I am currently on vacation and visiting my family in Germany, Berlin. It’s my first visit in almost 2 years. I had to skip last year due to switching jobs and an overwhelming amount of work. Obviously, even while living abroad I am still following news and since I work in a hotel and have plenty of guests from Germany, I usually feel to be well informed about what’s going on at home.
Well, this is the first time that I felt misinformed.
The whole world is talking about the problems Germany is supposed to have, related to immigration issues, specifically to the large influx of refugees. Newspaper articles are full of terrifying stories, people are talking about rising crime rates and increasing socio-economic challenges.
Well, after spending a week here and visiting plenty of areas by day and by night, I can say that the city didn’t change in any negative manner. Just the opposite. The city seems better than ever and I might actually consider moving back here next year.
The streets are full of coffee shops, eateries and stylish bars to hang out. I hear different languages everywhere, from English, Spanish, to Polish and yes, sometimes also some German. I consider this diversity to be refreshing and positive. It fits with my personal point of view and considering myself as a world-citizen, rather than a German (I got 2 passports, so I can’t claim any nationality alone anyway).
Streets are mostly clean, schools look better than during my time here, playgrounds are full of families with children all day long. There are more designer buildings, it seems there is more technology everywhere but at the same time, the city is as green as a forest. Parks, lakes, the amount of natural elements is overwhelming everywhere. The focus on healthy food, drinks, recycling, sustainable infrastructure and the promotion of environmentally friendly actions is really refreshing and something you just hardly see in south-east Asia.
It might also be that by now I see things different, with the eye of a father more than with the eye of the adventurous world-conquerer that I once intended to become… we all had our dreams, didn’t we?
By now, Berlin got some of the glamour that major cities need which it didn’t have in the past. One reason why I left the city (and the country) so many years ago, was due to the lack of… well, excitement, diversity, and energy. I am glad that I start to like the city again. And I am glad, that most of the stories I heard turned out to be vastly exaggerated.
Today nothing about investing, but I thought I need to share this impression. The next investment article will come over the weekend. Until then, I will enjoy the city a little longer.