Things I miss in Germany as an expat

Lifestyle Sep 14, 2019

I still remember, it was the April of year 2016 when I first stepped my foot in Berlin, 8th of April to be precise. Looking back in time, I realize, for most part it has been a smooth journey, things have worked out quite well, touchwood. I don't have any complaints with the city, the lifestyle, the culture, and all that this city has to offer. I've got myself comfortably settled here and happily call it my home. However, living here, there are a few things that I do miss time and again.

Bidet shower aka Bum Gun

Photo by Steven Ungermann / Unsplash

This one has to be on top of my list, simply because it's an everyday struggle that I can't get over with, at least not yet ;) For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about, well it's a jet spray that you can use to clean your a** after you are done with your business. I don't want to start a debate around this here and rant about the hygiene issues of using solely the toilette paper, but I just wonder why people haven't had any thoughts around adopting this here yet ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Friendly Neighbours

Raw Emotions
Photo by Stock Photography / Unsplash

Well, I come from a culture where you mostly know all your neighbours, all friendly, outgoing and extremely helping, and usually they are your first point of contact in times of any distress and emergencies. When you move to a new apartment, your neighbours welcome you with warmth, make sure you get settled in, provide with all possible support and understanding needed to make you feel at home. However in Germany, it's been an entirely opposite experience tbh.


Street Food

Snack Attack!
Photo by Vernon Raineil Cenzon / Unsplash

While every now and then there are quite a decent mix of street food available in Berlin, it's nothing compared to the vast choices of an everyday street food from lot of asian countries in the world. The fact that you have to be lucky to be at a specific place, on a specific day, during a specific time interval to be able to relish the Berlin street food scene, defeats the whole fun surrounding the spontaneity of the street food experience.


Sunday and late evening shopping

Street vendor with a suitcase
Photo by Roman Kraft / Unsplash

You're lucky to be living in Berlin, where you could possibly find a few open sundays to finish some pending shopping that you might not have been able to do over the week. However in general, Sundays are a total shutout in Germany, you can very well starve to death if you happen to run out of groceries on a Saturday night.

And did you say you didn't realize it's almost 08:00 pm. Well, you're done for the day, most shopping complex and malls shut down at the stroke of 20:00. I'm sorry, you gotta wait until tomorrow to buy those last minute anniversary presents that you wanted to gift your wife at midnight. And you're out of lucky if it's a Sunday tomorrow, remember!


Walk-ins to Doctors Clinic

Doctor with a stethoscope
Photo by Online Marketing / Unsplash

I find it totally bizarre that there are rarely any doctors available on weekends, and the only choice you have got is to call an ambulance and declare an extreme emergency to get treated on weekends. And otherwise too, it's extremely difficult to get yourself treated for any medical condition on a short notice, though extreme emergencies still count, but everything else can basically wait until they become an emergency. Sickness cannot be planned, and expecting to have an early appointment for its treatment, it just sounds crazy to me ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Like I said, these are a few things that I miss, and nothing that bothers me to an extent that I rant about them. There's no debate in here, but I would be happy to know your thoughts and stories if you have got something to share :)

Emad Alam

Software Artist based out of Berlin. I love JavaScript and everything web. My history of coding dates back to high school when I coded my first ever desktop app for Windows 98 using just JavaScript :)

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