Trouble making friends/Living in Bruchsal

54 posts in this topic

Posted

How should I start? I much prefer not to sound depressive and complaintative but it's difficult not to. So, I guess I should just begin.

 

A bit of background. I am an American who moved quite often while growing up. I continued this lifestyle as a young adult; Living shortly and traveling to other states, countries etc. I grew up with a Native American mother and a German father. I have family both in the US and Germany. I'm currently 25 years old, have never been unemployed and quite love the social scene.

 

Anyhow....

 

I arrived in Germany on November 2, 2007. That means I have been living here for just over 5 years now. That is more than enough time to involve yourself in and understand the culture, as well as it's people. Before that, I also came here for several months at a time in 2005 and 2006. When first arriving I decided to reside in Heidelberg and get a good taste of what small city life would be like in Germany since it is what I've always been most comfortable with. After having been there for some time, I started traveling outside of the city and experiencING the areas around Heidelberg. Shortly before 2008 came around I met a girl who I am still with to this day.

 

Moving on...

 

The first year in Germany seemed promising. Work was modest, shorter hours than in the states by far and vacation time which I had never dreamt of back home. I met some people, made a few friends, and ended up settling down in Bruchsal with my significant other. During that first year I had already switched jobs as well due to my relocation and not wanting to commute to Heidelberg every day. I gave up about 150 euros of wage in doing, which isn't much thankfully.

 

The years rolled on. By my second year I had traversed most of Germany and even spent time Vacationing in Spain and England. I did what most people would say is normal for my age at the time. I went to clubs, bars, and met with afformentioned friends among other things. Honestly I'm not much interested in the clubs scene.

 

During the second year and the second (smaller) vacation to spain I lost several of my best friends here due to an apparently unavoidable spat. I had treated three of them, four including my GF, to a vacation in spain. In which time they managed to show me just how unfriendly they could be. I have tried to mend fences since, but it went no where. Apparently they are far to hard headed to accept an apology even though I'm not the one who needed to do so.

 

Moving on to the third year, even after losing those friends, things were still looking good. I changed jobs again in late 2010 for the opportunity to make more money. That was still a good decision until this day. The commute is also quite a bit less. Still, by the third year I had literally run out of things to do, and interesting like minded people seemed to be far less common. The club scene is dreary, the bars are quite boring and unreliable for a good source of entertainment. That includes meeting decent people in my experiences. After having traveled so much and seen so many things, most of it would be a repeat. In all honesty, none of it is really worth repeating except the drive to Switzerland (Rheinfall/Bodensee).

 

That left me with depending upon my friends to be a source of entertainment outside of my normal daily routine (including homelife). The longer I spent with these remaining friends I realized that not only were they boring but very closed off and indifferent to most things in life. their personalities were simply lacking and the base friendship was very weak at best. By the end of the third year I had started to think of moving once again in hopes of a revitalized life. I did no such thing though, in realization that I know, for the most part, how the rest of Germany is as well. A new town or city wouldn't help much.

 

4th year: Things had gone down hill, my usual upbeat attitude had deteriorated into a semi-optimistic dread of waking up every day to the same thing every other day had to offer. Weekends were no longer a safe haven due to lack of activities. Normal hobbies which I enjoyed in the US became my goal. Only then did I actually realize just how poor of a situation I had landed myself in. One of my favorite activites, fishing, needs a liscence and schooling to be legal. Yes, I am aware that I needed a liscence in the states as well, but it was far easier and more logical. Once I realized that it would cost me a good lump sum and a long course to simply be able to go fishing, I abandoned the idea. The list goes on as far as hobbies go. Most everything appealing require an unjustifiable ammount of money and time to take part in. That left me where I had started, except with even less hope.

 

At this point, work had not only become as boring as everything else, I myself was on the edge of transforming into the same people I let go of as friends. Life drug on, day by day, and nothing ever changed. The one safe haven I had was my GF. She's a like minded, relaxed, and out going person. We are very happy together and extremely positive in any normal situation. The best parts of our lives at that point were coming home to one another and simply trying to enjoy "our time".

 

That continued on into the mid-later part of the 4th year.

 

In August of 2012 we went to our vacation home in spain. I have to say, those were the best days of my life in the past three years. The idea of returning seemed abysmal, and with little choice, we said our good-bye's to spain for at least another year. Between then and now, nothing has changed except for our outlook. We are more often depressed about how our quality of life is. We've even entertained the idea of leaving the country, but we know that isn't an honest solution. I know from experience it isn't an easy one most of the time either. She is much more akin to the idea due to having never been through those general hardships and leaving a life (one might even say cherish) behind.

 

Now, before I continue, I will point out a few factors that may of been unascertainable from my writings.

 

My Gf and I have almost always had separate friends, neither of us were of any cause in the ending of any friendships we had outside of or within the relationship. We both make good wages, hold good poistions at our jobs (careers), and are generally extremely friendly and open. We save in a modest yet efficient way, we own our own place already as well as a beach house. We invest and spend time together strengthening our relationship and have a generally good personal life with one another. Also, we are both fluent in German and English, among other languages.

 

From that story, and my having been here this long, I have a few questions. (My GF, German btw, is of like mind in these opinions. That isn't to say we could be completely wrong.)

 

1. Germany is quite the boring place. Even with friends, a general routine is followed and spontaneity flys out the window.

exmple: While visiting friends for birthday parties or general get-togethers, everyone is sectioned off and sat at a certain table with only those whom they know and are comfortable with. Approaching these people seems to be unacceptable, unless under certain circumstances. Starting a conversation could be interested, if they were interested. If a conversation is struck, it dead ends when they have no knowledge of the subject or simply lose interest because they'd rather turn back to the friend (drone) that they were previously discussing how much they hate Turks with(Russians, Romanians, Greeks etc.) Believe it or not, this is more common practice here than any of you might want to admit.

Everyone seems held back and impossible to reach. My Gf has probably been more affected by this than me, since she's lived here her entire life and feels ashame of it.

 

2. Music, Culture, Entertainment: The music is mostly a bad rip off from the States. Mainstream here is mostly shitty pop music coming from the US. Other than that they play the same music from the 80s,90s, and Today on a looop it seems. This pattern was adopted into most (not all) clubs and bars. Granted, I can buy my music, and do, but it doesn't help since I can't shove my own mp3/cd into the DJ's face at the club. It seems though, that many Germans ( at least those going to the clubs ) don't mind this regurgitation. My lady and I simply can't understand this, though we are required to live with it if we want to try having such fun.

 

German culture is all but dead in my opinion. Yes, they have their street festivals, Octoberfest, and other such rituatls. Still, that's all they have become in recent years, rituatls. They exist almost soley because they were at the same general time every year for the past several decades (or centuries). Their pride of being is stripped and their culture suffers greatly for it. The great pride in their delicious food is far overrated. Unless you are willing to pay insane ammounts of money, you will recieve the same basic slop from every restaraunt. (Note: All of it can be cooked at home and is usually better.) The castles and arts of a bygone era? If you've seen them once, and paid attention, the second and third time won't really be worth it. Picnics on their lawns, and reverse directional tours don't change that fact. In this section I could rant for years, probably. So I'll leave it at that since you most likely understand my arguement.

 

Entertainment is a mixture of the music and culture, as well as the things mentioned within. Outside of that there are Zoo's, Parks, Museums and Amusement parks. These things are quite played down. They offer few real attractions for the most part, and the few good ones there are become boring rather quickly. Much like the rest of what is offered, these few exceptions become repetative and mundane.

 

In total, what a person is left with is to either completely accept the depression and move on, or strive to make life better with no real chance of success. Naturally it depends on what a person wants from life, but these are just my/our observations.

 

The counterpoints to my arguements are fully acceptable. Things such as the Germany social system, Health Care, Job and general security. Low violence and peace of mind are also very attractive qualities in Germany.

 

In the end, I guess my questions is this - To those of who you have lived here an equivalent amount of time, or longer, how have you managed? Do you maybe see some of the same things that I do, or do you have a completely different view on it all? I am extremely curious and would only like to hear some feedback.

 

Lost&Found

 

p.s. I know many of the things I said may seem pointed and even insulting, but I only meant to honest about how I've/We've seen life in Germany.

I hope you'll forgive that! :)

 

p.p.s. Please forgive the horrible grammar etc!

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Posted

 

Germany is quite the boring place.

 

Yep. That is why many germans wonder why anybody would actually want to move here, if not for economic reasons.

 

Just out of curiosity, though : What exactly is it you're missing or what would you do if you were in another country?

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Posted

Well Illic, the people seem to be far more friendly elsewher (not everywhere) in my opinion. The same attractions that are offered here as other countries are generally of better quality (only my opinion) and the things I enjoy most in life are not quite so expensive.

 

Beuel, I mentioned that I let go of those friends on purpose. I honestly don't need them. When I look to myself for entertainment I enjoy hobbies and so forth. I also mentioned that in the post. Entertaining ones self does go quite far: Reading, hiking, Online gaming, and so many many other things. Still eventually these become just as mundane as anything else when they are the only things available. As mentioned, most things I enjoy doing come at an extreme cost comparatively here. So, entertaining myself is not a problem for the most part but far from completely satisfying. Is that what you were looking for :)?

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Posted

Would your dissatisfaction with those things be any different if you did them elsewhere?

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Posted

Naturally the easy answer is always to leave and go somewhere else. What I was asking was if anyone else had experienced such things. You can refer to the later part of my post for clerification. Naturally many things would be different, but there are positives and negatives about everywhere I person could live. No where is perfect.:)

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Posted

 

As mentioned, most things I enjoy doing come at an extreme cost comparatively here.

 

There's no point in getting depressed because you don't have any hobbies (okay, I know you have mentioned some that you do have, hiking etc., but I'm just trying to make a point so bear with me :) ) if the only thing holding you back from actually participating in those hobbies is a desire to not spend what you consider too much money. But if you can afford it, even if you consider it too expensive, it might be worth just getting out of the (boring) Geiz ist Geil German attitude and going for it. If you like fishing, do the courses, get the licence and then go fishing. Ditto for whatever other things you want to do. Don't forget that you are more likely to make friends among people who have similar interests to you, you know, like maybe some of the other people doing the same fishing course.

 

Did you say you're 25? You might also be going through a quarter-life crisis. Google it. If nothing else, you'll get to spend an amusing half an hour or so trawling the internet. :D

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Posted

Sweet answer Jeanie, and I'll check it up, but I'm rather sure I'm not going through any crisis ;)) I'm much to happy for that. You're right about the hobbies, I just don't see the logic in it. Still, I'll most likely give in and take the courses eventually.

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Posted

Learn to fly (I did) - one of the leading glider manufacturers is in Bruchsal (I have one of their products).

 

Through learning to fly gliders (started 1981) I learnt a skill, learnt a lot of the language (incl. many bad words), made many friends who I have to this day & got landed with a lot of work - the latter since I'm now involved both at club level & federal state level in running the sport.

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Posted

Just to be clear about what I was saying with all of that- a reminder by quoting my own post.

 

" In the end, I guess my questions is this - To those of who you have lived here an equivalent amount of time, or longer, how have you managed? Do you maybe see some of the same things that I do, or do you have a completely different view on it all? I am extremely curious and would only like to hear some feedback."

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Posted

 

...I just don't see the logic in it...

 

Now, now, you're being very German again. Life should sometimes surpass logic. :)

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Posted

Every great play needs an antagonist. The problem is that being in Germany just being non-german makes one an antagonist and that's boring.

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Posted

and HEM, I am quite interested in flying. Any advice on how to go about it/costs etc?

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Now, now, you're being very German again. Life should sometimes surpass logic.

 

Haha, you're right. Still, I use logic lightly. I'm just saying...some things are simply too expensive given the circumstances :P

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Posted

 

Just to be clear about what I was saying with all of that- a reminder by quoting my own post.

 

" In the end, I guess my questions is this - To those of who you have lived here an equivalent amount of time, or longer, how have you managed? Do you maybe see some of the same things that I do, or do you have a completely different view on it all? I am extremely curious and would only like to hear some feedback."

 

And to answer your original question, I'm one of those who chose to move to Germany because I love the life here, not because I had found the job or man of my dreams. I've met more people who are interested in some of the things I am and have similar outlooks on life to me here but that is partially because I went looking for them - by going looking for those hobbies that I wanted to do and hadn't always had available to me at home (Ireland). Yes, I notice some of the same things about people that you do but I noticed similar or other annoying or unlikable qualities in people at home, too. Maybe Germany or maybe Bruchsal isn't the place for you but until you have done absolutely everything possible to try and create the life you want there, you can't know that. Here's a blog that I enjoy that you might get something from: http://www.marriedwithluggage.com/

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Posted

 

and HEM, I am quite interested in flying. Any advice on how to go about it/costs etc?

 

I can only talk to gliding (sailpanes in US terminology):

 

 

 

Go visit any gliding site from early April onwards. I don't know the Bruchsal club; I do know the sales guy at DG Flugzeugbau who is also CFI at his club (but thats in Bavaria).

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