Returnee: Alex

Where and for how long did you live abroad?

I have lived in Canada for one year.

What is different about Canada?

Nature: An incredible vastness, (wild) animals that I would never see in Germany…

Sizes: Not only the country itself is huge, the cars, the butter, chocolate bars or portions of food when you go out…

People: Most impressive were the people. They have a much more positive view on life. They know that leisure is as important as work. They are insanely helpful. They are much more thoughtful and friendly to each other. They are more relaxed and in the countryside as well as in the big city…

How did you feel when you came back to Germany?

It was difficult. Very difficult because I really wanted to stay there. Of course it was great to see my family and friends again. But if it were up to me, I would have taken the next plane after a few weeks. I am in love with the country and its people and still hope that I find a way back to Canada. Getting home from the airport was an adventure. Pure kamikaze driving on the highway, jostling, speeding … I was glad to arrive safely.

A day later, I was eyeballed by a woman on the road, from top to bottom, so I just thought, “mind your own business”.

In Canada you can wear what you want and no one looks at you in a strange way.

And then of course the scramble at the grocery store or on the train. Everyone is selfish and instead of waiting patiently they push their trolleys in your heels or elbows your ribs.

What do you appreciate about Germany?

30 paid vacation days. Unemployment benefits. Bread, creamy yogurt with fat. Hiking without having to constantly make noise.

What do you miss from your time living abroad?

I miss the relaxed life which prevails from the considerate interaction with each other in Canada.

(I miss) that I’m not already annoyed on the way to work because I was pushed by somebody just so that he can get on the train before me. And then I have to push someone when trying to get off because people are standing in front of the doors on the platform, trying to get on before I can get out.

I especially also miss Vancouver for walking on the beach or watching the sun set and on the other side of the bay the mountains are rising into the sky.


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