Report December - Ramiyro Porras Vigil
1. How did you spend Christmas in Germany?
Well, for Christmas I decided to escape the German cold for a while and went to visit a couple of friends in Spain to spend Christmas with them and celebrate New Year’s. I’ve had this idea a couple of months ago and then, there I was looking for flights and talking to my friends about dates, when we would all be available. It was an amazing experience and I was happy to see my friends again.
2. Did you travel within Germany or to other countries in your first couple of months here in Germany?
Yes, for Christmas and New Year’s I went to Spain. I flew alone from Germany and met up with my friends in Spain. The great thing about being here is that flights are pretty cheap, even though it’s best to book flights for these specific dates in advance because they can get pretty expensive if you buy them last-minute.
3. Where and how do you plan to celebrate New Year’s?
In Spain, because I had the idea to visit my friends in Spain a couple months ago to spend the holidays with them and also to see how they celebrate the holidays in other countries.
4. Do you like Germany? What specifically? What is completely new? What do you dislike?
Yes, of course I like Germany. Sometimes, I don’t really like the German food, but I do like the rest. The people, the safety, the culture, the way of life. There will be things that are different and it might be a bit difficult to adjust, such as the customer service. In other places, they usually try to make you feel good and they pay attention to you (even though sometimes it’s fake), they basically try to be your friends but here in Germany, a lot of the times that’s not what’s happening. Like in the supermarket or at the post office. Sometimes you think that they are annoyed with you, and maybe they are or maybe they aren’t, but in the end you adjust. But in general, the people are really friendly and, for example, appreciate if you try to speak their language (German), even though you don’t speak it perfectly, but they will have patience with you. Or when they ask me where I’m from and I tell them from Mexico and they are amazed and think: wow, so far away!
5. Where do you usually eat?
On days where I have classes I usually eat at the university canteen. There are days when the food, well, could be better. But these days are rare. They also have different options, so if you don’t like one you can always choose between two or three more options if they are still available. The remaining times I try to eat at home, so that I don’t spend too much money and in general, homemade food is tastier and healthier.
6. Are you taking any language classes? How do you like it? Have you improved?
Yes, I’m taking a German class and I’ve gotten better. I already knew some German before coming here, but because I didn’t use it in a while, I forgot a couple of things. When I arrived here, I was surrounded by the language. With the classes as well, it was easier to pick up and remember the things that I couldn’t really remember before or where I had any doubts. The most important thing is practising the language and living here makes it a lot easier.
7. Did you participate in any GAT tutorials? How was your experience?
I couldn’t attend any GAT tutorials because they clashed with my schedule.
8. How safe do you feel in Germany compared to your home country?
In general, it’s a lot safer here. I can walk around at any time and everything is always calm and quiet. They even leave things outside in front of the shops and no one takes them. I’ve even once seen people leaving their bikes outside of a restaurant without locking them and no one stole them. The culture here is generally very different. Of course, bad things like robberies and stuff also happen here, but especially here it’s very safe because it’s a small town.