My Life In Germany

The clouds taken from the plane in flying  to Germany.
The clouds taken from the plane in flying to Germany. | Source

Emigrating

Emigrating to another country very far from where you were born is not an easy thing to do. Far from the parents and siblings you love and of course from your friends you are very fond of. Far from the environment you are used to. You will never think of leaving those people you love. Thinking of it is so sad. But when love comes your way, you will never think of those negative things that might happen. Everything will be in colors. All you think is positive. You will never think about homesickness because you have not experienced it. You don't even know that word before.

Your friends envy you because you will be having a good life. You will be seeing beautiful places your friends will not be able to see. Neighbours and friends talk about you and the financial support you will be sending to your parents for their foods and the educations of your siblings. These are the positive things everybody is thinking of besides you and your husband to be. Your coming husband who does not know much about the family responsibilities of becoming a husband of a Filipina.

Winter in Germany
Winter in Germany | Source
German brown bread, full corn and wheat bread rolls.
German brown bread, full corn and wheat bread rolls. | Source
German roast pork and Knoedeln ( potato balls).
German roast pork and Knoedeln ( potato balls). | Source
Gingerbread house
Gingerbread house | Source

Life Changes

The Weather

When I first arrived in Germany, it was May the beginning of summer. The weather was over 20 degree Celsius but it was freezing cold to me. The Germans were already wearing their summer clothes and bikinis for it was so hot for them. The children were roaming around their gardens while their parents were sunbathing. Me on my part was freezing under the heat of the sun. I was wearing winter clothes like the thick stockings, sweatshirt and pullover.

It was my first German winter when I scratched off the snow out of our window when my parents-in-law saw me scratching. I was funny to them and they told me with a smile not to do it because the snow just melt alone when the temperature gets low. How would I know? Never thought of that at that time. I did not bother for a week to go out of the house. My clothes were even tripled in layers compaired to what I wore during summer time. It was the hardest year in my life.

The Food

The second life changes was eating only one warm meal a day. I was used to three warm meals ( it was usually cold when we started eating) a day in the Philippines. Breakfast, lunch and dinner were always warm food with rice, fish and vegetables and snacks in between.

In Germany I learned to eat Broetchen (German bread rolls). Dark brown bread made of full corn and rye with marmalade, jam, ham, cheese, salami at breakfast and dinner time. Lunch time was the only warm meal of the day which was potatoes, meat, sausages, vegetables and of course the brown gravy. It was hard going to bed craving for Filipino food. There was no Asian shop at that time in Germany. That was in the 80's. Rice was difficult to find until I came to know that there was an Indonesian shop in Arnheim, The Netherlands where I was able to buy rice and other Asian food. Arnheim was 1 hour drive from where I have lived in Germany. It was like Christmas day for me. I never thought I would missed rice in my life.

The People

My first impression about the Germans was that they are very clean and they love everything in order which I later found out to be true. Of course, there are exceptions. They are big people. Some are friendly while others are rude. They are punctual and are hard working people. Everything has each own rules and regulations to be followed. They love to work even on their free days. They talk about work even on their free times such as weekends. Work is always the best topic to talk about. I heard about a saying: " Germans live to work, not work to live." When a German does not like you, he or she will directly tell you to get off where the pepper grows.

German Customs and Traditions

  1. They greet you with shaking your hands. Shaking hands when meeting or visiting a German and shaking hands when you say goodbye.
  2. They clean their nose while they are at the table enjoying their meals. They love hearty food like Schweinebraten (roast pork), Sauerbraten (marinated pot roast), Schweinshaxe (roasted pork knuckle)and sausages with potatoes and gravy.
  3. They are fond of coffee time at 3 in the afternoon and mostly make their own delicious cakes.
  4. They love football, beer and Oktoberfest.
  5. Christmas time is baking time as they make a lot of different kinds of cookies and gingerbread houses. They start decorating their houses on the first advent which is the last Sunday of November. On the first advent, one candle from the Advent Wreath will be lighten. On the second, third and fourth advents the candles are lighted respectively.
  6. There are a lot of Christmas markets in Germany where everything for Christmas is sold. Food and drinks are sold as well.

The Environment

Germany is a beautiful country. Green fields and cultivated lands. The Rhine river flows from the Swiss Alps through the North Sea of Holland (Netherland). From where I live, the surroundings are green, clean and is well taken care of the people. The Germans are very conscious about the cleanliness of the environment and are separating different kinds of garbage from paper to plastic and glasses.

My Second Home Country

Thinking about my early years in Germany makes me wise and considering how I struggled to be accepted by the Germans. Germany is now my second home. When I'm in the Philippines, I say " I want to go home". Just the same like I want to go home to the Philippines when I am in Germany.

Christmas Market in Germany

Map of Europe

show route and directions
A markerRhine River Switzerland -
Rhine Falls, Neuhausen am Rheinfall, Switzerland
[get directions]

B markerRhine River, Germany -
Rhine-Herne Canal, Germany
[get directions]

C markerRhine River, The Netherlands -
Rhine, Botlek, The Netherlands
[get directions]

© 2011 Thelma Alberts

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Comments 41 comments

MummyDearest profile image

MummyDearest 5 years ago from Kildare, Ireland

I know how you feel since emigrating myself. Thanks or sharing. Voted up!


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 5 years ago from Illinois

Moving from the warm Philippines to cold Germany must have been quite an adjustment! Maybe there's a hub on this that I've missed but I'm curious as to how you met your husband (was he stationed in the Philippines?) A lot of people never leave their hometowns much less their home countries. Thanks for sharing your experience.


writer20 profile image

writer20 5 years ago from Southern Nevada

I know exactly where you're coming from. I once moved to Holland and found the men where no better the British (boring). Now i've been have in the U.S. for (cough) thirty years and still miss Englands tree's and plants because we live in Las Vegas where everyone has to grow their own tree's. Her's hoping you're used to the German weather now, maybe that's why you look forlorn in you're photo.


Eunice Stuhlhofer profile image

Eunice Stuhlhofer 5 years ago

Hi Thelma, nice to read about your settlement in Germany. I visited Germany thrice. I live in Austria, a beautiful country that resembles Germany.

Have you been to Austria?


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 5 years ago from Germany Author

Hi MummyDearest! Thanks for dropping by and giving a comment.

Hi Dannette! Thanks for stopping by. Yes, it was a very big adjustment for me for I have not traveled very far than 30 kilometers from my hometown before I married. My husband and I were pen pals for 6 years when we were still teenagers and got married after we saw each other and we had 1 year of thinking over if we should get married. Thanks for your interest.


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 5 years ago from Germany Author

Hi writer20! We might have more years in another country than our own but we still miss the things we have seen and eat in our childhood times. I am used to German weather and German attitude now. I keep on adjusting myself where ever I am. May it be in the Philippines or in Germany.

I look forlorn in my profile photo because I was thinking that I would be missing the beauty of Ireland. The photo was taken in the restaurant at Carne Golf Links in Ireland. Thanks for your comment.


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 5 years ago from Germany Author

Hi Eunice! Thanks for your stopping by. Yes, I have been to Austria. Mozart place. It's a beautiful country. Take care.


Just History profile image

Just History 4 years ago from England

It must have been a major shock to you to come in to the cold of Europe. As a child we lived in Singapore and my mother used to complain of the heat- I guess we cant please everyone all of the time!


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany Author

Hi Just History!

Yes, it was a major culture shock to me. But it was worth it as I came to think how I spent my life with all the good things that happened and still happening to me in the cold weather of Europe. Thanks for stopping by.


looniestlove profile image

looniestlove 4 years ago from Davao City, Philippines

wow very well written Thelma...I read the foods and i find it hard to pronounce good thing you place roast pork marinated pot roast,roasted pork knuckle hehehe its much more easier to read it this way...It is really hard to adjust to a new lifestyle and new cultures,but as you said when you are with the love of your life everything is wondeful...glad you found your true love...god bless you both


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany Author

Thanks looniestlove. Yes, it was difficult to adjust to a new lifestyle and to learn another language hard to pronounce. But as we have heard somewhere: "Love Conquers All."


tiagoz profile image

tiagoz 4 years ago

Hi Thelma, your article was really interesting. Actually I will be moving to Germany this year and I am really excited but also a bit worried because of the cold since I am from a tropical country (Brazil). But I am somewhat relieved as you said you adjusted fine, I hope the same will happen to me. Thanks for sharing your experiences, I can't wait to discover Germany.


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany Author

Hi tiagoz! Good luck to your moving to Germany. I hope my article helps you. Yes, you will be doing fine and you will be able to adjust to the German culture. I have met a lot of Brazilian women who adopted very well. In fact I know one who has an art gallery in the city where I live. Have a great weekend.


Brett.Tesol profile image

Brett.Tesol 4 years ago from Somewhere in Asia

Good hub and I can completely understand the temperature change, as after 5 years in Thailand which is 30c+ most of the time, I moved to the coldest part of South Korea ... -20c!! :-s ... that was an interesting few months lol.

Thanks for SHARING, up and interesting.


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany Author

Thank you Brett. Yes, it is always interesting to live for a few months in a foreign country. Although it is no longer foreign to me now, I still have to adjust to the 2 different cultures and climates of both countries (Philippines and Germany)I am living in a year. Thanks for your SHARING.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 4 years ago from Chicago

This is a great little Hub! I enjoyed learning more about Germany and your personal journey. Thank you for this pleasure.


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany Author

Hello James! Thanks for stopping by. You are always welcome to learn more about me from my hubs. Have a great day!


Melovy profile image

Melovy 4 years ago from UK

I found this very interesting, both to read about your experience of adjusting to your new life in Germany and also to read your perspective of German people. My niece is going to Germany for a year so I will send her a link to your articles.


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany Author

Hi Melovy! Thanks for visiting my hub and for giving a comment. I hope your niece will be having a great year in Germany. I´m sure she knows a bit of German words to communicate with the locals. Good luck to her and have a great day to you.


SallyTX profile image

SallyTX 4 years ago from Only In Texas!

What an interesting life you have had! When I was a little girl, my family knew lots of German women because we lived in a Texas town with an Army base. Lots of German girls came to the US married to soldiers in those days. They were very friendly, pretty, outgoing girls, and I have always been fond of the German language. Voted up and interesting! ;D


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany Author

Hi Sally! Yes, it was and still is an interesting life. Glad to know that you have met Germans in their friendly manners and that you are fond of their language which is very difficult to learn. Thanks for coming by. Have a great weekend!


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 4 years ago from sunny Florida

This is quite a story. Your life is full of interesting twists and turns. I know what you mean about moving far away from your family and all. And then love comes and you go. I was a young mother and wife who moved with my husband to Japan for four years. It was so hard to leave my parents and the rest of my family that I was so close to but it was a wondrous time we had in Japan.

thank you so much for sharing your story with us. :) ps


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 4 years ago from Germany Author

Thanks for your comment pstraubie48. I appreciate that. Yep, my life has "full of interesting twists and turns" as you said and I´m happy about it. Have a great weekend!


Deb Welch 3 years ago

This Hub is what Life is all about. Learning, adapting, discovering and enjoyment. My maternal great grandparents came from East Berlin. My mother was always baking as she married into an Italian family. You are close to other countries which is fantastic. I am close to Canada. I made a move to a big city - 25 miles away and I am still learning. Voted Up - Useful, Beautiful and Interesting.


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 3 years ago from Germany Author

Hi Deb Welch! Yep, you´re right. Life is what we make it as well. We´ll continue learning, adopting, etc as long as we live. Thanks for your wonderful comment and for following me. Have a lovely week!


Magdaleine profile image

Magdaleine 3 years ago

I had been living in the Netherlands for a few years, and had opportunity to visit Germany a few times. It's great to read your hub, very interesting.


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 3 years ago from Germany Author

Thanks for reading my hubs Magdaleine. Have a happy year 2013!


liesl5858 profile image

liesl5858 3 years ago from United Kingdom

Hi! Thelma, thank you for sharing your experiences about life away from our country. I come from the Philippines too and I know exactly how it feels to be faraway from your parents, relations and friends.


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 3 years ago from Germany Author

Good morning liesl5858! Nice to meet you here in HP. The world is getting smaller everyday. How are you ? I hope you have no more homesickness now. It´s really hard to be very far away from home. Have a great week. Thanks for your visit;-)


Aiza 3 years ago

hello Thelma..

Can i ask if u study germen school here in the phillipines before u go to germany?


ricaazia profile image

ricaazia 3 years ago from Polomolok, South Cotabato

Hi Thelma i just sign in so i could post you a comment ...

you page is very helpful for me as a filipina who will soon migrate to germany .

If its ok with you..i would like to ask some question that will help me encourage more to pursue my decision.

first thig i wanna ask...

before u go in germany did u go to a german language school first?


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 3 years ago from Germany Author

Hi Aiza! No, I did not. I came to Germany in 1981 and it was not strict at that time. I learned my German language here in Germany. Thanks for your visit. Good night!


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 3 years ago from Germany Author

Hi ricaazia! Good you sign in here. You can write an article about everything you like.

It´s ok. I´m glad I can help you and other Filipinas who are coming to Germany. No, I did not learn German language in the Philippines, only here in Germany when I arrived here in 1981. It was not strict before compared to now.

Good luck to your plan in coming to my adopted country. I wish you success. Thanks for your visit;-)


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 18 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

Reading your experience in adjusting to life in Germany is very interesting. Immigrants from the Philippines to the United States also experience difficulties in adjusting to different food, weather, and customs. Did you learn any of the German language after emigrating? Also does your husband have any difficulties in adjusting to life in the Philippines when he visits? Voted up and sharing with HP followers.


peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 18 months ago from Home Sweet Home

thanks for describing your feelings. true that when you are married due to love, you have to leave your home country, very sad indeed. Beginning your new life in western country is a challenge


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 18 months ago from Germany Author

Hi Paul Kuehn! Do you know that you have a German surname? Kühn or Kuehn as we write this in English. Yes, I can speak and write German fluently as learning the German language was one of the priorities I had to do to be able to communicate with the Germans. My hubby has adjusted well to the life in the Philippines, its tradition and culture as well as the mentality of the Filipinos. We became flexible living in both countries for a certain time. Thanks for your wonderful comment and for sharing this hub. Have a lovely week!


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 18 months ago from Germany Author

So true peachpurple. Yes, it was indeed a challenge. A challenge which made me the "Me" of today and it widen my horizon as well. Thanks for your nice comment. Have a lovely week!


miraflor enclonar 17 months ago

thank you for sharing your experiences.. it was very inspiring, I am one of those individuals who ever since dreaming to live in europe specially in ireland and by reading your story it feels like i've been there in those places... hope you continue to share more of your experiences.. God bless


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 17 months ago from Germany Author

Hi Miraflor! Thank you very much for your wonderful comment. I appreciate that. Maybe your dream of living in Europe will come true in the future. I hope so. Yes, surely I will continue sharing more of my experiences in life about living in different countries. God bless to you, too.


Brenda Reeves profile image

Brenda Reeves 15 months ago

Thelma, I love your hub pages. They are all very interesting. I saw your husbands art on your blog and came over here to see more of it. I love his work. I'm also an artist but have been away from it or a long time. I'm just now getting back into it.


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 15 months ago from Germany Author

Hi Brenda,

It´s nice to see you here. I hope you will write some hubs as I have seen that you have just joined HP. It´s great to know that you are an artist too. Please continue to be an artist. I´m looking forward to what you paint and of course what you write. Thanks for your wonderful comment. Have a great new week!

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