Allane: Packing my suitcase.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself. Who you are, where you come from, when you moved to Munich, etc.
My name is Allane Milliane, I am originally from Brazil and moved to Munich in 2012.
Before moving to Munich I was living in Geneva, Switzerland, where I was taking my Master Degree. After getting engaged to a German, love was stronger and I decided to move to Munich and get married!
When and why did you decide to start blogging about your experiences?
I have always loved writing and traveling, and when I was younger I used to have a blog. Somehow the idea of start blogging again came into my mind and I thought: why not? Since then I have been sharing about my travels and my life in Munich in my blog Packing my Suitcase. I am very happy to help other people to discover how is it like to live in Munich and a little bit of the German culture.
Do you have any favorite blog entries of yours?
My favourite blog entry about my life in Munich is a post which I shared some German habits... "When in Germany, do as the Germans do"
Tell us about the ways your new life in Munich differs from that back home. Did you have trouble getting used to the new circumstances? Did you experience culture shock?
Life in Brazil is sunny, as you might imagine, so this is a big difference that I notice. Apart from that, I would say that almost everything is different... the culture, the food, the people, the rules... etc.
I didn't really have trouble getting used to the new life. I have lived in 5 countries so far and I adapt fast. However, of course there were things that were new to me, especially all the German rules, of which there are many. The language was also a problem at first, but it got better with time and I am very glad about that!
Do you think you were fully prepared for what awaited you in Munich? If you could, would you change some decisions/preparations you made?
There were many things I knew before I moved to Munich, as my husband is German and as I was often visiting the city. But of course after you move, things are different. In my case, they were better than I expected. I guess I can say that the only problematic part was finding an apartment, and I wish I could have started looking for one way in advance... as I have a dog, it was even more difficult to get a place. All worked out in the end, though.
Every expat knows that expat life comes with some hilarious anecdotes and funny experiences. Care to share one with us?
I certainly had a few... but all of them were related to the language. Once I understood the doctor's appointment wrong and came in earlier than I was supposed to. I also once bought the bus ticket (in Regensburg) wrong... the driver thought I was a kid and I couldn't manage to explain to him that I was an adult!! And I can only say that I had a lot of trouble understanding what my gynecologist was saying on my first appointment!
Which three tips would you like to give future expats before they embark on their new life in Munich?
- Start searching for an apartment in advance;
- Be aware that you need to separate the garbage;
- Go register yourself at the Ausländerbehörde as early as possible to receive your Residence Permit;
How is the expat community in Munich? Did you have a hard time finding like-minded people or fellow expats?
I have to confess that I don't have many expat friends, the vast majority of my friends are German, but that is not because I couldn't find them. I just simply got integrated with the Germans very fast because of work and my husband's friends. But I do know many Brazilians around here, and I believe that while taking a German course for example, you can meet a lot of other expats. There are also great Facebook communities of expats in Munich/Germany.
How would you summarize your expat life in Munich in a single, catchy sentence?
I had never lived in a place where I don't want to leave... Munich makes me never want to live somewhere else.