We’ve been living in Bavaria for a month now. It’s time for me to make the first assessment. What I was waiting for, the fears I had, and now where we are, what is really happening, how is life here, I am telling you everything.
We moved here on January the 5th with our two little girls. We spent the first weekend in the house, and on Monday my big girl (4 Yo) started the Kindergarten. Everything went very fast for us, for them, and what a long way we went through in just one month!
Here is a little retrospective to show you:
what I thought vs. reality
I thought I was a city rat… Actually, I love the countryside!
Me ? in the countryside? not at all!
What I feared the most was to find myself in the middle of nowhere with the cows of the local farmer as my only neighbors (and yet it is a bit like what many Parisians dream of…).
Of course we are in a relatively quiet place but with 20,000 inhabitants, I still regularly meet human beings.
The environment here is really very nice. We had the chance to find a great apartment, we breathe, and when the weather is nice, we see the mountains (how beautiful)
It is quite a change to find yourself in such a small city after years of experiencing the Parisian suburb.
What changes is: not everything is close by, but it’s a matter of organization.
And sometimes I even meet people I know “in the city” even though I don’t know anyone.
But above all, it’s so relaxing and calm!
I thought I was going to have a hard time to be understood from locals…
In fact, it’s not!! I would say that 80% of the inhabitants speak English and even very well!
A few years ago, I visited the Frankfurt area as a tourist and was surprised by the difficulties in making myself understood.
But here, you can talk to a retired person or a young person, they speak almost all good English with a special mention for 20-30 year olds whose quality of English is really very good (French people are very far from this level).
And it is also not uncommon to find people who speak French! So my new approach is to say “Sorry I don’t speak German yet, only English, French and Italian” and we always find a way to communicate!
Also, I had to take my little one to the doctor very recently (even here we can’t escape…) and… Surprise! The paediatrician speaks fluent French! (So easy to live in Germany)
I thought the German food was not so good and finally…
Well… I still think the same thing. But I want to be surprised.
I had the opportunity to taste some random dishes (sausages, meatloaf, potato salad, cheesecake…) and for the moment it hasn’t been very conclusive (for my French taste) but I continue the culinary experiences and I’m sure there are some nice things! On the other hand, at the supermarket, I find almost everything I need to cook at home as I used to do, and they have very good organic products and Italian food of very good quality! Asian food is much less represented than in Paris, far surpassed by trattoria and pizzeria.
I thought the German stay-at-home mother was an urban legend…
In fact, not really, I’ve heard women say several times before “I think that before two years it’s young to leave him” whereas in France, never…
I think in France it’s very rare to be at home after the child’s first year.
It surprises me, but I think it’s great if it’s the mother’s choice.
Everything is done to allow them not to be isolated, there are playgrounds everywhere, indoor playgrounds for the winter, the zoo is open during the day in the middle of the week, as well as the swimming pool, the skating rink… there are kids friendly cafes, free playgroups,…
On the other hand, if the new mom wants to go back to work, it gets difficult… the krippegarten have few places, there are a few “state” nannies quickly booked and the private nannies are very expensive (from 11€ per hour).
I thought I was going to be shivering all the time…
That’s what I was told….
“Oh look! You’re going to freeze in Bavaria, winter is hard and there’s a lot of snow.”
It may be coming, but for now the weather is relatively mild.
We didn’t have much snow but i heard it’s pretty unusual.
Our city is generally 3 degrees lower than Munich and the thermometer can drop down to -15 degrees, but so far it has been a little cold on some days. We had 3-4 days with a lot of snow but that’s all…
Now I have my snow boots so the cold can come, I’m well equipped!!
See you soon