Next Stop: Berlin

It’s been over a year since I have written a blog post. I never posted all my pictures of Laos or wrote my love letter to Vietnam. But I returned back to NYC, taught a lot, laughed a lot, and met some new people.

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Walking the Brooklyn Bridge
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Downtown Manhattan
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Union Square Station

Going though my emails I realized I came back on June 28th. And now I will be leaving America yet again one year and a day later. Nevan got a job in Berlin so we will be moving there for the time being.

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Winter in Fort Greene
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Spring at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens
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A Tourist Day earlier this month

Berlin seems pretty tame compared to living in Chuzhou, China. After my 10 month Asian adventure I have concluded that I can live anywhere with good public transportation. Good noodles and coffee helps too. Also, other expats are helpful. Basically I am a city girl.

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Life in Chuzhou

No one will point and stare at me

In Asia there is absolutely no way I can look like a local. I got use to it and thankfully in the bigger cities like Chiang Mai and Hanoi it wasn’t a really big deal. In Chuzhou people yelled, “Měiguórén!” (American) as I crossed the street and a lady even yelled at me at Walmart as I was shopping for toilet paper. Thankfully Berlin will not be Chuzhou 2.0 and if I go by “Frau Kugel” I could really fool everyone until I open my mouth.

I can travel to all the places

I was born and raised in California which means I could drive for three hours and still be in LA County. My mind is blown that in Berlin a short plane or train ride will lead me to a new country! Plus, my dream of going to Morocco can be done on a budget and a Central Asian backpack adventure is a possibility too. (Footnote: I’ve never been to Europe!)

Saving Money

Living in NYC ain’t cheap. I always thought living in Europe was “expensive” but we will actually be saving money in Berlin. The apartment we found is significantly cheaper and according to a quick Google search Berlin 42% cheaper than NYC. So there you go. Nevan is taking a cut in salary but I am making around the same money give or take. According the Nevan the only thing that cost more in Berlin is jeans. Thankfully I mostly wear dresses.

The Online Teaching Hours Are Great 

One of my jobs is teaching students online English as a Second Language. The students are all based in China which is a 12 hours difference than NYC. I often teach about 7am to 10am a few days a week. But with the time change in Berlin I can teach about 9am to 4pm which is fairly normal hours! I am really excited about the working hours and am even going to try out a standing desk.

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Feedback from one of my student’s mom (and yes I need to charge my phone)

A New Start

Nevan and I are basically selling all of our belongs. We are keeping a few items like his great grandma’s bookcase, typewriter, and some books but everything else is being sold! I didn’t realize how much shit I have even though I got rid of a ton two years ago before I move to China. I am limiting myself to two suitcases and my backpack. It really opens up a lot of possibilities. Nevan’s contract is one year but it could be extended. We could end up staying in Berlin for a few years or return to NYC. Or go live in Shanghai or Hanoi or Buenos Aires. Who knows.

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At the moment I am dealing with people on Craigslist not showing up and trying to rid of everything. A donation truck is coming on Tuesday at 2pm to take everything a way, Wednesday is for running last minute errands, and I finally leave Thursday at 11:30pm. So at the moment I am just a ball of stress and procrastination but once I make it to Thursday I might finally starting feeling that “freedom and possibility” feeling.

 

 

 

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