13

JULY, 2011

I came to Germany straight after my studies in the southwest of England to Frankfurt with a mountainbike & 2 suitcases with 200 DM cash. It was a hard deal at the start but I had a lot of help from new found friends & colleagues who taught me a lot of German to get me integrated quickly. I would recommend this jump into the deep end to anybody at this age as it broadens the mind & offers so many new challenges & opportunities in work & pleasure.

 

I left my home town of Camborne in the year of 1986 after finishing my studies at the local Technical College to start my first job as an Illustrator in Frankfurt. The main reason for leaving England was because of the lack of job opportunities. Other than tourism there are few possibilities for a technical illustrator in Cornwall. After almost twenty-five years in Germany eighteen of which spent in the Frankfurt area I am now after six years in Munich wondering where it goes from here. Thoughts of returning home crop up now and again, sometimes through frustration, sometimes through cultural differences and sometimes because I think that I have been away long enough. It just doesn’t matter how long you live as an ex-pat you are what you are. I speak German and have a German wife, work in a German company and pay German taxes, I have lost a lot of contact with England over the years simply because you have to decide at some stage whether you are going to stay here or go back after a short stay. I intended on staying for just a year, earn enough cash to set up as a freelancer and hop it back to blighty. After the year passed I realised that I had enjoyed my stay too much and hadn’t saved a great deal and decided as the job was interesting to stay longer, the rest is history as they say :-)).

Images of Spitfires flying over the cliffs at Beachyhead while cricket is being played in the school fields made me feel nostalgic & a little patriotic at the time.

Photograph by Douglas Stevens Photoviewz

Looking back over the last twenty-five years of my life here I can honestly say that I’ve had it quite good, I integrated well after the first year what the language is concerned, have never been unemployed and have enjoyed considerable success career wise too. I have been around a bit and have discovered more of  Britain probably than I would have if I lived there. My wife is a great England fan too. I have travelled europe quite a bit too over the years.

Now I wouldn’t say that I’m ready for the knackers yard just yet but as with all of us I’m not getting younger and the thought of selling up and moving back keeps popping into my head, but why? Well, it is quite simple, it’s where I originate, the language , the small talk about the weather, the cursing of public transport, the crappy football on Saturday etc, etc. I miss small things like fish & chips, visits to National Trust and RSPB properties, shopping until 10pm, English pubs, lasagne & chips, ploughmans lunch, rugged coastline, steam trains and traction engines, reed covered cottages, airshows, car boot sales, red telephone boxes, cornish pasties, English crisps………

 

“I have been around quite a bit & have probably seen more of the UK from here than I would have if I had lived there.”

A dramatic sky just before sunset in a field of wheat seen in the Midlands of England.

Photograph by Douglas Stevens Photoviewz

An absolute must see in the Bavarian Alps, south Germany, is king Ludwigs magnificant Neuschwanstein Castle.

Photograph by Douglas Stevens Photoviewz

Of course when I do get the chance to go over then I indulge in as many of these things as possible but of course not everything you would indulge in as when you would live there. Of course living in Bavaria is a great experience too, German beer, pretzels, Oktoberfest, barock architecture, Neuschwanstein, Garmisch, skiing, mountains, cars……but it is German and not English.

 

 

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