Who are you?
Hi! I am Sindy. I was born and raised up in Hong Kong. And now, I have my life in Germany.My husband is German. We have a toddler and also two cats. My passion is traveling, playing piano and meeting new people.
Where, when and why did you move abroad?
In 2010, I made a decision that changed my whole life. I quit my job and flew to Germany for a master’s degree. After my graduation, I found a job and settled down here. In 2014, my company sent me as an expat to the USA for a year. Therefore, I totally understand what it is like to be an expat. This is a life-changing experience that gives me a new perspective forever.
What challenges did you face during the move?
The biggest challenge for me was the German language. I did not speak German at first and had a hard time dealing with banks, visas, other bureaucracy or even grocery shopping. Moreover, looking for a job without speaking German was just extremely difficult. I was lucky enough to find an English-speaking job in the end.
Are there many other expats in your area?
I live in a town of around 18,000 people. Yes, there are other expats in my area. However, there is nobody from Hong Kong here. I do know a few other Chinese families in this small town. More and more people are moving in here and our population is growing.
What do you like about life where you are?
Peaceful. You may think that it is boring to live in a small town. For me, it is actually the best part. Ten years ago, I had never imagined that I could live in a small town. Coming from a big city like Hong Kong, I thought I would never stay outside big cities. Never say never. Now I love living in my small town and I cannot imagine living in a big city again.
What do you dislike about your expat life?
I miss my family and friends back home, especially my parents. They are getting old and I cannot see them as often as I would like to. I guess this is the reality for many expats.
What is the biggest cultural difference you have experienced between your new country and life back home?
German people are very disciplined in general. They sort their rubbish; they care about the environment; they do not cross the road with red lights; they love paperwork; they are crazy about insurance…
Let me say it like this: Hong Kong people are more flexible.
What do you think of the food and drink in your new country? What are your particular likes or dislikes?
I have to say that German food is not my favorite. The only German dish I really love is the white asparagus. German beer is good though.
My preference is always Chinese food. I grow up with Chinese food and it is a pain that I cannot find that many good Chinese restaurants in Germany.
What advice would you give to anyone following in your footsteps?
The number one important advice: learn the local language! You will never feel integrated into the country if you cannot speak their language. When you learn the language, you learn the culture too. And once you can communicate with locals with their own language, this is when you feel the deep connection with them and the country.
What are your plans for the future?
My plan for the future is to grow my blog in order to help others who follow in my footsteps. I had a lot of hardship in Germany at the beginning and I had to figure it all out by myself. With my blog, I hope other expats can get the information they need to make their lives in Germany as easy as possible.
You can keep up to date with Sindy's adventures on her blog, My Life In Germany.
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