Below are some things that I thought would be a big deal as I was moving to Germany. The title of this could even be something like “Things I freaked out about when I was moving to Germany…and they turned out to not be a big deal after all.” I thought I’d share my experiences in hopes that they might ease the minds of newcomers moving here.
1. Very little, if any, air conditioning during the summer. For the most part, this hasn’t been a big deal. Last summer produced some really hot weather so I did spend some nights after work holed up in a dark apartment, sticking my face in front of a fan. We also pulled out a portable air conditioner for a few days at work, but beyond that, it’s been tolerable. On the hottest of days, a trip to the city’s swimming pool was enough to cool us off (though the title warmfreibad was misleading because the pool was definitely not warm!).
2. No screens on the windows. I thought that I’d never be able to open my windows because of lack of screens; I was worried about being overrun by bugs. I do come from a state where the joke is that our state bird is the mosquito. However, I leave my windows open and get very few bugs, probably because I live in the city (your mileage might vary if you live in the country). I do kip my windows (open them so they tilt open from the top) since I have a cat and I don’t want him falling out of the windows.
3. Being naked at the spa/sauna. I freaked out about this one big time when I first got here. It turns out that it’s really not a big deal and is quite a relaxing place to visit.
4. Bringing along my cat and finding an apartment that would take us both turned out to be a lot of paperwork and steps but it was nothing unbearable. The most important thing is to make sure to follow all of the procedures properly, especially when flying with your pet. I also lucked out and have a landlord who loves cats and was okay with me having a cat in her apartment.
5. Not being able to use my credit card at many places. I’ve made peace with this and get cash out when I need it. I found out that with my particular bank, I save a little bit on foreign transaction fees by using cash instead.