Federico: A More Quiet Place
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Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Berlin, etc.
I'm Federico, an Italian 29 year old guy living in Berlin since December 2010.
When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?
I started my first blog when I was 17 and many others followed. A More Quiet Place came to life in 2012 and it should have been the English version of my emo, depressing, totally-gonna-cry-in-the-shower-now Italian blog. It turned out to be the exact opposite.
Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?
I like I peed some pee. It started as a review of Les Miserables (the movie!) and it turned – completely out of nowhere – into me recording a funny version of I dreamed a dream. The Barbie Dreamhouse Near Death Experience was also a lot of fun to write.
Tell us about the ways your new life in Berlin differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?
I wouldn't call it “culture shock” as much as “reality shock”. Going from being a lazy university student who lives with “Mamma” to working and living by myself in a foreign country was a big wake up call. I still can't believe I survived all that.
Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Berlin? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?
I was totally naïf and unprepared. Totally. If I could travel back in time I'd tell my old self that when guys you just met invite you over it's not just “for a tea” and then I'd teach him adjective declinations in German: knowing the language gives you a wider range of opportunities.
Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?
I think this happened on my second day in Berlin. I needed a drying rack so I asked my flatmate if he had a Staender. Turns out the word I was looking for was WAESCHEstaender, while a Staender is actually an erection. Opps.
Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Berlin?
- Come with a plan (at least financially/professionally). I did not and it turned out fine, but you hear some pretty terrifying stories out there.
- Learn Deutsch!
- Everything you heard about Berlin is true, but that's not really the best part.
How is the expat community in Berlin? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?
I work in an international environment and I've met some pretty amazing people there.
How would you summarize your expat life in Berlin in a single, catchy sentence?
Lowering my life expectancy one kebab at a time.