featured/ random thoughts

Why I have to leave Germany- Soon

I have been a bit quiet lately. I have had a lot going on. Earlier this year, I received a warning deportation letter.. which seemed like an empty threat once I proved I could be here. Then, I finally got the job of my dreams in Marketing, and I just simply never received a visa. I know this sounds weird, but I went down to the office for weeks, which turned into months, and each time they told me to give them my email and to wait because they needed to see if a German wanted the job first. I signed the contract, and I know my rights but after fighting for years to find a job that I really liked, in English, I was devastated and decided to give up the fight.

Berlin was just starting to get better for me. I moved to the neighborhood I wanted, I figured out now how to get the apartment I wanted. I had carved out friendships. I was relying on my ex less and less. Romantically this city has sucked balls, but I was happy with other things. I had access to cheap organic foods, I could walk to most things that I needed, and I finally got on track in terms of having a career.

When it became clear that I would not be getting that job, due to god know’s why, I decided to throw in the towel. I signed the contract, and I know my rights, as mentioned before, but I just stopped wanting to fight. I came here for love, I met a whole bunch of interesting people, and done a bunch of things. Maybe it’s time to move back. This had always been in my head, however, at that point it just seemed like the right thing to do in my life.

Besides, I had met an American in Berlin, and while he is in the EU often, with my recent “luck,” we decided being near each other and me starting over in my home country might be the best idea.

I am not excited about moving back to America. I am from Southern California, where yes, the weather is nice, but the cost of living is expensive. Not to mention, I would need a car, and a job. Most importantly, that. I mentioned in my Broke Person Expat Tips
post that I do not exactly have parents with money coming out of their pockets for the older kids (which includes me) to stay in Europe. My parents think I am crazy for staying this long and being single.

So with my apartment lease ending, there goes my last ability to stay here. I am sorry. Staying in a shared apartment with a stranger just to stay here and try to wait for a visa, seems asinine, even as an American major city has the National Guard in the streets.

It is time to close the chapter on all of this. I am doing my best to see everyone that I have gotten to meet before I left, and attend as many events as I can afford to. Leaving in the middle of the Summer will not be easy, but I am excited to see what is beyond this experience.

  • Bree Brown

    Hallo Kim,
    I recently read some of your blogs and it sounds like you’re having an adventure. My apologies go out to you, though, now it has to end. I go to school in Texas, but am from Southern California. I’ll be moving back to Carson in a few months for grad school. First, I will be going to a few European countries including Germany. I’ve been to Germany three times, however, only spent two months at a time there. I have to say some of your articles having to do with racial issues is true and honestly it is just as bad as it is here in Texas. I think, however, if I always spoke English there people wouldn’t have been as nice to me as they have. But that goes for here in America too. The official language is English in the US, so we expect everyone to speak it. Same goes for Germany. I honestly think that the way I present myself and knowing four different langauges; Spanish, German. Russian, and English helped the way Germans looked at me. Sometimes I walked into shops and people would stare, but then I began to speak in German and they were really impressed. With my background education and my presentable appearnace I believe that is why I have had so many internship opportunities. Did you ever try to learn the language and become fluent to get a job in a German speaking company? Maybe you could try other cities. Berlin isn’t the only big city in Germany that speaks English. Even in smaller cities people now city, however, however don’t use it very often. There’s also Frankfurt, München, and Colon. I say don’t give up wanting to live there. Or come back to the states and find a global marketing job that can use your language and work experience skills. Many people don’t have the advantage you have, so don’t give up. If Germany is where you want to be make it happen and don’t give up the big fight.

    Freundlich Grüße,
    Bree

    • I never made the time to become fluent, which was my mistake. However, I do speak German. I went to school before I came, and while I was here, but fluent, I am far from it. I don’t want to be here long term, and I have been to other cities, I liked the Berlin vibe not only because of the English, but the experiences.. the people. I figured, I would go back, save and see where else I can go, or attempt to bring back the same values. OH I also wanted to mention, the US does not have a declared language.. just that english is primarily spoken.

  • Richard Hill

    Good luck to you on your return to the US. You are to be commended for having the guts to try living in Europe. Just dust your self off and keep on working hard. You can do it Kim!

  • ReneeStephanie_

    “I honestly think that the way I present myself and knowing four different languages; Spanish, German. Russian, and English helped the way Germans looked at me. Sometimes I walked into shops and people would stare, but then I began to speak in German and they were really impressed. With my background education and my presentable appearnace I believe that is why I have had so many internship opportunities. Did you ever try to learn the language and become fluent to get a job in a German speaking company? Maybe you could try other cities. Berlin isn’t the only big city in Germany that speaks English. Even in smaller cities people now city, however, however don’t use it very often. There’s also Frankfurt, München, and Colon. I say don’t give up wanting to live there.”

    Bree,
    In case you hadn’t realized she’s tried all of the above. She is almost at full fluency with her German as you’ve suggested her learning the language. There is actually a post where she goes into detail about speaking German and constantly being asked to show her passport. She is an MBA with years of marketing experience under her belt. I doubt her appearance isn’t pleasant enough or that she should have to present herself as multilingual to garner any respect.

    She’s not leaving because she’s has a particularly bad time she’s just exhausted of fighting to stay there. Her visa is expiring and her apartment lease is up, she essentially can’t live there anymore. To be honest your post comes off as someone who wanted to list your accolades as opposed to encouraging another woman of color even offering sound advice. Maybe you haven’t been following her story this entire time and you’re not necessarily at fault for this, but next time before commenting and saying things like the above maybe you should have all of the facts laid out in front of you?

    Much Respect,
    Renee
    _________________

    Kim,
    I know that it must be difficult and disheartening to have to return to the USA. I live here in NYC and miss my life in Germany everyday. And although Bree may have missed the mark a bit with her comment she is right that you’re now in a really great position to present yourself as a person with international experience, which is proving more and more valuable in an increasingly global economy.

    It has been a true pleasure to read your blog and I will continue to follow your story, but please don’t be discouraged you have a world of potential ahead of you.

    Warm Regards,
    Renee