lay on the couch and watch your favorite series, cook, dine with your family, go to the gym, meet with friends, or whatever it is you decide to do, it is pretty much a celebration of your personal time. Germans are doing it right with this concept. Work hard and then enjoy!

I have always enjoyed the Christmas season, and though I really miss my family and all the rich Mexican traditions from this time (such as the real posadas with “Villancicos”, piñatas and all), I was very happy to see how Germans and especially Bavarians also make it big.

I'm a super fan of their #Christkindlemark (Christmas markets), their version of punch #Gluwein (made from black tea, fruits, and wine), the decorations on the streets and in the houses, and that you also see "Nativity scenes" in some public places.

Unpopular opinion maybe, but I am also a big fan of people following the rules with such passion. I love my natal Mexico, but I recognize how different it would be if there was less room for illegal practices (from white-collar fraud and political ties to organized crime to the microscale such as bribes to transit officers.

Es könnte schlimmer sein

(It could be worse)

I was taken by surprise by Germany’s bureaucracy. Though I was warned by the husband, I didn’t expect it this bad…basically because I don´t know anyone from another country who has not complained about this from their countries of origin. It was funny and almost cute when while living in Canada, the nationals would warn me about the waiting time for government paperwork, and even the staff from immigration offices would say things like: “I am sorry but this will take some time…” to then continue with something like “you should be receiving this document per mail by next week”. More than a couple of times I ended up receiving the document in 3 days, which was always a nice surprise.

I had my first encounter with German bureaucracy when trying to obtain a visa for conducting some research as part of my Master's Degree, but saw its full “glory” when starting the process to marry my now husband.

The first letter I received upon my arrival to the country was a bill from the taxes for Radio and Television (#Rundfunkbeitrag)…crazy! Which my husband handed sarcastically while saying “Welcome to Germany!”.

Another not-so-surprising fact is the difficulty of learning German. I was also warned about this one and still seemed to be much worse than expected. Other fellow immigrants in Germany and YouTubers spoke candidly about this one, and though more than once I heard that learning German requires more than 5 years, I was still facing the challenge positively, maybe too naively and positively.

For all of those immigrants working and learning another language after work, you have my infinite respect and admiration. It is very mentally taxing that is for sure. However, at night you can sleep well knowing you are giving it all for a better life.

Just like in any other country, German nationals are also subject to misconceptions. Such misconceptions and lack of empathy or even social skills have caused multiple people to ask me about the Series “Narcos”, or worse to ask me if I sell illegal substances. I could write a 20-page-long essay on how angry this makes me, but I will spare that episode.

Other unfair assumptions I have faced before are: “being a hot Latina” - basically a maneater on the hunt -, being a gold digger, visa seeker, or worst. I face these misconceptions boldly and unapologetically, since most of the time those inflicting these labels on me, are people who not only had less education than I do, have traveled less, and speak fewer languages than I do...and most importantly,m they don't even know me! With some luck the actually know themselves.

In the end, I know who I am, and as Winston Churchill said 'You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.'

In the meantime, I continue to give my best, work hard, learn, adapt, and…try to remind myself every now and then to be patient with the process, enjoy the ride.. and of course, visit my family and friends as often as possible.

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Comments (5)

Felicidades!! Muy lindo todo , gracias!!!🥰🤗❤️👏


May 15

Muchas gracias!! Que bonito !!!😇🥰


May 15



Jul 27, 2023

I was in tears even before playing the video! Recently started watching Bluey and to be honest I am saviouring every episode, making sure not to rush through them. Luce as a kid would have love it too! Without all the sometimes extreme drama cartoons such as "Candy", "Peline" and the anime series called in Spanish "La Ranita Demetan" displayed. I also remember feeling sad and stressed after watching some of them...But Bluey is so not like that. I am sure this is appreciated by kids and parents equally. Cheers to all healthy, innocent and non invasive copying mechanisms! And thanks for sharing this one! 😍

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