I am American, an East Coast girl, but was actually born in Rome. We moved to Germany three years ago because of my husband’s new assignment. I was not sure how to make it all work, changes are not always easy for me, but I integrated very quickly. I liked Germany and made an effort right away to be part of the society. I am now the President of the AIWCC and it’s great.
Is there something that still surprises you in the German society?
The lack of flexibility in rules and regulations, willingness to adjust and make changes, and not being able to let things go sometimes. Everything is not always black and white. I can give you an example: I went to drop a letter in a mailbox near my house and I saw a postman, who had just emptied the mailbox. I was holding the letter in my hands, gave it to him, but he would not take it, just because it was five minutes after the schedule that was written on the mailbox.
Do you think Germany is a multicultural society?
I cannot speak about the whole of Germany. Cologne is definitely a melting pot. You can tell by the amount of languages you hear on a tram.
Has your life style changed since you moved to Germany?
It has. We are more environmentally responsible. We enjoy outdoors and biking, we do not watch as much TV as we used to, and we live a healthier lifestyle. We treat ourselves better.
What are the things you like about German society as compared with the USA?
Many! The fact that Germans work very hard and then really enjoy life. Everybody seems to know how to have fun and celebrate life very well. They take advantage of what they have here. Another thing is the dog culture and the fact that dogs are allowed everywhere!