So yes, I’m just one of many people living abroad; And no, I didn’t win at the lottery and get my one way ticket to the land of milk and honey, or get a dream job far away from my roots or decided that my life is kinda boring and I have to find some adventures.
I’m just a regular, average girl who worked since she was 16, studying hard, fell in love, finished college and faced her self with the fact that she can’t find a job in her country and that she has to leave to try do something. Just to be clear, it wasn’t about me not finding my “dream job.” I just couldn’t find one 4 years after I finished college.
So I found one in Germany! I was so happy and before I even thought about it, I was there. I expected it to be hard, but I was so ready to give everything in my power and not miss this opportunity.
Honestly, this job was… not so great, (working in shifts, working the night and weekends, running to an appointment after a night shift). I’m social worker, so think about what this job entails.
I was so tired, exhausted and confused. I didn’t know the language very well, but I dealt with things like documents and papers that I didn’t know how to explain or understand in my language.
I was trying my best to stay on track, but I was just flying around without any wings and pretended that I knew what I was doing. But I didn’t know anything. Even just shopping for groceries was a mission. I would be in a store for hours trying to understand and translate names of the groceries. I didn’t understand the voice on the train who warned the passengers about route changing so I got lost on a daily basis.
“Oh, I’m an alien, I’m a legal alien. I’m an Englishman in New York.” Pretty much me, but without the English language and without New York. After some time, it was better. I wasn’t tired anymore and I learned which train to take and which ticket to buy. I got used to my job too (I didn’t love it but I was peaceful with that fact). The worst part of living abroad is “Salty doughnuts.”
So, I love doughnuts. They are so colorful, and soft, and tasty and… just heaven! Life abroad is like eating a salty doughnut. It looks amazing and great and you just wanna eat them so fast, but after your first big bite, you realize it’s a salty doughnut. What now? You took one big bite, hoping it’ll be amazingly sweet and now you have a mouth full of something weird and different. Now you have to swallow that bite and eat a full plateful, too.
I didn’t see my parents, family and friends for more than year. I can’t understand everything on the radio or television. I buy tons of unnecessary products (because I read the description wrong). My best friend is pregnant and I haven’t been there for her. I wasn’t there when my brother graduated. I missed all birthdays, weddings and celebrations. I missed the appearance of gray hair on my parents heads. But what I did I get?
I got an opportunity, I rented my first apartment, I bought my first Christmas tree and I got a job to start with. When I come home, I’m aware that life goes on and not just for me. I realized that I missed so many important things. I realized that my parents are getting older and my “baby nephews” are going to school.
I can’t call Germany “my home”. I’m just one of many “Ausländer” here and I feel it every single day. But I got an opportunity to fight for my self and for the future of my family. Opportunity to work and be paid for it. Opportunity to buy stuff that I can live without and not feel bad about it. Opportunity to be young and learn something new every day. Germany gave me opportunity to prove how much I really wanna do something for my self.
So, here I am. I’m sitting in my living room, watching some American movie synced to German language (why Germany?) and I am alone. But, I’m watching this movie on the big screen of my first television that I paid for, eating the best chocolate ever, and listening to a voice message from my best friend.
In a few minutes, I will talk with my father, to whom I bought his first smartphone so we can be in touch (which he learned how to use) and this Friday, I’m flying home to surprise him for his birthday, as well as, my best friend before her childbirth (yes, I will be working some extra shifts when I come back).
So yes, I have plenty of salted doughnuts to eat… Surely they are different and not what I was expecting. And surely, I will not order them in a restaurant or am dying to try them, but I’m not hungry and these doughnuts are not so bad (especially if you can find some extra sugar to add).