As many of us know, moving to a foreign country is not always plain sailing. Here’s a rundown of the things that annoyed me the most!
10. German Radio
This was admittedly a somewhat love/hate relationship. Munich’s very own hit radio station Charivari was a main culprit as they would play an infuriating selection of music, skipping from Bavarian big band music, to the latest chart sensation, to ‘Every Breath You Take’ all in the space of a Friday night party-mix. When my parents were last here we took a short trip over to Königsee on the Austrian border. As we were driving we had the pleasure of the radio to accompany us. Despite our vain hopes of finding a decent song through channel skipping it was to no avail and I blame the radio in no small part for me nearly crashing.
9. Football Diving
Football on the continent has always been awash with diving, but what you don’t expect is that it filters down into the Sunday leagues. The best bit about football has to be the running out onto the pitch and waving at the non-existent fans, just like they do on the TV. Unfortunately the same goes for diving and, although infuriating, it is hilarious to see a fully grown man holding his face like he’s been shot with a rifle.
8. The Weather
And they say the weather in England is bad? After the longest winter Germany has seen in many years I expected the weather to completely skip over Spring and head straight to Summer. Oh no. Despite a week of maintained nice weather at the start of May, things took a turn for the worse and it’s been raining almost constantly since. The reason I didn’t head home directly after my internship was that I expected the weather to be lush and that I’d be able to spend my days topping up the tan in the englischer Garten. We had a couple of nice days but it was mostly just this:
7. Everything being shut on Sundays
After a hard week’s work the last thing you want to be doing is going food shopping. Unfortunately, the Germans craaaazy system means that absolutely everything is closed on a Sunday except for Museums and Restaurants. This means that if you want to get anything productive done over the weekend you’ve got to plan it well. No more slobbing around in bed all Saturday and sorting your shit out on Sunday, these things have to be done on time!
6. Gig ticket tax
Well this one is just silly. Due to some ridiculous tax rules (I’ll be able to explain this better next year as I’ll be studying Tax!) artists who come over to play in Germany are forced to bump up their prices in order to actually make any money at all. This led to Ghostpoet’s Munich gig costing me 18€ which is somewhat higher than the 8 quid charged in Leeds on the same tour. Admittedly I’ve not missed too many gigs because of the prices as in the end I’ve just had to suck it up and pay, but at the same time yeah, annoying.
Although also a relatively English trait I have seen it countless times since I’ve been in Germany. The tut is infuriating. The person tutting isn’t bothered enough to tell you that you’ve inconvenienced them, but they’re also miffed enough that they felt the need to bring your attention to it. The most recent occurrence of this was in a Thai restaurant one lunch time. Kai, a colleague of mine, and I were helping ourselves to the buffet cart in an almost empty restaurant. We’d specifically asked the waitress for some tasty starters so began to take the majority of the portion, unaware that anybody else was using the buffet. It was only once I’d heard the horrible tut that I knew something was wrong. I would have shared with him if he’d have asked. He didn’t, so he went hungry. Soz mate.
Any man who single-handedly tries to ruin a young student in a new country’s Year Abroad deserves a place on this list and Marek was MORE than worthy. To the very last minute the man tried to annoy me. Even when he came to give me my deposit back (a full month after I’d moved out) he felt it necessary to take 200€ of it for himself. The reason? I’d left blu-tac marks on the wall. If there’s anything not worth a 200€ fine it’s this.
3. German Police system
The fact that it took a full 56 days for me to receive my wallet back despite knowing that the police had found it told its story. The fact that nobody actually seemed to know where I need to go to get it back also didn’t help, as I ended up running around like a headless chicken going from one authoritative building to another. AND THE PAPERWORK, good God. It seemed that even if you just wanted to go out for dinner you had to sign a form.
2. I’m not there
It’s a little harsh that one of the main reasons I hate Munich is something completely out of its hands. Don’t worry Munich it’s not you, it’s me. Since I started out here all that time ago back in Munich pretty much every aspect of my life has changed, except for the fact that my hair is receding at an alarming rate – some things will never change. From my confidence levels to my outlook on life via my appearance, everything has changed. It’s going to be interesting seeing how this new Nath fits in with the old lifestyle at home.
1. Being called “Nah-tan”
Ok, so it’s understandable that a language without the “th” sound would struggle to grasp the name Nathan Thorpe but that doesn’t mean it was any easier to accept! Variations included “Nay-san” and “Naat” amongst others. And the moment people clocked I wasn’t a huge fan of it, its usage obviously sky-rocketed (I’m looking at you, Helena and Thomas). If I do ever plan on moving back to Germany (looking likely) then I think I’ll more than likely need to change.
Reading back through this post it looks awfully negative. But let me just say that this piece is supposed to be taken in jest! These are all just the little oddities that make living in a foreign country so fascinating and my experience would not have been the same if anything was different. Germany, you’re may be odd, but I LOVE YOU.