A few weeks ago, I was interviewed on the Expats Life Germany podcast. Shaun, the host, moved from South Africa to Germany about a decade ago. He recently started this podcast to highlight the journeys and discoveries Expats' made on their way to Germany. Expect stories, battle scars, German bureaucracy war-talk, tips, tricks, failures, misunderstandings, weird situations, clichés, adventure and much more.
It was really a lot of fun to be on the other side of the interview. Here's the abstract Shaun wrote for the episode:
Tim Bourguignon, a French citizen living in Germany, embodies the expat mindset. He knows that on a daily basis, at any time someone can tap you on the shoulder and say something to you that you don’t understand. Maybe the person has an accent, or it’s a reference you don’t get. But instead of seeing this as a negative, Tim sees it as making life way more fun.
After moving to Germany to be with his wife, Tim had to pick up learning German again after many years. In the beginning, he felt a bit lost, and describes having “blackouts” in social situations: he would be sitting there, in the middle of a German conversation, but would not be “present” since he was unable to follow the conversation. Since those times, he’s become fluent enough to give public talks in German.
Even though Tim had it easier making friends due to his wife’s circle of acquaintances, he still has some useful advice for making friends in Germany (or any foreign country for that matter): do what you love, and that’s where you’ll meet your friends.
Take a listen to our discussion on this week’s episode, where we cover all of this, plus how he handles a household with three languages, an embarrassing moment he had by accidentally changing two letters in a word, and more.
We didn't speak too much about my professional journey, but that counts as a "Developer's Journey-light", I would say. Jump to my episode via the link below, and give a listen to other episodes if you like the format!
Did you learn something new? Anything surprising? Write a comment below!
Photo by Sam McGhee on Unsplash