Having moved from London to Frankfurt, I never felt the need to adapt to the fast pace of my new location. In fact, I adjusted to taking it slow in this small city. I was no longer rushing to be the first on the tube, trying to beat the lunch time rush at M&S, and speeding out of the office to secure a bike at my spin class before they were all gone. Frankfurt gives me time to chill, and I love that.
However, I realised that my reality was warped after reading time and time again that expats from different cultures and continents feel like life in Frankfurt is rushing them off their feet. Is life really that fast here? Well, apparently so. I think London is just an extreme, so anywhere else is like a holiday for me. In fact, I told Tania, who runs @african.abroad.blog, that I struggled during my 6-month semester abroad at a coastal city in Spain. It’s no wonder I felt relieved when I studied in Germany, and finally felt I was no longer pulling the short straw every time I tried to complete what should have been a straight-forward task.
Tania told me she “used to believe that people are pretending they have somewhere to be.” To which I replied “Why waste time strolling across the same street you walk down every day, when you could already be at your next destination?” I laughed out loud and smiled at how nice it is to find common ground with other expats based our differences.
For now, I’m good with ‘slow’ Frankfurt, but I can see how the lifestyle is sometimes difficult, especially as Germany is known for its efficiency and ‘Punktlichkeit.’ Despite its reputation, I’ve had one too many delays on the Deutsche Bahn to say that this applies to all aspects of life over here. 😂😅
When I lived in Vienna, I met a lady from China who called it a small city. It really changed my perspective: https://andreasmoser.blog/2020/04/25/small-vienna/
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Thanks for reading, Andreas! The different perspectives are so interesting, aren’t they!