Franconian Beer Message Board

Moving to US, Friends, Boston (was Life Updates (was Annafest))
Posted by Jason on 2019-08-21 02:21:18
I kind of agree with you on the "foreigners" thing. You need some luck. Being younger (crucially in that I still play football), I have met some of my best friends in Bamberg. Unfortunately one was a student and has since left (we still meet) and the other a mad Slovenien. I have also good friends in Robert, Ursl and Frank and a lot of aquaintances around Bamberg, plus my football friends (having been part of 3 clubs since being here means I'm often hollered at when out and about. It's always nice to be recognised, but it doesn't mean you're best mates. It requires effort though, and especially in my early Bamberg days I was out a lot, and I think I looked like someone who needed a chat, so people obliged. Now my language skills are greatly improved and I'm established, people don't tend to 'bother' me any more. I miss that a little, but it's clearly an aura one gives off of needing human contact. Littlle things are also beneficial, like picking up the accent, learning schafkopf and knowing more about their beer scene than they do, it all helps :) 

So the friend side I have covered, but the cultural differences remain, and will always remain, I think. My girlfriend (also British, has lived in the Germanic countries for 10 years) and I will often talk about how 'German' the Germans really are. Most observations are very small and not really something occasional visitors will notice. One of the biggest is their sense of self righteousness. We feel like we are constantly doing something wrong in some way and that some 'do gooder' is going to start wagging a finger. Just parking my car is a chore, looking for various signs saying that something on some day isn't allowed. That sense of 'order' is not just a cliché, and it has it's benefits, but the downsides are extremely frustrating, especially for a couple of Liberal Brits. I just tell people to mind their own business now, but you're constantly looking over your shoulder. 

Germans can also be incredibly rude sometimes, and I really miss that softer approach the British have - if they have to mention something they are polite and discreet. In Spezi the other day my girlfriend politely asked at another table if she could take the ashtray and some old Franconian answered "na klar" in his sarcastic way - it's not clear, maybe you're using it, she's being polite and you're just being an arsehole. Again, a year ago I would have let it go, but it wears you down so much, this time I gave him a piece of my mind. I will also not tolerate bad tempered and rude service any more, and it's amazing how much they soften when you give it them back.

I'm not 'complaining' about life here; my girlfrirend and I love it, and she's moving to Bamberg in January. It's just these differences are bigger than they may seem at first. We were in Britain in April and were almost shocked at how friendly everyone was in everyday situations... there's no right or wrong, just different. And the Brits have their faults too of course. 

It's what makes living in a 'foreign' culture such a rich and rewarding experience, if sometimes frustrating. 
                 Moving to US, Friends, Boston (was Life Updates (was Annafest)) by Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-08-21 05:19:43
                   Moving to US, Friends, Boston (was Life Updates (was Annafest)) by Jason on  2019-08-21 05:55:44
                 British Faults by AndyH on  2019-08-21 08:36:59
                   British Faults by Barry Taylor on  2019-08-22 04:24:09
                     British Faults by Jason  on  2019-08-22 05:29:40
                       British Faults by Carl on  2019-08-22 07:22:34
                       Living there vs Visiting ( was British Faults) by Uncle Jimbo on  2019-08-23 12:52:28
                         Living there vs Visiting ( was British Faults) by Jason on  2019-08-23 16:55:10
                         Touring Britain on the Cheap (was: British Faults) by Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-08-28 07:12:11
                           Touring Britain on the Cheap (was: British Faults) by Barm on  2019-08-29 03:06:07
                             Touring Britain on the Cheap (was: British Faults) by Nick B. (formerly in Erlangen) on  2019-08-30 01:02:29