If you don't like it here,

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I always say I bitch about anything/everything, and don't even get me started about the Germans.

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I should probably add that this is not the actual answer I give when locals ask me this question :-D

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Coincidentally was just thinking of what to tell my German neighbor next time she makes that comment; which she makes about me or any other random foreigner. Came up with a few:

i) mmmmh funny coming from someone who has lived in the same country, town and street of birth for 46 years!

ii) You make it sound easier than packing for a trip to Mallorca.

iii) We foreigners are so dumb, why dont you make billboards to remind us that!

iv) that reminds me of non-parents who think they'd make the best parents.

 

When I unleash one of the above(depending on my mood), I'm sure that's the last I'll hear of this 'pack up and leave biz'. She is however very nice to my family but as someone once said 'kaffee und kuchen' offered to an auslender neighbour by a German isnt just 'Kaffee und Kuchen' so I try to keep aa safe distance.

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Two reasons why people should ask that:

 

a.) They are genuinely interested in the reasons

b.) They are the sort of person that doesn't deserve an answer.

 

If you care to tell your reasons, the answer to a is easy.

 

And b is a great opportunity for all sorts of snarky comebacks.

Or a doe-eyed, innocent question in return.

 

Why does it bother you that I stay?

 

I guess at this point most of the category b people would like to change the subject.

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So, what is your answer to this question? Why don't you just go home?

 

 

 

Answer: Because my home is in Germany...

 

Same here - I don't have a "base" any more in the UK. One aunt who is 90 in St. Helens, one brother near Basingstoke who when I visited him in November that was first time in 6 years & one friend in Macclesfield.

 

 

The other big question I get asked all the time is "Why don't you speak German?" when what they actually mean is "Why don't you speak fluent German?".

 

I don't get that, but last Friday I phoned the German Aero Club office in Braunschweig several times trying to catch the airspace expert there - the first few times I got an assistant who after a few times offered to leave a note on the guys desk. When I did get through he exlaimed "Ah - DU bist es" & went on to say he'd received a note that some Dutch guy had tried several times to reach him.

 

Actually I do like it here (generally speaking). Maybe thats because I know next to no expats here :)

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Two Three reasons why people should ask that:

 

c. because your complaints are way out of line

When I was working on a project at the now defunct Quelle, the maintenance guy came in and started saying stuff like, "Scheiss Deutschland" and really going way over the top, not really complaining about anything in particular, just generally putting Germany and the Germans down, in front of some Germans.

 

At that point, even I thought, "then why don't you go back home motherfucker?"

 

It's one thing to complain, even though I try not to do that around Germans, and another just to spew random shit, just because your life sucks. Especially if it sucks less than it would have where you come from.

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...Here's my answer: I like Germany but I don't want to live here. However, I can't 'just go home'. ...

 

Why didn't you figure out that one before you got married and had kids or at least had kids?

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So, what is your answer to this question? Why don't you just go home?

 

I did :)

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So, what is your answer to this question? Why don't you just go home?

 

This is home

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It's hard being a trailing partner/spouse expat. Especially if you were never the person who thought about moving abroad. I personally try to always follow the rule of ;if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all'. So I may complain to other expats and husband but never to anyone else. This way I never get THAT question.

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Why do I stay? Because life is life everywhere. If expecting life to be better because a change of geography, then you may be disappointed wherever you are. There may be the "perfect" place to live, but if there is, I have not found it.

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Anybody who comes to Germany must realise that the German way of life is rather different to that of the people who grow up in countries which are proud of themselves. Germans have an awful habit of running themselves down. A very good example of this self-punishment can be observed in the international forum of the On-line Spiegel. It is a crime in this land, to be anti-Semitic, but nobody seems to worry about being anti-German.

Because the Germans are so frustrated with their own way of life, they can be most nervous when foreigners also point towards traditions and habits which would be better forgotten. However Anne K, you have a problem which all British/German families share. Someone will always be away from their homeland, so please try to make the best of it.

My wife is German, but she comes from Silesia, a part of Germany taken by Poland after WW2. She was deported as a child and for many years she could not go home at all. At least you can visit your homeland without any great trouble. Brighton in Sussex for example, is not further away from NRW than Branice/Branitz in Silesia.

The truth is, were it not for the language, there is less difference between Germans and Britons than with the French, so if you love your family, this problem should not be too great in the long run. Most of us will always have a special feeling for the place where we were born, but home is where we are with those we love and that can be in any country.

:)

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Why do I stay? Because life is life everywhere. If expecting life to be better because a change of geography, then you may be disappointed wherever you are. There may be the "perfect" place to live, but if there is, I have not found it.

 

Absolutely. You can leave a stagnant and unhappy life in Germany behind and go somewhere else and still be just as miserable at your new geography.

 

First you have to figure out and define exactly what you want your happiness to look like and then make a conscious effort to make it happen where ever you are.

 

Can't believe it took me 16 years of living here to figure out a part of my happiness is having a dependable putzfrau who cleans our flat once a week. :)

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