Expat to Expat Q&A – Homesickness

Joining again with my other fellow expat ladies to discuss Homesickness! Something I am VERY well versed in…sad to say!

Found Love. Now What?

1. How do you fit in to your new culture without losing some of your identity?

I’m not sure I will ever fit in completely but the goal is to understand the culture, while educating everyone on mine! Perfect example: I just threw a friend of mine a baby shower yesterday and in Germany, this is not part of their culture. They actually think it’s superstitious to bring gifts for a baby that isn’t born yet. But we played games, had snacks, and my friend got a few baby gifts which was just so great. They didn’t have to accept traditions in my culture but it’s something I like to share with them. Something different. After the party, all of them were raving about how great that tradition is in America and they want to start throwing them all the time for their pregnant friends.
On the other side, they show me their traditions and the different things they celebrate here and I go into it with open eyes and ears. I try to soak up the culture and understand it. Mostly for my husband and our future children. I want this part of him to live on in our family forever.
I won’t ever lose my identity. It’s impossible. I’m a loud mouth NYer! But culture is simply something you have to accept as part of the expat transition and sharing your culture with others in return is a great gift!

What do you think your biggest trigger for homesickness is?

EVERYTHING. If I see families together, mom and daughters shopping, or if the leaves start to change. I’m a homebody and I miss my family more than anything but mostly, I miss my culture. The Syracuse basketball season is coming up, pumpkin flavored goodies are everywhere, and new fashions are coming out daily and I can’t be home for it. The German culture is so different. The language itself makes you feel like you’re a million miles away but the lack of peanut butter and pumpkin flavored foods kills me!
I tell everyone to try and focus on what you do have here. Peanut butter may taste like dirty cardboard but at least its here if you absolutely can not live without. And pumpkin…well…that’s something that just isn’t the same however, I have learned to make really cool recipes with pumpkin. Nothing sweet, no pumpkin pies or pumpkin muffins but I make a mean pumpkin soup!
Homesickness makes going home that much more special. When I see my family, I soak them up. I move a little slower and I relish in the time I do have with them. Whereas before I left the states, I didn’t see what was important to me.

But seriously….care packages people…send them my way!!! 😉

Until next time, Readers!!!! xoxoxoxoxo

Expat to Expat Q&A – August

I’m linking up with a bunch of other expat bloggers for a monthly Q&A about where I am living! You can find all the other blogs that participate on Bailie’s Blog or Belinda’s Blog. These two ladies put together a fun questionnaire for us expats to fill out and without further ado….here are my answers!

August Questions:

1. What is your favorite food store in your city and why?
This depends on what I need. I try to buy as much as I can at Aldi’s first and then go to Kaufland which has more options, fresher, fruits and veggies, etc. If the Toblerone has run out of lunch meat and bread, then I go to the bigger store. But if I need toilet paper then Aldis.

2. For your answer to number 1 is it ok to buy the store brand items or do you pay extra for a name brand? In my opinion, the quality of German food is ten times better than that in the US. But I’ve never been a name brand snob when it comes to food. Maybe a little bit with clothes 🙂 But mostly, I buy store brand items if available.

3. What do you think is the best way to get about your city? (i.e. bus, bike, car, etc.)Transportation in the country is crazy good. But I stick to the car for everything. Only because I’ve yet to put on my big girl panties and try the whole bus thing. I could technically ride my bike but then I would have to ride it back up the hill I live on and I’m just not into that kind of torture!

4. Which store do you turn to for basics like toilet paper or cleaning supplies? Aldis is the best! But Aldis is also very different that that of the one we have back home in the US. The quality is better.

5. Where do you think is the best place in your city to get a cup of coffee (or beverage you prefer) and catch up with friends? Well, if I had friends…lol, any coffee shop would do! There are so many bakeries around. The most popular one around here is called the Backhaus (Bake House). Germans and their 3:00pm coffee and cake time! But, We recently bought our 3rd coffee machine (dont ask) and I prefer to drink my coffee at home!

Plus these questions from Emma, at Adventures of a London Kiwi:
1. What was your “eureka, I’m practically a native” moment? This is a tough question. I think mostly when I’m talking to the locals and I say something in their dialect. (Schwabische Dialect). They laugh when I speak like them because this isn’t the German I was taught, this is the German I’ve learned from living her so long and listening to them!

2. Does your real accent get in the way? All the time! I always try to use German as much as possible and I really hate it when I’m talking away and then the Germans respond to me in English. I always think, “Is my accent really that bad? Is it that obvious that I’m just another Ami?!”

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxoxoxo