Elections in Germany, a self-reflection

One week ago, elections in Germany happened. I feel that this election made some people freak out (I would even say most of them) but, what’s the issue?

The AFD, Alternative For Germany, is a party that directed its campaign to address immigration by raising hostility against immigrants, refugees and Islam. Being an immigrant myself, their campaign made me sick. I felt just as sick as I felt during the US campaign with Trump. Were we going to experience this ALL OVER AGAIN, really?

Luckily, the AFD was a bit more diplomatisch (insert german accent here). Nevertheless, this made me think and the week before the elections I found myself discussing with Viktor about this issue. What’s wrong with people? Is it really possible that countries such as the US and Germany didn’t learn A THING about their past.

Our conclusion was that people fear what they don’t know when they have not been taken out of their comfort zone. From Viktor’s experience and because he also comes from East Germany, the issue here is that even though the wall was demolished 28 years ago, the wall is still in the mind of the some of the inhabitants of these cities.

When you don’t have the opportunity to travel and experience other cultures, you can’t relate to “foreigners” and realize that deep down, we are all the same. We might have different skin colors, types of hair, believe in a different God and speak other languages but, beneath all of that ,  we are all the same.

We don’t know when things might change and we might need to leave our countries just to survive. Regardless, us as immigrants, need to thrive to always give our best so that opportunities for the next generations keep coming up.

I tell you all of this because something happened this week. I received an order from Amazon and when signing the confirmation of receipt , the postman realized that his name was the same as my last name: Henry. He then asked if he could leave my neighbor’s packages with me, to what I said: “sure”.

The next day, Henry ringed on my doorbell again, with more packages, which I also kept because I know that postmen here are not well paid and they have ton of work. Day three, Henry knocked again and yes, he was planning to leave more packages with me. By then, a neighbor told me she was at home at the time  packages are delivered so I realized,Henry just didn’t stop by and then… I felt disappointed.

This guy, black, like me, and probably with immigrant parents, wants to take advantage of me, an immigrant as well to get me to do his work for him. Hell no Henry!!! You need to do better. We need to do better. Because if we don’t, the AFD will keep throwing their seeds in fertile soil, spreading fear, hate and hostility. The world is taking many turns and we should not forget that we all need each other to do our best.

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Appreciate Everything

One week ago, my husband and I spent a weekend in Berlin. This was the first city in which I lived when I first came to Germany back in 2013; so I was really excited to be his tour guide for the first time in his country of origin. We took time to stroll around the city, try new food and meet with friends. Nevertheless, the thought that stayed on my mind, is how things have  changed since 2013.

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I spent two years away from my fiance, got married and we are now finally together in the same place. I made a pause and couldn’t feel more grateful for being able to spend a weekend in the place where it all began, but this time, with my husband.

Last week had a good start. On Monday, we had to request the extension of my resident permit and everything went fine. I’ll have a resident permit that will be valid for one and a half years. This made me feel relieved, German bureaucracy can be complicated at times, but we managed to sort everything out properly and now it’s done.

Talking to friends, who are also going through similar situations, we came to the same conclusion: these are processes that we have to follow and even though they can be confusing and kind of stressful at times, those are the quirks of being a foreigner in another country.

Despite of this, I didn’t feel positive at all last week, so I decided that the best way to deal with this feeling was writing. I guess that the hurricanes in the Caribbean and the earthquakes in Mexico also took a toll on me emotionally. I give my best to always stay positive and tell you all the nice things that I am experiencing during my new beginning but I also promised I’d tell you the bad & the ugly. I am not going to say this is bad or ugly, I rather say IT’S LIFE.

Life is not easy! but you know that already. I’d rather say  the key here is to keep in mind that these tough moments will shape our character and will help us appreciate the good moments everyday, even when it’s tough to see the sun after the rain. Sometimes I find myself (yes, it will sound cliché) thinking that things happen for a reason. It’s not an easy thing to realise and sometimes it might not be as clear right away but please, I beg of you: believe in yourself and everything will fall into place.

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“Believe in yourself and everything will fall into place”
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New Beginnings

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A little backstory:

Since I was 12, I wanted to study in Germany (My mom can confirm that)

When I was about to finish my bachelor’s degree, the first thing I did was research for scholarships that would allow me to pursue a master’s degree, in Germany, of course!!!

Just one month after I received my bachelor’s diploma, I filled a lot of applications and in December 2012, the news that I had been granted a scholarship for a master’s degree in Logistics came!. I arrived in Germany in May 2013 and completed the master in May 2015. I am quite sure these two years are the best out of the 28 that I’ve been on this planet.

You might wonder, where is she going with this?

Well, now that I have spent a month in Germany, I have realized that even though I spent two of the best years of my life here, I am a newbie in this country all over again.

It’s not the same thing to be a student with a scholarship, than being a grown-up starting a new life in a new country. I guess that’s the reason why at the beginning of this year part of me was freaking out.

New city + new language + new culture…yes, that’s a tough one.

Tough or not, I have to say that I am enjoying the ride. Germany is a great place to live and I am sure that the decision to come back to Hamburg was a good one.

I am also sure it won’t be easy, but I’ll give my best to always see the good side of EVERYTHING in this new experience.

So to wrap it up, in one month:

  • I managed to meet new people;
  • We began to make our home feel cozier;
  • I went back to studying German today; and
  • I began my job hunt & have not been rejected 🙂

Wish me luck in this New Beginning!!!

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Herzlich Wilkommen!!!

Thanks for coming by to #MissHenryinGermany my home online where I will share with you the good, the bad and the ugly of my life in my new home away from home in Hamburg, Germany.
Let’s be honest, changes are SCARY but being scared shouldn’t stop you from doing what you want to do. I first came to Germany in May 2013 with a goal in mind: pursuing a master’s degree in Logistics. Don’t you think I was scared?
Of course I was, but I embraced this change with my arms wide open just as this new beginning, as I like to call this second round in Germany.
At the beginning of this year when I knew that the time to leave my comfort zone was arriving I felt anxious and stressed because my life as I knew it was going to change.
Fast forward to August and I couldn’t be more relaxed. I embraced with open arms this new opportunity to start a new chapter of my life in Hamburg and I am already looking forward to sharing my experiences with you in this blog.

With love,

Izmir

 
 
 

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