Sunday, February 28, 2010

Do I really live in Germany?

I really can't believe we have been in Germany for 7 months. I was telling a friend yesterday sometimes it feels like longer and some days it feels like we just got here. So much has changed and a lot of reflection has happened.
One thing I told Justin the other night was I still don't feel like I fit in and I mean that in a way that I am ok with. I get it I don't speak german and that hinders me in many ways to get connected to more Germans and the true German lifestyles. The reality is we have become very involved with the expat/international community. We both work in English speaking schools, we go to an English speaking church, the common language with friends is English, and we speak English to each other. When I studied aboard in Spain I had to speak Spanish I had no choice, I lived with a Spanish family and all my friends spoke Spanish. I am at a total disadvantage as far as being forced to learn German. I have to be totally honest though I haven't had the motivation to learn German either. I know, I know what all of you are saying or thinking I can't believe that you live in another country and this is such a great opportunity. I believe that and I do plan on taking a class soon, but the truth is unless you are forced to learn a language for necessity it makes it more difficult to want to. I know it frustrates Justin because he thought his German would have improved much more by now. I do feel for him and I hope he gets more opportunities to use it. So to all my German friends please don't hate me (Alex and Ulli) and I promise to try a little harder.
Also I had the thought why would Germans want to be friends with me? My lifestyle is just so different. When you don't know how long you are going to be somewhere you live differently. We are always looking for the next adventure and we have no idea if we will be here after two years. I spoke with a girl at church who is German and she said it was hard going to an international church because her friends come and go. That must be hard and I totally understand. Not to say that we can't meet some incredible people in two years because we can and we will, but for people in the expat/international community they understand the constant change and try to make the most of there time here. I am truly grateful for all the Germans who I have become friends with because they can show me the real Germany and I truly cherish that. I do love the community we have been given here in Frankfurt. We have met some really amazing people and  have started some really great friendships.
This is one of hopefully other posts about living in another country. From culture shock, cultural differences, personal discovery, and things that you just need to know.
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