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From Germany to Texas: A German Expat's Life in Texas
04 October, 2012 10:34
I've been born and raised in Germany and have been living there till 4 years ago, when I moved to the USA, southern Texas, that is, and married there. I'm now a permanent resident of the US, aka a resident alien.
1. Why did you move abroad?
To marry and to live with the woman I came to love here.
2. How do you make a living?
I'm a retired German Civil Servant and thus get my retirement money, even if I live abroad, as long as I retain my German citizenship.
3. How often do you communicate with home and how?
E-Mails to my friends in Germany very frequently, through my German-language blog and via Skype, the latter only rarely.
4. What's your favorite thing about being an expat in Texas?
The wide open country they still have here in many areas, but most of all the absolutely friendly welcome.
5. What’s the worst thing about being an expat in Texas?
I can't really say, but maybe the heat and humidity down here in southern Texas.
6. What do you miss most?
German food, i.e. "Brötchen" and "Wurstaufschnitt".
7. What did you do to meet people and integrate in your new home?
I didn't have to do anything as the Texans - well, to my mind, Americans in general - are so open-minded, friendly and receptive to newcomers to their country that from my first day here I felt welcome and integrated.
8. What custom/ habits do you find most strange about your adopted culture?
One is that cleaning your teeth openly after eating seems to be a good habit here. Also the fact that you eat with your fork only. And that it seems to be a bad habit here to use a handkerchief.
9. What is a myth about your adopted country?
Anything that starts with "THE" Americans.
10. Is the cost of living higher or lower than the last country you lived in and how has that made a difference in your life?
If I compare the real "buying power" of the Euro in Germany to the Dollar here - not the exchange rate, that is - the costs of living are fairly equal. There are differences in individual items, of course, e.g. gasoline here being that much cheaper, bot overall it seems equal to me.
11. What advice would you give other expats?
Inform yourself about the new country before you go to live here. For me, it helped a lot that I had been visiting here for up to six months per year for 10 years before I finally moved here. Make sure you know about all the necessary requirements, especially the relevant papers.It might help, even if it's somewhat expensive, to recruit the services of an attorney specialized in immigration matters to get the Green Card.
12. When and why did you start your blog?
I started my first blog - in German [http://pitspersoenlichesblog.wordpress.com/] to keep my friends in Germany informed about my life here, in 2010, shortly after I had finally moved here. Then, in April 2011, I started a blog in English, when I realized that more English than German-speaking people were interested.
Pit's blog, A German Expat's Life in Texas
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