Singapore Diaries: What I appreciate about Germany since living in Singapore

// Read in German

Lately, I have been noticing more and more things that I really appreciate (and miss!) about Germany. Funny enough, I initially couldn’t wait to leave the country. Particularly during the last months in Berlin, I couldn’t stand the monotone daily life, the prowling people on the streets, and the Berliner Schnauze (*). However, I assumed that once I left the dirty city that tired me so much, I would be free and happy. Free from routines, free from the German culture of envy, and last but not least: free from winter clothes.

Ever since I’ve been living in Singapore as expat, and especially since the Corona Pandemic broke out, I know though: In Germany, I was freer than I knew. I might feel that way as the rules and laws are less strict in Germany and also – looking from a Singapore point of view – the German government seems to be very liberal. However, it is also likely that it is the “knowledge” that gave me a feeling of security in Germany. I am just about to start learning the Asian culture, the way of life, everything really. Born and raised in Germany, I grew up with all the norms, rules, and value systems that liberated but limited my way of thinking at the same time. And as dull this may have seemed in my later days, it is the habit and routine that makes us feel stable and comfortable.

However, this is precisely what I wanted: Life begins at the end of your comfort zone, right? That’s why in any way, I wouldn’t want to miss the experiences that I come to value here. Just that I do appreciate the extent of freedom which I never knew I had in Germany, more than ever.

* Berliner Schnauze is how the attitude of the inhabitants of the city of Berlin is called. It is characterized as being outspoken, lacking politeness and using coarse humor



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