About Christina Geyer

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Welcome to An American Expat in Deutschland, a blog about my thoughts on life, the universe and Germany. At the moment, I am not working on this blog any longer. I no longer have the time to keep up with blogging regularly. I may still, from time to time, post links to interesting articles related to this blog on Facebook.

I moved to Germany from North Carolina on May 14, 2002.  I started out in Berlin-Mitte, moved to Rostock in January 2004, Potsdam in April 2005, and since December 2006, I reside in a small Bavarian village, just outside of Regensburg.

My Myers-Briggs type is INTJ and I’m half-Thai, you can check out some of my Thai recipes. I  grew up in the Washington, D.C., suburbs, went to college at VCU in Richmond, Virginia, and grad school at VCU and at Duke University, where I met my husband, Rainer.  We have two children, and I currently work as a statistician in health research.

If you’re new to this blog, you may want to check out some of my Top Posts or my Top Expat Tips.

Bürgerfest 2009

  • Laura

    Hi Christina,
    I was looking for fellow expats in the Ulm area and came across your page :) I’m also an American married to a German, I’ve been here over eight years and love it here.
    I’m looking forward to reading more :)
    Laura

  • Christina G

    Nice to e-meet you Laura! I’ve never been to Ulm, but I’ve heard there’s a really beautiful cathedral there. It’s not so far from us, so we’ll have to go see it sometime. :)

  • Michelle Farrow

    Hi Christina/Laura,

    My name is Michelle, I’m from Western Australia. I am currently in the process of moving to Stuttgart- Germany. I am very scared of having difficulties with the language and cultual differences. I have no German skills at all at the moment, just started learning. I have been to Stuttgart. I am moving for my boyfriend i meet 3 years ago who we have had a on/off long distance relationship. I have been reading so many negative comments about expats moving and was thrilled to hear a success story! I am a very talkative outgoing person who is in the customer service industy. How hard is it going to be? How hard was it for you?

  • http://expatraveler.blogspot.com expatraveler

    Great about you page – and your little oliver is soooo adorable! Now you need an update pic with your little bernese in there. And by the way, I just love the region you live in!

  • http://www.regensblog.com cliff1976

    your little bernese

    Ha!

  • Christina G

    @michelle: You’ll do fine as long as you don’t expect Germany to be Australia. When I came, I thought Germany would be pretty much like the US, but with everyone speaking German, and I had a BIG culture shock. I think for many, the first year is hard, but the best way thing to do is to focus on learning the language. I think for someone who is very outgoing and talkative, the hardest thing might be that many Germans are suspicious of overly friendly folks. Don’t be offended if they want to take their time getting to know you before being friends. Read expat blogs and join the expat communities, start a blog about your new adventure!

    @expatraveler: Thanks for stopping by! And yeah, my Bernese ain’t exactly little! But I will work on getting a photo with the whole family up here. 😉

    @cliff: He is actually slightly smaller (well, skinnier) after being at the Tierpension for 3 weeks. The owner told us that he broke into the food shed one day too! What a sneak thief!

  • Claire

    Hey there. I moved to Regensburg to be with my boyfriend while he finishes his Masters at the Uni…and have since gotten a job at a Language School near here. I am doing all the new things–cell phone, bank account, apartment, etc…but I can’t seem to find a cheap automatic car ANYWHERE. I really need advice on where I could locate a used car and how I would go about buying it here.

  • http://www.regensblog.com cliff1976

    Thought about learning to drive a stick?

    It can be done, you know. Ask Tammy.

  • Christina G

    @claire: I’ll have to back Cliff up on learning to drive stick. That’s the easiest solution, but since I tried and tried, and couldn’t, I don’t blame you if you still want an autmoatic. But I think trying to learn to srive stick is something you should do first. Finding used cars is not so easy as driving over to CarMax. You’ve got to go to each dealership and look what they’ve got. Often they do list what they have on the different car makers websites. Hmmm, this is a good subject for a blog post. I will get to work on that. Oh and welcome to Regensburg. I hope you’ll come to an Expat Dinner!

    @cliff: I agree it can be done, but not by all. Practically every boyfriend I ever had tried to teach me and it never worked out. Though I think it was Tammy who said that I need to try with a woman instructor.

  • Migraine Meister

    Hello Christina!

    Thanks for your blog! I’ve dropped by a few times and have gotten such a kick out of your topics and been astounded how much we “ami-expat mom married to a German” have in common… but now that I’ve read that you are a fellow ex-shotputter, well I think I’ve got to commit to stopping by on a regular basis! Thanks again for sharing your triumphs, trials and tribulations!

  • Christina G

    A fellow ex-shotputter – Cool! I look forward to seeing you around cyberspace. Thanks for commenting!

  • Nickayla

    Hi,
    I am a southern American living in Parsberg which is between Nurnberg and Regensburg (two exits from Laaber on the A3). I went to graduate school at NC State. Go Wolfpack! I love it here! It is nice to have a blog to read about people who are having similar experiences. My husband and I have been here for one year and have now driven to 18 countries in Europe since we have been here. Europe is wonderful! If you have any travel questions. I am your gal! I hope to make it to one of your dinners out! Great site!

  • http://www.amiexpat.com Christina G

    Thanks Nickayla! I’ve been to Parsberg quite often, I highly recommend Hotel zum Hirschen, but you probably already know how good it is. I hope we’ll get to meet soon at one of the dinners!

  • http://ladyrebecca.wordpress.com/ ladyrebecca

    We, my husband, our four year old daughter and I, will be moving to Germany this fall. My husband is going to work at Spangdahlem Air Force base but we’re not going to live on base. I am very excited to read more of your blogs and head much advice!

    My daughter and I have started studying German. She’s says “Endschuldigen Sie bitte danke” whenever she wants something. It’s a work in progress. :)

  • julie

    hi
    I was wondering if the stokke stroller is cheaper in germany than if bought here in the states. I would appreciate any info you can give me.

  • http://www.amiexpat.com Christina G

    @lady rebecca: Welcome!

    @julie: I did a quick search for the stokke xplory and really had trouble finding anyplace selling it online over here (I did find quite a few bad reviews of it however, including one by Stiftung Warentest, my favorite consumer research mag, which only found it satisfactory)! Anyways, I found a place in Austria listing the Basic Set for €719 and the Complete Set for €859. I’ve only ever seen one Stokke in Germany (in Munich), most people with high end strollers have Quinnys or Bugaboos. On the Stokke website, there are plenty of shops listed in Germany that carry the Xplory though, so it shouldn’t be a problem to get one over here.

  • http://leanupstream.blogspot.com/ Rosie

    Hi!

    I was just trying to find out, whether Aldi US has the fish dish my family always had for Good Friday.

    And suddenly there was your blog with an Ortsschild of Laaber i.d. Opf on it!!!

    I am originally from Parsberg, which is what, 10 miles from Laaber?!!! I now live in Minneapolis, MN proper. Five blocks from the Sculpture Garden/Walker Art Center/former Guthrie Theatre location.

    I’m on lunch break now, but some other time I’ll ask you about some folks I know in Laaber :-)

    Happy Easter!
    Rosie

  • http://www.dackelprincess.com Maribeth

    Hello Christina,
    I have just discovered your blog via google reader suggestions. I love Germany and in fact am a licensed Dackel Breeder in Germany, even though I reside in New Hampshire. I am happily married to Hubby who lived for many years in Germany flying for the airlines. When we met, my German heritage and his love for Germany made us a match made in Heaven.
    We travel back when we can and, in fact got our oldest female dackel from Northern Germany.
    Your son is beautiful and I look forward to reading you more.

  • http://www.amiexpat.com Christina G

    Welcome Rosie and Maribeth!

  • Kelli SC

    Hi Christina,
    Wanted to say I love your blog. I found it in a very roundabout way from Becky Wiseman’s kinexxions blog (I was there because we apparently share some of the same ancestors) and I randomly clicked your name from a comment (since is was clickable :-) and then noticed you wrote the expat in G blog. Well since I lived in Stuttgart and Munich for a little while (my Dad was stationed there with the military) I just had to take a look. It brings back GREAT memories and I’d love to go back! Ditto your comment on learning the language if you’re going to live there. I didn’t and missed a wonderful opportunity (but then I was young and stupid :-)

  • http://www.amiexpat.com Christina G

    Hi Kelly,
    Glad you found your way here. I think we’ve all missed out on wonderful opportunities due to being young and stupid, I know I have several!

  • http://Greetings Jennifer

    I am also an American, from Boston, married to a German. We have a 6 month old girl and I really appreciate your tips about buying baby things in Germany. Hope to hear from you and thanks for the site tips.

    Jennifer

  • Gary

    Hi Christina: I am soon to be retiring after many years of US govt service. I recently returned from a 3 tour in Germany working as a civilian employee at the US Army hospital in Kaiserslautern. I really enjoyed living in Germany and the EU and would like to do it again, but can’t seem to get past the rules that say I can only live there for 90 days out of every 6 months. What am I missing here? I have a very dear friend who wants me to come and stay, but I would like to be able to stay for longer than the 90 days if possible. I have no intention of looking for work or any of that as I will be financially independent (didn’t say wealthy) and really retired this time around. Any ideas or serious suggestions how I can do this will be greatly appreciated.

  • http://www.amiexpat.com Christina G

    @jennifer: Welcome! Thanks for commenting and glad I was able to help you out!

    @gary: You just need to prove to the authorities that you can support yourself, and you should be able to extend your visa. I think that you’ll have to go every 90 days though. Try visiting the German consulate to the US site for more info. You can give your local consulate a call too.

  • Gary

    Thanx Christina: Even though I spent 3 years in Germany as a US Federal employee, I feel like the veritable “Novice” in this endeavor. Will go to that site and see what I need to do. Again, thanx and Tschuss.

  • http://anabragahenebrysjournal.blogspot.com/ Ana Braga-Henebry

    Hi, I am a Brazilian expat living in… S. Dakota– also met my husband in grad school. I also am a mom at home and am writing a history book for kids, would like permission house the picture of the mill behind Frederick the Great ‘s palace.
    Thks!
    Ana

    Ana Braga-Henebrys last blog post..A review of Prince Caspian

  • http://tressainnorway.blogspot.com/ tressa

    Hey Christina!
    I am also an Expat…but living in Norway.. I went to University in Germany though & miss it. : ( Super blog! BEAUTIFUL LITTLE BOY!

    tressas last blog post..You know you have been in Norway too long

  • Elena in Munich

    Hi Christina,

    congratulations for your very informational blog.

    I am actually happy to have “met” you here. It seems you are familiar with a lot of expat related issues.
    As a long-term expat:) in Munich, I was/am pretty well connected to the expat community here. I study also, majoring in European Cultural Sciences at the university of Munich participating currently at a research project dealing with migrational issues. My contribution to it will be a research study concerning expatriation.

    Therefore I was wondering if you would like to be interviewed for my research study analyzing expat/international communities (ex. lifestyle, socializing, adjustment strategies, parenthood, etc.).

    Looking forward hearing from you.

    Greets from Munich
    Elena

  • Raquel

    Hello Christine,
    Just found your page and you seem like the perfect person to ask my question to! I am married to a german and lived 3 years in Munster, we than moved to the states (I think we watched “wir wandern aus” a few too many times) but have since remembered all of the reasons we choose to live in Deutchland and want to go back and start a family.I would like to find a way to work there without having to teach english (my german is very good, so that’s not the problem) . I just want something to keep my mind active and earn a little income so that as time passes and kids get older and leave I still have a purpose and have built a life for myself in Germany apart from being a wife/mother. You seemed to have accomplished this, any tips for me?

  • Sarah

    Hello Christina,

    How fun! Someone found my blog by looking up Aldi things (I’m a new Aldi fan in the U.S and blogged about their chocolate) and on the google search they also came up with your blog, which is perfect, because I’m oddly obsessively interested in somehow moving to northern Germany (I don’t even speak the language…crazy!) so I’ll read your blog and either get inspired to do it somehow or at the very least get to live vicariously through you, which is what blogs are all about.

    Looking forward to reading more!
    Sarah

  • Carla Kremer

    Hi Christina,
    I met my husband when I was 14, spending one year in Germany going to the Gymnasium and living with my grandparents. I returned to German boarding school in 1973, Abitur 1975, got married in 1976, had 2 kids and moved to Chicago in ’83 and spent the next 23 years in the Midwest. We have been living in Singapore as expats for the past two years. We love SE Asia (BKK is my favorite shopping place) but are moving back to Germany for 2-3 years on July 31st. We think it’s hilarious to be returning to Germany as expats after almost exactly 25 years away. We will be living outside of Wiesbaden in the Taunus area.
    Glad I found your blog as many things have changed in the past 25 years. Found your blog via your post on Germany Way about Aldi!
    Carla Kremer

  • http://www.amiexpat.com Christina G

    Oh man, just noticed all these comments here. For some reason I wasn’t getting notified about them!

    I know I’ve emailed Ana and Elena.

    @tressa: Love your blog layout!

    @raquel: I don’t work, so I’m not sure how much I can help. Germany has a serious shortage of statisticians, so my services are always in demand. It kinda depends on what you are trained in. I’m super lucky in that I’ll never have problems finding work if I want to. As for keeping your mind active, I took up genealogy after I quit my job. Is there a hobby you’d like to get more serious about? Blogging is also a great outlet.

    @sarah: I didn’t speak German when I moved here either! Sometimes jumping in head first is fun!

    @carla: Nice to e-meet you! I’d love to hear your thoughts on returning to Germany after so many years away. I always wonder if I move back to the US if I’ll have more in common with the German Einwanderer than with my fellow Americans 😉

  • Sandra

    Hello Christina,
    I live in Baden-Baden (near Karlsruhe), am Australian married to a German and have been an expat on and off for the past 17 years. Looking for expat info, I came across your blog. It brought back all the good and the bad of the early years getting acquainted with the language and the customs.It is great to be able to identify with many of your observations.
    I also came across info about TCK’s and TCA’s (third culture children and third culture adults). It would be great to know if others have heard of the study of TCA’s and TCK’s. It is probably relevant for most expats, but in particular for those expats away from their home country over many years, and for their kids that have never spent time in their passport country.
    kind regards

  • http://www.amiexpat.com Christina G

    Hi Sandra,

    I’ve never heard of TCK or TCA studies. There are a lot of books about raising kids bilingually. I’ll have to look into it.

  • Alison

    Hi Christina

    I just want to say that I am so happy to have found your blog. I am an expat from Boston, Ma. and have been living in Germany (Regensburg for a while and now Altmannstein which is about 50km away) for 14 years now (can’t believe it) I have 2 children married to a Bavarian. I work for Continental (which was Siemens / VDO etc.) Rgbg. and guess what have absolutely no Ami friends around me! (sad but true) ;O) So I have joined hoping to find some people to converse with in english again. So please let me know when the next expat dinners will be and I will try to be there.
    Thanks a lot and I hope to meet you someday soon.

    Alison

  • http://www.amiexpat.com Christina G

    Hi Alison. Welcome! I will let you know about the next meetup. Nothing’s planned as of yet, but we should be doing something this month.

  • Pete Evans

    G’day Christina,

    “also wunder dich nicht, wenn bald die Kripo bei dir läutet.”
    so don’t be surprised when the FBI come knocking.

    I wouldn’t use “FBI” for Kripo, since the FBI is clearly only a US organisation. Instead maybe just use “police” or “criminal police”, whichever scans better.

    leo.org suggests “detective police”.

  • http://www.amiexpat.com Christina G

    Hi Pete, thanks for commenting. Good point. Not sure what I was thinking when I wrote that up.

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  • Autumn

    Hi Christina,
    Wonderful to have found your blog. We just recently moved to Lappersdorf (near Regensburg) and I am also an expat living about 10 years in Stuttgart, Germany with my hubby and 2 kids. Look forward to meeting you at the next dinner. I was adopted from Korea and raised in Nebraska – I think we could cook up a good potluck dinner together.

  • http://www.amiexpat.com Christina G

    Hi Autumn,
    A potluck dinner sounds great. I love them. We don’t have any expat dinners in the plans now, but I’m sure we’ll do one end of January/early February, once everyone is back from the holidays and settled in. I’ll let you know when we have something in the works. Looking forward to meeting you!

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  • http://expat21.wordpress.com Expat21

    I enjoyed reading about how you became settled in Germany. I just found your blog today, and will definitely be a regular reader!

    Expat 21

  • http://www.amiexpat.com Christina G

    Thanks Expat21!

  • looking for integrity

    I lived in Berlin for 13 years and miss it! Started out as a student and mariied another non-German who has remained (is an engineer).

    I actually experienced a culture shock coming back to the US after such a long time – and – don’t laugh- was actually excited to see the first ALDI open up here. ALDI and Pennymarkt – staples of German students lives.

    I am planning to move back to Europe in the next 2 years…

  • http://www.metclub.de Dennis O’Donohue

    Dear Christina

    Great website – congrats on your little one!

    Regarding Michelle from Australia – could you please relay to her about a club in Stuttgart which she my find quite helpful in meeting new friends, getting to know the area and having a fun time! The Metropolitan Club of Stuttgart (www.metclub.de)was founded 60 years ago to promote friendship between former enemies – we now have about 55 members from 15 counties who organize weekly social, eduactional and cultural events in and around Stuttgart – everything from hiking to bicycle tours, from Opera to museum visits and from lectures to slide shows about a recent exotic holiday. The club language is English and membership is not required to participate so we hope that we will see Michelle at an upcoming event.

    Dennis O’Donohue
    President, Metropolitan Club, Stuttgart, e.V.

  • http://www.amiexpat.com Christina G

    @looking for integrity: I wouldn’t laugh at all. In fact, while I was in the US visiting in November, I was on the way to a friends house and drove past an Aldi. If I wasn’t already late, I totally would have stopped and gone shopping!

    @Dennis: Thanks for you comment! I’ll try passing your message on.

  • emilie

    Hi-

    I have sort of an odd question for you–for any of your readers, really. With a group of 5 other young American professionals, I will be traveling to Stuttgart and Frankfurt this spring (mid April). We are a part of a local leadership program (www.cleveleads.org)and will be in Germany on an international “best practices” trip with a focus on post-industrial urban infrastructure and transportation. ANY ideas that you or your readers have for us (where to go? who can we talk to? American contacts in either of these cities? etc) would be welcome–or even if anyone is willing to shoot an email so I can start some kind of conversation. As non- German speakers, it is difficult to begin our research over here in Cleveland….

    Thanks so much,
    Emilie
    ezickel@gmail.com

  • http://SendOutCards.com/24338 Bonnie Van Vugt

    Hi Christina,
    I am pretty new to the world of Expats but a friend told me that I should let you all know about a new company that could help you send REAL greeting cards (never more than $1.47 US per card) and gifts from anywhere overseas to anywhere in the world and since the company is in the states you only pay stateside postage. It’s a company that has a great contact manager but over 18,000 already designed cards available.
    I was wondering if you could give me any idea if this is something that people might like. I’d love for you to try this free ( my gift to you) and let me know what you think.
    http://www.sendoutcards.com/myway
    I was stationed in Italy for three years and wish this company was available then for us.
    Thanks so much and have fun. Sounds like you have a great attitude and are busy helping other people as well.
    I hope to hear from you soon,
    Sincerely,
    Bonnie Van Vugt
    Coronado CA

  • http://SendOutCards.com/24338 Bonnie Van Vugt

    p.s. could you tell Allison about it as we just opened a plant in Australia and HER cards would use the Australian postal rates.

    Thanks…..I’m trying to get the word out about this great company.

  • Candy

    Hi Christina,

    My name is Candy and I’m a Chinese Malaysian who married an American. We had just moved to Weiden, 1 hour north of Regensburg because of the military. I’m having such a hard time adjusting to life in Germany and your website is a great help as we are expecting our first child and are lost trying to shop for maternity and baby stuff.

    Also, I was wondering if you are able to help supply me with names and locations of Asian store that you know around the Regensburg area. We can’t seem to find any in this rural area and Regensburg, apart from Nuremberg are the biggest cities close to us. If I’m not wrong, we are living in the Oberpfalz area that you used to live in. :)

    Would greatly appreciate your help. Thanks!

  • http://www.amiexpat.com Christina G

    @emilie: Sorry, I don’t have any suggestions, but maybe my readers will. Good luck!

    @candy: I still live in the Oberpfalz :) There’s a decent Asian shop in Burgweinting (Hartinger Str. 3) that has the best prices. For anything you can’t find there, head to Hong Kong Shop in Regensburg on Obermünsterstrasse.

  • http://pumpkin4u.blogspot.com/ Paula

    Hi there, I am a German expat in Florida and I very much enjoyed reading your blog. My husband is American and we are finally reunited last december. Now I am Tampan and I am so happy you love my home country – Bavaria. We will be visiting Bavaria in Summer maybe we can meet. Paula & Skip

  • anne

    Hi Christina, great blog! I left Germany when I was 20, met my husband in New Jersey (he is German too..) and after spending 10 years in this great country they offer my husband a job in Hamburg! Now we will be moving “back home”. Although I am German I think it will take some time for me to feel “real” German again. And after reading your comments about how to dress like a German I need to seriously reconsider almost everything I have in my closet :-)

  • http://www.bentmiles.com archie l. tucker

    We are Americans. We have lived in Germany for about 30 years. I teach for DoDDS. I was in the army my first trip over. We love it here. I love biking. My wife is asian american. My daugher is moving to Thailand next month.

    lloyd

  • gregg

    Christine I a decendant of Wilber Geyer, Just wanted to conect and maybe fill you in on his family and see if you have found anything about Frank, seeing that you in his homeland.

    Love you page Shaking the tree

    Gregg

  • http://chicago-blogger.com/index.php Kristina

    Hi Christina, I just found your blog and enjoyed reading it very much. I’m blogging as well, but it’s the other way around for me: I’m a German girl living in the U.S. (Chicago). Looking forward to reading more about your life in Germany! Kristina

  • http://www.amiexpat.com Christina G

    Sorry for the late response to some of you guys, sometimes these things get away from me 😉

    @paula: That would be great! Love your blog too.

    @anne: I know I would have difficulty moving back to the US and I’ve only been in Germany 7 years. Good luck!

    @lloyd: Thanks for commenting! I love hearing from Americans who are happy in Germany. Good luck to your daughter on her move, I hope it goes/went well!

    @gregg: I’d love to hear all about your family. I’ve made a little headway with Frank :)

    @Kristina: You’ve got a wonderful blog. Thanks for linking to me, I’ve returned the favor and look forward to reading more about your life as well!

  • Heidi

    Hello there! Just stumbled across your blog while searching for Cheerios on the internet. I’m also an American living in Germany. I’ve been here for almost 8 years now. My husband is German and we got married in 2003.
    I’m in the Allgäu region of Bavaria near the city of Kempten. If there are any other expats in the region, feel free to contact me. I get together once a month with a group of native English speaking women who all live in the area. It#s so nice to speak “real” English!
    I’ll be bookmarking this site and checking back often. Looking forward to reading more and possibly making some new friends!

  • http://www.amiexpat.com Christina G

    @heidi: Nice to hear from you!

  • Renee RJ

    Guten Tag: That’s all I can say after being in Kaiserslautern for a month. We moved from Northampton Massachusetts and today our goods arrive to our new home in Fischbach. I awoke this morning feeling incredibly homesick and I looked on the internet for advice and I found you. Today my daughter turns 8 and in the middle of our stuff arriving I need to go to her school to celebrate. I also have a son who is almost 11 and is hating me right now for “ruining his life”.
    Well, any advice would be appreciated—Renee
    PS: We are not a military family so no built-in support happening here.

  • http://www.amiexpat.com Christina Geyer

    @renee: I’ve been there, and so have a lot of other expats. It’s a difficult adjustment at first, but eventually it gets better. I’m not sure if this tactic will work for you, but when I came over, I decided on an amount of time I needed to live in Germany before I’d feel like if I went home, I could be proud of having lived that long overseas. I settled on two years. I would live here for two years and if I still wanted to go home, I could do it then with my head held high. After two years, I still missed the US, but felt happy enough in Germany to stay on. That was kind of the turning point. Once I decided to make my life here, things improved a lot. Try looking for other expats in your area. See if there’s an English language book club, or kids group. Check out the German-Way Forum. Read expat blogs, maybe start one yourself! And remember that despite what your kids say, in no time at all they’ll be speaking German and have a much broader view of the world. Good luck and hang in there!

  • nicola

    i am moving to potsdam in august and wondered if you know of any good lettig agents i am struggling to find any advertisments for apartments to rent

  • Cristina

    Hello Christina,

    I found this blog through the ‘oak hill virginia online’ website. I live in Oak Hill, so just wanted to say hi! Good luck with your life in Germany; I really enjoy reading your blog.

  • http://www.amiexpat.com Christina Geyer

    @cristina: Thanks for reading and leaving a comment! Oak Hill’s a nice place. I’m just trying to plan my next visit now :)

  • http://www.katzentisch.com Molly

    Hi Christina,

    What a great blog! I’m German, living in Germany – quite unusual here 😉 and I really love your blog! It’s as interesting as amusing reading your point of view. I must admit that sometimes it adjusts my own view. We’re obviously not as bad as I thought (except for the Mülltrennung – that’s simply ridiculous and so German).

    I’m living in Bergisch Gladbach in the Rhineland, not too far from Cologne. If I can be of any help to somebody, please shout.

    Molly

  • http://www.homestellstories.com Chylese

    Hi Christina,

    I just found your blog and think it’s great and well-written! Thank you! I’m an American, married to an American who works for a German company that is based in Berlin. They just offered him a position in Berlin with the understanding that it would be at least a 2-year commitment, though they would hope 3-4 years. We have a daughter only a few months older than yours, and I think this opportunity is hard to pass up, especially for her sake. I have never been to Germany (hubby spends 1wk/year in the office there, 5 years strong) and we all 3 would need to learn German from scratch, but I was a French major in college and lived 6 months with a family in France, so I think I have a rough idea of the culture shock I would experience. I also moved 3000 miles from home after college with a one-way ticket and no job and no place to stay, and have no regrets.

    Nevertheless, my husband is hesitating; he is worried that it will be hard for me since I will have to suspend my career here (residential real estate broker) though I think I am capable of figuring something out to keep me occupied when our daughter is in school (probably 3 days/week). Perhaps the bigger hesitation comes from his concern that his parents will completely freak out. They have never traveled internationally, and though they are retired and financially very comfortable, have no desire to start. (I should mention that big trips are not easy for them – she suffers from MS, and they have an adult son who works but has disabilities, living with them.) The irony is that we already live 2000+ miles away from them – a plane trip that is only a couple hours shorter than it would be from Berlin – but nevertheless his mother is likely to get very, very upset. (btw, I told my parents about the opportunity 2 weeks ago, and they were totally psyched!) How did your family take the news? Do you know anyone who was in this kind of situation I could query for advice on how to present this in the most positive light? We have a week or two more to decide, and the move would not be until June 2010.

    I was thinking that a blog like yours (also I found one called “50% of my DNA” – not sure how to email her, though) with lots of photos and frequent posts started ahead of time might pacify them a bit. I email her photos of our daughter at least once/month and chat via Facebook, but she doesn’t seem satisfied with that.

    Any ideas, advice, recommendations would be appreciated! Thanks!

  • captain

    You look a lot like Sonia Sotomayor

  • http://www.amiexpat.com Christina Geyer

    @molly: Thanks for commenting, and thanks for your offer of help!

    @chylese: I don’t really have any advice, but I think having her read blogs is a good start. If you’re not working, and you can swing it, saying you’ll be back for long visits might help. We visit my inlaws in Germany 3-4 times a year for about 4 days a visit (so maybe 16 days max a year). I go home to see my mother once a year, but for 5-6 weeks usually (sometimes just 2.5 weeks). So actually, my mom gets to spend more time with us than my husband’s parents, who live closer.

    You might also check on the German-Way forum for advice (http://www.german-way.com/gwlist.html).

    @captain: Uh, random, and oh so flattering to be visually compared to a woman old enough to be my mother. :)

  • Jane

    Totally stumbled upon your website a couple minutes ago. As a fellow American living here in Germany (for the past 8 months and most likely permanently as I’m married to a German), I can’t wait to read your blog! Time for bed now, however. :)

  • James

    Hi Christina,

    Last week I returned from a two-week vacation in Germany with my significant other. I actually grew up there. My dad was an officer in the Army, and my family moved to Germany when I was 3. I left when I was 18 to go to college. I actually returned to study at a German university, just so that I could get back to Germany. I lived in Zweibruecken, Frankfurt, and Tuebingen. According to the local populace, I seem to be one of a handful of Americans who were affiliated with the military and learned to speak German fluently.

    I stumbled upon your site while researching apple strudel recipes (I’m trying to perfect my own). The apple strudel and sauerbraten recipes are my two challenges to perfecting. :)

    James

  • Susi

    Hi Cristina, I found your blog when I was searching for Laaber. I want to ask you about living in Laaber during the Winter..I am brazilian and I want to visit a friend in Laaber during my vacation in Dezember. Can you tell me if it easy to found a “bedandbreakfast”. a Familar Pension in Laaber ? I was looking for this on Internet but I could’nt found anything nice. Can you give me some hints about it? I will appreciate your help.
    Susi

  • Maryan

    Christina… I found your blog while looking for recipes for German cooking. My husband’s mother was German (actually from Bavaria) and cooked WONDERFUL food that he misses terribly. Sadly we lost Mom to cancer about 10 years ago. She was a great lady and I’m always looking for ways to remember great times with her. I find food to be a fabulous trigger to great memories. I love your recipe section. While food is what got me in, I love your sense of humor and unique way of looking at the world. Thanks… I will be back.

  • http://www.thought-detective.com Suzanne

    Hi Christine,

    Your blog is so interesting…and I don’t even live in Germany! Well…almost actually. I live in Alsace in a village literally 10 minutes away from Germany and Switzerland. Almost everyone speaks French and German…and Swiss German and Alsatian…yes..a linguistic workout it is!

    I’m coming up on my 5th anniversary now. And I think I’m going to celebrate it this time! Every tongue-tied minute of it ; ) which btw was VERY frustrating the first few years and now it’s a lot of fun…

    I don’t know why I said all that when I just wanted to thank you for writing such a great blog.

    Suzanne aka “Suzele”

  • Kate Wirth

    I stumbled across your blog while searching for how much to tip at my upcoming hair appt. (still no luck on that – any tips on tipping?) – it’s always great to find others like me. My husband and I have only been in Germany a few months, and while the adjustment is tough, I’m not sure I’d ever want to go back to the States. Look forward to continued reading from a more seasoned expat than myself!

  • http://beirotstehen.blogspot.com Rot Steher

    Hi Christina,

    I happened to came across your blog because it was listed at http://en.bab.la/news/top-100-international-exchange-experience-blogs-2010.

    Quite some nice posts on Germany. I especially liked the like / dislike post and the one about how to dress like a German (btw, ever seen the brand Jack Wolfskin worn by anyone else but Germans? A surefire way to identify Germans abroad).

    Maybe, my blog could be interesting for you – see link above. I use it to compile impressions of foreigners who live in Germany. The tell me their little stories and I put them into the blog. Over the last year quite some texts came into life and give (I think) an interesting new view on this country.
    Oh yes, there’s a catch: It’s all in German; but reading your blog I assume that you can understand it…

    All the best!

  • rot.steher

    The link to my blg is somehow invisibly merged into the title of the comment – so here it is in its full beauty: http://beirotstehen.blogspot.com

  • Ralph

    Christina,

    I am currently working on a class project that requires my group to interview an expatriate from Germany. If you would be so kind as to participate my group has come up with some questions (10-15) we would like to ask through e-mail. If you have any questions or concerns about privacy please e-mail them to me. Otherwise send me an e-mail and I will send you the questions.

    Cheers!!
    Ralph III

  • http://lifeisaphoenix.blogspot.com/ Paige

    I like your blog. I’ll be visiting again.

    I’m an ENFP. I love that you listed your type! It’s so good to know. :)

  • Rebecca

    Hi,

    I’m an ex-pat originally from upstate NY and I’ve lived in the former East Germany since 1992 (spent 2 years before that in Hamburg and Munich, so I’ve seen a lot). A colleague showed me your blog about what Germans wear…. so true… Americans are easy to spot! Sorry to hear you had such negative experiences in the East… mine have been mostly positive. Good luck with your pregnancy / little ones. I’m looking forward to the next installment!

  • http://apatontheback.com Jodi Henderson

    Hi Christina – I just found your blog today and I’m so glad! I recently started considering a move abroad to live and work, with Germany being a possibility. I look forward to reading about your life there as food for thought for my own future.

  • Christine

    Hi Christina,
    I love your blog . I am an American expat who moved to Germany on July 1, 2010, from Washington, D.C., although I am originally from Arkansas. I miss the diversity of the D.C. area, working in public health for the government, and all of my family and friends tremendously. But, I also love Germany and am excited about my life here and learning German. :-)

  • Julie

    Hi,
    Are you still near Regensburg, and is this blog still up and running? I would love to find some expat’s groups in the area to get to know. We live about 45 minutes from Regensburg.
    Thanks,
    Julie

  • http://www.amiexpat.com Christina Geyer

    @Julie: I am still near Regensburg and the blog is still up and running, but I’m no longer organizing expat events in the area. There is a group over on Toytown Germany that meets up for dinners in Regensburg, you might check them out. Good luck!

  • http://None Stanley Johnson

    I don’t have a blog but would like to join WEBMU 2011. Can
    I do that?

  • http://www.amiexpat.com Christina Geyer

    WEBMU 2011 has already taken place. You can’t join in the planning for WEBMU 2012 unless you have a blog, unfortunately it’s a blogger meetup, but you can always start a blog!

  • http://paysexaugsburg.wordpress.com/ Jordan Kobialka

    Your blog is outrageous! I mean, Ive never been so entertained by anything in my life! Your vids are perfect for this. I mean, how did you manage to find something that matches your style of writing so well? Im really happy I started reading this today. Youve got a follower in me for sure!

  • Annie

    Hi there…I found your blog while Google searching for anything that would help me adjust to my new life here in Germany. We actually have a lot in common–I’m also from NC, though my blood is a different blue than yours (GO HEELS!) and I have connections for Richmond as well. We’re living in Marburg for my husband’s job with Siemens. Happy to make your acquaintance and I hope I find something helpful on your site.

  • Susie

    Hi Christina, I don’t remember how I came across your blog with your trips, but it is very interesting. I am an American living in Holland since 1985. I love Europe. We go to the city of Cham every year for more than 20 years at Easter. We organize a square and round dance event there. So it was interesting to read about your impressions of the city. But in all those years I have never come across a Cham Kanonenkugel. Maybe you remember at which restaurant you ate it?
    Susie

  • http://www.amiexpat.com Christina Geyer

    The restaurant was Zum Goldenen Löwen on the Marktplatz.

  • Paul

    @Heidi – I’m not sure if you’ll get this message, but my wife and I recently moved to near Kempten and we’re looking to meet some English speakers. Are you still there?