My first culture shock was on the train where people mind their own business: they don’t talk to each other, even if they sit next to each other. Instead they like reading a lot. (laughing – ed.) Where I come from, from Lusaka, Zambia, you socialize a lot. Here everybody holds to themselves. We have a saying in my home country, that if you want to keep something secret just hide it in a book. This way it surely wont be seen. But one thing I like about Germans is their commitment to what they are doing.

I have been here almost two months now and will go back in April. It is my first time in Europe. When I arrived the weather hit me hard. It was something else… I really didn’t expect that.

Another thing that surprised me were the couples on the street. At first it was like a tourist attraction to me. This kissing and hugging on the street – it is simply fascinating. In my culture people do it when they’re in their bedrooms.

What do you think about the German food?

I like Schnitzel. But there was this another really weird fish dish – it looked like they forgot to cook or fry it. (laughing – ed.) Therefore, I have to be careful and only take what I know.

Stephen Chongo Mpuku


0