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Photo credit: Christine Strotmann

8,968 kmfrom home
"I hope the political climate is not turning further right-wing and anti-immigrants."
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“I’ve travelled a lot and lived in many different countries. Being originally from Taiwan, I migrated to Australia when I was 30, because the working conditions in Taiwan are really bad. A few years later, while travelling, I fell in love with a German – hence now I’m here.

I am very flexible as to where to live since I can work online and can communicate easily with my family through modern technology, hence I don’t miss them too much.

My husband could not work in Australia, so we decided to stay here. What I like here is that everything here is not crazy on capitalism. Therefore people seem nicer and common goods are better taken care off.

Germany is great for me. I feel it is more inclusive and people in general have more respect to others of different social classes.

Additionally, Berlin has thousands of parkland, and many playgrounds. It is a city that is perfectly designed for people to live in and raise children. My hometown Taipei in comparison has very few parkland and small parks and life is very stressful without lots of nature around. In Berlin there is also very good public transportation, and cultural infrastructure. Such as the many museums, the opera house, concert house and theatres.

Bureaucracy here is tricky to handle. I found that what makes Germany efficient is people following rules (at work not really in private), which are thoughtfully designed. The bad thing is, those who execute them don’t seem to care if there is room for improvements. In every occasion that I had to deal with German bureaucracy, for example, when we wanted to get married, a lot of documents were actually redundant. In the end, we got married in Denmark. It’s like the Las Vegas of Europe.

Migration is a hot topic at the moment in Germany, and although I don’t feel directly affected by a lot of these debates, I watch them closely. I certainly find Germans, in general, care a lot about human rights. But I’m afraid large scale migration always leads to fear and this is just human nature. Not everyone in a society is in a position to share resources with others and not everyone is educated enough to differentiate fact and fears. So I hope the political climate is not turning further right-wing and anti-immigrants.”

This is a story by Christine Strotmann

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