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I have become too German

I came to Germany from Great Britain more than 40 years ago as a volunteer with the program called “Help your brother” and stayed for good. Most of the time I was a school secretary in Michaelshoven. I definitely feel integrated into the society, mainly through sport, my voluntary work and...
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I was forced to resign…

I am Kurdish, from Iraq. When I came here I had a job right away. But then, they do not want to keep people over two years with steady contracts, because they would have to pay too much taxes. During the two years I never took a sick leave or...
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High-quality products

In my youth Germany was a popular tourist destination for Belgians. Everybody went to Monschau, Aachen and Cologne. Germany was also well known for high-quality products. For example, cameras. My first camera was a Voigtländer. Back then the tailors valued also solid Solingen scissors – they were without equal. And...
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L’allemand, cette folle langue

Peu importe l’effort, il est impossible de la décrire à la perfection: elle s’appelle Nathalie Licard, une française qui vie en Allemagne depuis 20 ans. Elle est aussi une célèbre présentatrice télé, connue pour sa belle voix, ses performances et, surtout pour son fort accent français. “Beaucoup de personnes croient...
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More than one home

 What do you like in Germany? I like the trust between people over here. The longer I stay in Germany, the more naive I become, the more I trust people. Chinese economy is growing, but the trust between people is collapsing. Chinese distrust strangers. In China there is growing distrust...
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Taste of Turkey

I came to Germany in 1974 with my father and started working in a factory. It was a difficult time. There were no Turkish specialties available over here and at the same time we did not have the right to start importing Turkish products. In our documents it was clearly...
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You learn by messing things up

We came here only several months ago from Kansas City and plan on staying for two years. My husband does a training program at a big German company. What was the most difficult part when you came here?  I’d say not knowing the language and changing routines. We arrived Thursday...
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A world citizen with roots in Turkey, UK and Germany

Ozlem, who is an independent image consultant, a spiritual healer and a coach, originally from Istanbul (Turkey), has lived an expat life since she was very young. She spent more than ten years working in international business development in London, worked on two projects for Social Entrepreneurs in Bolivia and...
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Jazzing in a free world

Being a foreigner is never easy. You can be a genius but the chances that you remain unnoticed in Germany are high. You know, it does not disturb me anymore. I have learnt, after 10 years in Austria and 15 years in Germany, to accept and to adjust. However, I...
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Dreaming to get back

I am from Iran. I came to Germany with my family because of the political problems. Of course, I am missing my home country, but, unfortunately, I cannot go back. I am actually not allowed to go back. I don’t know how much longer it is going to last before...
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Hermann Hesse and his genius

Life has somehow always taken me to Germany. I started to learn German in the school and during the high school years I was an exchange student. At that time it wasn’t very common in Estonia. I feel at home in Germany. I understand the system. I have friends over...
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All people smile in the same language

 I come from Africa. Well, Africa is kind of big… I come from Togo. I’ve been living here for 17 years. I speak German, but my French and English are much better. I am working as a kitchen helper over here – in this German restaurant. How do you like...
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No jobs in Bulgaria

I didn’t have a job in Bulgaria. Because of that I decided four years ago to come to Germany together with my daughter. Here I found a job right away.
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More global than Indian

How does it feel to be an Indian woman in Germany? Well, my fundamental identity is not my nationality, although I know that’s how most people perceive me. I think the chances I have had in life make me feel more global than Indian. Of course, I am proud to...
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To Russia with Love

I come from Turkey and have been here for 12 years. However, I worked for eight years in Moscow…you know as an electrician. Sometimes I still do it for a change even in Germany. I have also been to St. Petersburg, Krasnodar, Rostov, Sochi, Arkhangelsk – there it was very...
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A real TV star

Do you know that this is a very famous cat? How come? She has been on German TV already twice! A real TV star! By the way, she simply came to us in this shop about seven years ago and lied down exactly where you see her right now. And...
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Easier than I thought

What do you like about Germany? The whole society. The living standards. Over here you don’t need as much good connections (Vitamin B) as you do in China. It’s much easier over here. Plus I have enough time to meet my friends. In China people have been treated more like...
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The worst German experience

What do you like the most about Germany? I like the nature. There’s less traffic, there are less people. Clean air! It’s very clean compared to Jakarta. Tell us a German experience? Good or bad? Whichever you prefer… Ok, the worst experience I had was on my first week in Germany. We...
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American sense of humor

You have lived in Germany most of your life. Do you feel more German or American? I am definitely American. Certain characteristics such as the American sense of humor will never be lost to me nor a certain easy look on life, which seems typical to many of my US...
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Let the Carnival begin

What do you think of the Carnival? It’s funny and strange, but also very good. I come from South-Korea. In my country we don’t have anything like this. I’m dressing up like this for the first time in my life. Cologne Carnival was opened on 11.11 at 11.11  – Multicoolty...
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The essence of life

I like that Germans have everything in order in their heads and their lives. However, I don’t like that some Germans focus on material values a lot. Now I am distributing good for the soul books and hoping that people think more about the essence of life and good values.
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I have a dream

Germany is a well-developed country. Maybe in 20-30 years China will be on the same level where Germany is at the moment. The German cars are very sought-after in China – for example, Audi. But over here they are so cheap! It’s unbelievable! I have a crazy idea connected to...
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