Last Saturday marks the two-year anniversary of me coming to Germany. This two years have been a long two years. And yet whenever one looks back at time passed, it always seem like no time has passed. I am still the same girl, yet I have all these memories with me. Yet I have these wrinkles, these trinkets. They prove to me that the past two years were real.
Two years ago, I said goodbye to my parents in Penang. I didn’t know when I will be coming back, or if I will be coming back. The only promise I can give is that I will be home in 6 months for 3 weeks. I have no idea what awaits me there, I have no permanent job.
Fast forward to now, I had been an assistant in the faculty of Physics in a University in Munich, took 4 months of intensive German course, did a 3-months Ausbildung as a Patent Lawyer (which didn’t work out because of Visa issues), worked in an engineering firm until now, got my heart broken, re-found friendships, found Flamenco, found love.
I am still lost. I may have even lost my confidence along the way. But I am slowly finding my way to it again. Having confidence and without knowing I have it, is very different from losing it and finding it again. Because I have to learn so much about myself.
Coming to Germany has shattered all my confidence. That is true.
I have felt what it is like to be invisible. That is humbling. It has also been very frustrating, especially when you don’t understand a word of the conversation and everyone is laughing at a joke which flew over your head. No one bothered translating. No one looks at you to see if you understand. No one cares.
And yet, when I slowly learn their language, I realize that they can be encouraging as well. No one ever laughs at your accent. They correct your sentence or words, not to laugh at you but because they earnestly wants you to know the correct version.
I have learned how frustrating it is to deal with administrations in a foreign language. In a nation where the people are fiercely proud of their national language, all documents are in German. Voice recognition answering machines are in German (I almost wanted to slam my head against a truck because of this, once). But I have met kindness from them as well.
Being thrown out of the apartment after a break up, I have found a temporary nest in the form of an old Professor, and a more permanent nest in the form of a kind friend and a kind stranger. And I am grateful for all the people whom I have met along this path, though I couldn’t see it in the beginning.
And though I am still lost, though I still don’t know where to go or what to do with my life in terms of a career, and though I sink into angry depression occasionally, I have been and still am more than blessed.
And there are so many of you that I have yet to meet. And I will meet you because I am blessed.
my mom and I two years ago in the airport
My dad and I two years ago at the airport
With the girl who introduced me to Flamenco