My first blog interview is with Dominic, a German guy who I had the pleasure of working with in London. His English is excellent and he's one of the most confident and impulsive people I've met. He managed to thoroughly enjoy the social side of London and spent a lot of time eating his way around the capital. He now lives in Austria and has a beautiful girlfriend called Nicole and a dog called Charlie.
What do you miss about London ?
Nicole and I miss London quite a bit and I must say that I regularly think about the time living there. Naming all the things would be a 100 page document but here are some that I particularly miss about London :
- All the markets, particularly Borough market and Spitalfields.
- The fact that everywhere you go you find something new and meet a lot of different people with all kinds of backgrounds. I found that this is pretty exotic.
- I find that people in London are open minded, friendly and most of the people I got to know were always up for a chat. If you disagree you should come live in Vienna (lots of grumpy people!)
- I miss the “go for a beer after work” habit ;-)
- All the good food and the different varieties of food (we even discovered that, if you go to the right places, traditional English dishes can be very tasty!)
- Public Transport (although the tube is way out of date and can be a pain to ride, you should see the tube in Vienna - this is even dodgier). I often find myself arriving at a platform in Vienna thinking:"10 minutes to wait, this is torture"
- London is always busy and there are heaps of things to do. You can go out every single night of the week (if you want). This is not the case in Austria
- Shopping on Sundays and the opening hours of shops. If you want, you can even get the most exotic foods at 3 o’clock at night at the next Turkish shop.
- The British humour.
- A Restaurant called YumYum’s in Stoke Newington and the Chicken Katsu Curry at the Japanese Canteen
- Episodes of Little Britain, the Simpsons, Family Guy. Its sooooo crappy when they dub it on German/Austrian television. WHO finds that funny?
What is your favourite phrase or word in English?
“Worcestershire Sauce” and “the dog and bone”
Did you find anything strange about the British lifestyle when you moved to London ?
- The opening hours of pubs. Fortunately they changed that while I was there ;-)
- English breakfast, Brown Sauce (though I got to like it in the end)
- Eels in jelly, urghhhh!
- The health system and the poor hygienic standards at most GP-practices and in hospitals
- Saying “Thank You” to the bus driver
- People buying properties which you wouldn’t even give to asylum seekers in Germany, paying a huge amount for it and financing the whole thing with an interest-only mortgage. Now that proved to be wrong after all ;-)
- Putting beans on toast is just wrong!
- What’s also strange is that people in Britain don’t say something like “Bon Appétit” when they start to eat.
What did you miss most about Germany (other than your family)?
Sausages and bread.
Did you travel to other parts of Britain ?
The Isle of wight, Portsmouth , Ipswitch ;-), Eastbourne , Southend on Sea (which I would not recommend). Birmingham, Bristol & Manchester for work. I wish we would have got around a lot more. A shame that we didn’t visit Scotland .
What did you think about the British view of Germans?
When I first got to the UK I thought that being German, I would not really be welcome as a lot of People in Germany think that Brits don’t like the Germans. That proved to be wrong and I never really have made any bad experiences due to my background. I would say however, that I am not a typical German bloke. There are a couple of stereotypes though which I learned to laugh about (some, only some might even be true). Here's a list of my favourites:
- All Germans are fans of David Hasselhoff (I must admit in shame, I liked him in Baywatch as a 12 year old)
- All Germans measure and control everything (I caught myself timing my tube rides down to the second)
- All Germans wear white undershirts underneath their shirts
- Germans have no or very little humour (now that’s not true is it?!?)
- Germans drink a lot of beer (guilty!)
- All Germans speak English with a strong German accent