I’m Transferring to Germany within the Center of a Pandemic
I’ve been in South Africa for almost six years, and I a lot choose Europe.
I’ll be 70 this yr, and, for the primary time in my life, I’m petrified of relocating. I did a depend the opposite day. I’ve moved home 44 instances, moved cities 26 instances, moved international locations 10 instances, and this will probably be my fifth inter-continental transfer. And, in fact, I’ve traveled everywhere, however I’m not counting that. So why am I scared? And if I’m scared, why am I doing it?
I feel it’s to do with my age, however at the same time as I flip 70 this yr, I’m lucky to be in good well being and to look almost 20 years youthful than I’m. That’s only a mixture of way of life and genes — I’m fortunate. My level is that I’m not affected by elderliness. I can stroll, shout, trip a bicycle, swim, dance, and so far as I do know, I can nonetheless add 2 + 2.
I feel the age issue has extra to do with expertise. Transferring takes up power, and I’ve realized in my life to not personal an excessive amount of. If you personal too many issues, it turns into costly to maneuver, and it’s tough to discover a place that isn’t costly to place all that stuff. So expertise has taught me to reside small. Troublesome to consider however my kitchen stuff, my bedding, my electronics, my clothes, my collapsible ladder and vaccuum cleaner, and many others. all match into a complete of seven suitcases. That’s two giant suitcases, three medium suitcases, and two cabin measurement suitcases.
So I’ve already organized all that, however the concern stays. I’ve checked out that concern and examined it. My German isn’t great regardless of being a German citizen. I can type of get-by, however German has a bucket-load of enormous phrases, and I’m unfamiliar with them. So I’m going to have a language barrier till I end my German education. Yup — I plan to take courses to enhance my German.
The second concern is solely that I don’t know what I’m going into. Sure, in fact, I’ve visited Germany — I’m a German citizen, and I’ve all the time cherished touring. I’ve chosen Dusseldorf to relocate to as a result of it has two rivers, has a milder local weather (Germany can get very chilly — I as soon as froze my butt off in Munich, and I’ve by no means forgotten), and 65% of its individuals can communicate English. Additionally, it’s stunningly stunning, and it’s nearer to London the place my sister goes to reside together with her boyfriend. My sister is my final relative dwelling in South Africa. My daughter is in America.
For the primary time in my life, it frightens me that I may not match and I may not handle. I don’t know why that’s. I’ve all the time been a fan of German individuals. They have been a robust a part of my life rising up, and I’m all the time excited once I meet German individuals. It type of looks like dwelling. The truth is, earlier than I made a decision on Germany, I used to be considering of Portugal. I additionally knew that as a result of I didn’t communicate Portugese, I might relocate again to Scotland the second Scotland went unbiased (it was English talking, and Scotland is an incredible nation with wonderful individuals). So I felt absolute awe when it got here to me in a flash that even when Scotland turned unbiased, I wouldn’t transfer there if I lived in Germany. Why? As a result of, for the primary time in my life, I felt as if I used to be shifting dwelling!
I assume I’m additionally a bit scared as a result of I’ve Asperger’s (excessive functioning autism), an Auditory Processing Dysfunction (APD), and I’ve by no means fitted properly into both the working setting or socialising.
Isn’t that past weird? I’ve thought of that for just a few months, and I’ve come to the conclusion that rising up with a German father, with German individuals coming to go to, cruising with my mother and father on a German ocean-liner, my German is way extra entrenched than I had realized. It now is sensible when my daughter says to me, “Mummy, when I speak to a German, I feel like I’m speaking to you.” She says that it’s my mannerisms, the best way I put issues, and the best way I feel. All of this, and I by no means knew.
Within the subsequent week or so, I’ve to search out somebody to ship 5 suitcases and a bicycle for me, plus discover momentary lodging, verify that it’s alright to land in Germany regardless of coming from South Africa, and, in fact, ebook my flight.
I’ve had great help from mates, household, and the Cape City German Consulate. But as I write this, I nonetheless really feel concern in my intestine. Making yet one more inter-continental transfer isn’t that scary — shifting to a rustic in the midst of a pandemic at a complicated age when one isn’t fluent within the language is.
Want me luck! Or is that Bon Voyage?