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 that: I want to buy an Audi over here and drive it back to China. It’s maybe impossible, but I’m still dreaming about it.

Young again

I was a mining engineer for twenty years in Kazakhstan. I came to Germany when I was 51, already a pensioner and everyone was telling me that I was still a young man. So I started acting like a young man – now look at me! I’m 62 but I feel like 32! I have mastered all the possible professions here. I worked as a gardener, a roofer, a carpenter, a painter, I disassembled PC and whatnot.

Do you watch TV in German?

Yes, in German. I love German Krimi’s (detective series). They are like famous american soap opera Santa Barbara, they go on and on forever.

The Bulgarian on the streets

I have been here for six years already. I still haven’t managed to learn German fluently, but I do speak Turkish. I work in different bars, where most of the clients are Turkish. Come over we have live Bulgarian music every weekend.

Stars in the sky of Berlin

I was visiting my dad in Strasbourg when the Berlin Wall fell. He saw it on TV and recognised it as a historical moment right away. He took me and my two sisters, started the car and drove straight to Berlin with us. I was four years old back then. All I remember were the city lights of Berlin while driving in – I then asked my father why there were so many stars in the sky?

Give me five euros

How is the tourist situation – do you have many customers?

Oh yes, every day there are English, German and Japanese speaking tourists passing by. Weekends are very busy, weekdays rather calm. Also some local Germans want to take photos with us, but not that many.

Ok thank you – here’s one euro for letting us to take a photo.

Wait! You have to give me five euros. You took up five minutes of my time and this would normally cost five euros! Because of you I didn’t make photos with the tourists.

But there are no tourists around at the moment?!? And we don’t have so much money!

Then another guy, must be some kind of boss of the angels, shows up and says: “Give the guy five euros like he asked!”

Well we do not have five euros and we normally do not pay at all for getting an interview.

Seeing that there is no way we can win this argument, we looked for some more coins and achieved a compromise with three euros. It was the first, and hopefully the last time when we had to pay for an interview.

Unexpected sensation of freedom

I have been in love with Germany as long as I can remember myself. My grandfather who was in the war taught us how important the Franco-German friendship is. While growing up I was always very interested in Germany and its culture. For a long time I dreamt about marrying a German and having a Franco-German child. The dream has come true.

I have this feeling, and I didn’t expect it actually, that in Germany people are more free. There’s so much trust in people. It’s expected that everybody follows the rules, which provides a sense of more freedom for everyone. For example, you can grill in the park. In France it would end with such a mess! So you cannot even allow anybody to grill in the park. It really was a surprise for me – this unexpected sensation of freedom through personal responsibility.

On being a musician

We went to meet Kristaps Grasis – a famous Latvian musician currently leaving in Bonn. Kristaps is a young and successful professional guitar player, teacher, director of the private musical school in Bonn and a very inspiring person. He was so kind to chat with us and tell us more about his interesting life.

Watch a 3 minute video to learn more about Kristaps and his thoughts of being a musician.

Nothing better than Italian food

Have your eating habits changed when you moved to Germany?

At the beginning yes, but I was really destroying my stomach, so I got back to what I was eating in Italy, even though you don’t find everything here.

It’s Duschland!

What do you think of the weather in Germany compared to Turkey? 

It always rains, I don’t call it Deutschland, I say it’s Duschland (Showerland – ed.).

It’s heaven

I like everything about Germany compared to Ukraine, absolutely everything! It’s like heaven for me.

Someday we all become multicultural

Ladies what are you doing over here?

We are doing a multicultural project.

Oh how nice! I’ve been married to an African for 22 years! My husband is from Morocco. I’ve never lived there, but I do speak Arabic.

How do you see multicultural Germany then?

I am very satisfied.  I guess the attitude has a lot to do with one’s family and open-mindedness. I am convinced that someday we all become one without the question of who comes from where: multicultural.

At the Barber’s

I am from Turkey and have been in Germany since 16 years and since 14 years I have this hair salon over here. I was jobless for only two months once I got here. I am doing very well and of course satisfied with everything. I have been a hairdresser already for 30 years, by the way. About 35 per cent of my male customers are actually Germans and among female customers about 20 per cent are Germans.

October of Multicoolty excitement in Cologne – Second Tour  (more…)

Jobs are hard to get

 It’s much calmer here, less crime, no vandalism compared to Kongo. However, the job situation is difficult for foreigners. The job places are there, but it’s hard to get them.

My home is my castle

I have lived in Germany for 39 years. My parents brought me here when I was eight years old. I went straight to the second grade, although I did not speak even one word of German!  I didn’t understand a lot of things, everything was confusing and different. Everything! I didn’t even understand how come the TV set at my German friends showed colors and ours just showed grey tones – as a child I didn’t understand how this was possible. I came out of a village in Anatolia to a big city – I wasn’t able to grasp what was going on. And we lived in very poor conditions for years.

A different question for you: do your children feel themselves more German or Turkish?

My children are definitely multiculti! Me myself… I don’t know exactly how to describe myself. I mean I am Turkish of course. However, after having stayed in Turkey on holidays for one or two weeks I start feeling that I want to go home! But somehow it is my home there… I don’t know… It’s just that over here I have settled down, my children live here, my parents also. I feel at home in Cologne. Furthermore, as a single woman I feel free in Germany. I take my car, drive anywhere I want and can visit my friends in the evenings without anybody spreading nonsense rumours about me. That would not be possible in Turkey: what would a woman do out that late all by herself?

However if I don’t go to Turkey, for example this summer I didn’t go, then I miss it a lot. The air and the sun is different there. It’s a totally different feeling. We have a big house there, but whenever I start thinking about the possibility of living in Anatolia then I come to the conclusion that I have no use for an empty house! I still keep thinking that someday I will go back to Turkey. But probably it is not possible. It feels more like a back and forth situation where you can neither find peace in Turkey nor in Germany.

The Frenchman in Germany

I have always liked German culture. I feel myself good in Germany and that is the most important thing. The people are open and they are not afraid to talk to each other. In Normandy where I come from the people do not speak to everyone.

We live in a completely different situation than French in France and therefore react differently towards foreigners. When the French abroad talk about European Union it is totally different from what the French in France think about it. I guess this is because we are living as foreigners in another country and know what it means to be a foreigner.

It’s more than just a job

I met my wife in Antalya, Turkey. She tried to convince me for more than three years to move to Germany with her. I started learning German only at the age of 35 and simply because she really put pressure on me. Finally she managed to convince me: I thought why not to give it a try. Now I’ve lived over here already ten years. and I have this shop already for six years and four months. Not every day is equally successful, but this is much more than a simple job for me. This shop means a lot to me.

Entrepreneur whose measure of profit is not money

If you do something that comes from the heart, you’ll not feel like you are working. I involve my children in my work. That way, they learn what I do and we spend quality time together.

Veye Tatah  (more…)

I am a tourist

I am a tourist. I come from Taiwan and I like German culture.

What particularly?

Everything! The history and the architecture.

Do you like german food?

Oh yes, yes – very much! The Schweinshaxe (pork knuckle – ed.) is delicious! And all the sausages are so good.


A difficult question

I am originally from Sicily, came to Germany more than 10 years ago and liked it from the very beginning. I am a classical example of an Italian abroad.

Do you plan to go back?

Eh it is a very difficult question.

From Ukraine with Love

We were struggling for several months to get the visa and have one of the best Ukrainian chefs work at out restaurant Pan&Pani. Our Chef used to cook for Ukrainian celebrities and was an author of a popular culinary TV show.

When in Rome, do as the Romans do

We are all different, we have different cultures and values, however we do need to respect the country that hosts us. In russian we have a proverb: don’t go with your own rules to someone else’s monastery.

Tips to better Baklava

 It used to be women who cooked the very thin dough for baklava from morning till night, today only men sit on the floor and make the dough for the traditional Turkish sweets and women do other things like cleaning or cooking salty dishes.

The businessman

Sometimes it happens that several women want the same dress at the same time. Just half an hour ago two ladies started a fight in the store – I mean literally, pulling each other’s hair and things like that. I had to go between them. So I didn’t sell the dress to neither of the ladies. Of course it would be easier to make fast money that way, but I find that having satisfied customers is more important.

I’m coming from Sweden. Life is much better in Sweden. Sometimes it’s very difficult for foreigners to live in Germany. What is allowed for a German isn’t necessarily allowed for a foreigner, although I’m Swedish. I wanted to open another business here and couldn’t. My business partner is German, so he went and made the same request without any problems.