My name is Ofelia, I come from Mexico and I am half German as well. I’ve been living in Germany for four years now. Currently I am doing a Traineeship at the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle in Bonn.
Do you feel yourself more Mexican or German?
I feel more Mexican because I spent most of my life in Mexico, went to school and University there. Also because my mother is Mexican and she defined a lot of how I am and who I am. But she is also a lover of the German culture, so I learned a lot of things about Germany from her. And she sent me to a German school in Mexico.
What was the biggest struggle for you as a Mexican in Germany?
I am bilingual, so I never had difficulties with the language. Most of the time no one actually notices that I am a foreigner. From the looks they guess I might have a migratory background (normally they guess Turkish or Italian). But it isn’t until I actually mention that I come from another country when they say “oh I can notice the accent now”.
What is it that you like now the most in Germany?
I am very Germanized by now. I get really upset when people are not on time. Punctuality is one of the things I like the most about Germans, you can rely on them and it just makes life so much easier. You don’t have to guess what time they actually mean, like in Mexico. It’s always exactly the time they say it is going to be and that helps me to be a lot more organised. I also like that you always get an answer when you apply for a document or ask a question, no matter to which public authority you go to. In Mexico you need to know someone influential, otherwise you get totally ignored.
Is there anything you don’t like?
When Germans notice that you are a foreigner sometimes they might change their attitude, but it is not too bad. I think the younger generations have travelled a lot and are also very much used to seeing people from overseas in their own country. But I have noticed that I don’t have many German friends. Most of my friends are from all over the world. Germans decide very early in their lives who is going be in their circle of friends… and if they don’t know you for many years they will never let you in properly.
What do you miss the most from Mexico?
Food! …so much and every day. Actually my mom came to visit a few months ago and she brought so many things from home, especially Mexican spices. We just put chilli on everything and the food tastes so good. Here in Germany my only hope is to put some Tabasco on every meal that I eat. I even ask for it in every restaurant that I go to (laughing – ed.). I also miss my family and the people´s friendly attitude.
How can you summarize your experience in Germany?
I am actually very happy. Germany offers many opportunities. I would almost say it is very difficult to not get a job here. If you want to work, you’ll almost always get the chance to do so.