My name is Maria and I originally come from a town called Kirovo-Chepetzk in Russia. I came to Germany almost nine years ago and stayed for good. I am currently finishing my Master’s Degree in Linguistics at Humboldt University in Berlin. My husband is German and he helped me a lot with my integration process and many other things. I am happy to have an insider at home!

There are definitely many things that I both appreciate and dislike about Germany. I have learnt to be much more organized and to plan things in advance, for example, every time I go grocery shopping I have a shopping list always ready with me and I never leave the house without my agenda book! I also appreciate the fact that Germany, more specifically Berlin, is relatively cheap if you compare it with Russia.

What I don’t like is that Germans can be a bit too rigid and not flexible. You know, this thing with “quadratisch, praktisch, gut” can be too much to handle sometimes. I have also experienced a couple of times discrimination: It’s definitely unpleasant to hear some negative comments about you as a foreigner…

I am very fond of Berlin, it’s the best city in the world and I wouldn’t want to move. You know, when I travel back to Russia to see my family and friends, I often feel like a tourist there. Everything is different, strange, somehow distant, some jokes are not funny anymore, some food does not taste like it used…I often feel like the connection is almost lost.