I am writing this book to give some insight on what happened to us before, during and after our move from Austin, Texas to Munich, Germany, as well as some hints, tips and ideas on how to improve on your very own journey based on our – how should I say this – fun learning curve! Plus, I am pregnant with story. You’ll encounter a lot of helpful links from schools, to current university fees, and where to register your car as well as information about the German culture and customs along with some personal stories. I won't spare you the tortures of buying a car, finding a house, much less opening a bank account either. My hope is to give you enough information to be well prepared before you take on this journey.
This is definitely not a “how to” book but more of a “how we did it and are still doing it” book. If anything, I hope that you’ll be at least a little entertained. Maybe you’ll be as surprised as we were about the cultural differences that we encountered. Coming "home" as a grown up, after living in Texas for over 20 years, was eye opening, new and exciting for me, as a native German.
For all those we had to leave behind: ”You’re always welcome at the Markley’s!” Maybe this book will spark your interest enough to come and visit Germany or even dare to move here too.
Germany! It’s NOT the USA! If you do come and visit, try and keep an open mind. Bring your walking shoes because you’ll do a lot of walking. There’ll be no ice in your drinks! If you ask for tea, it’ll be hot tea! Food portions are “normal” size not super sized. After every meal you walk off your meal to make room for the next meal. Patriotism is great but unnecessary. Germans in general are in awe with the US, so no need to try and shine a spotlight on the differences. Most public toilets are very clean because there’ll be someone there to clean up after you for a mere 0,20-0,70 Euros. Germans love fresh air! There are no vents in regular restrooms and if there’s no open window and a breeze, it stinks! So bring your gas mask! Haha, just kidding.
Speaking of stink. I couldn’t imagine separating the trash in Texas the way we do it here, because it really does stink! Especially in the summer. I don’t think a gas mask would help you when you try to throw away your organic trash where your trash can used to be, which has now become a living entity, moving with maggots all on its own (note to self: throw left over meat in the regular trash!). Did I mention that there are NO garbage disposals! I really do miss those. In general everything’s a little rougher, rawer, not so beautified! The country is BEAUTIFUL! Don’t misunderstand me. It’s the people who are tough and very honest. If you don’t want an honest answer, think before you ask! Most Germans are very well educated, knowing a lot about their own country as well as the rest of the world, geographically, politically, economically, etc. They’re very interested in what goes on around the world and are eager to discuss it with you at any time over a good glass of wine or a nice liter of beer.
Since this book will be available online, some names may have been changed to preserve the privacy of certain individuals.
Also, please excuse any mistakes you might encounter. As the Germans would say: “This book grew entirely on top of my own pile of manure,” — from writing to editing. Each chapter is divided into sections and sometimes I've added “story time” to let you know, a personal story is coming up. So if you're only interested in facts, you might want to skip this part. If you're seriously thinking about moving to Germany and need someone to hold your hand with all that German paper work, (they do have computers here, really, but they love, love, love their papers!) want a native speaker to show you around, help your family settle in or help you out in any way, you can req