The Germany Experience

Life in Germany, as seen through the eyes of outsiders. Featuring the stories of foreigners who moved to Germany - either temporarily or permanently - and tips and advice for life in Germany. Get an inside view of the joys, the frustrations, and the quirks of adapting to the culture and learning German. New episodes every Wednesday.

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episode 68: Coming to Germany during a pandemic (Cassie from Australia) [transcript]


Cassie from Australia wanted to continue her music studies in Germany, and her plans were already underway when the pandemic struck. It put her plans on hold, but Cassie was still able to push through and move to Weimar. I discuss with her what it was like to move to Germany during a pandemic, and what her first impressions of Germany are.

Cassie on Instagram: @cassie_slater

SEGEPADFO Charity Challenge
Nicole of The Expat Cast and I are going head-to-head to raise money for Über den Tellerrand - in specific, we're supporting a project of theirs to build a mobile kitchen. To find out more and to donate, visit our SEGEPADFO page:

https://thegermanyexperience.de/charity2020

We're also doing challenges along the way, so stay tuned to both our shows for updates along the way.

POSTCARDS FROM 2020:
What was 2020 like for you? What did you learn? And most importantly, what message do you want to give to others? I want to compile your responses and put together an episode called Postcards from 2020. Send me your contributions: write me a message at TheGermanyExperience.de/contact, leave me a voice message through my website, or write me an email at info@thegermanyexperience.de.


JOIN THE THE GERMANY EXPERIENCE FACEBOOK GROUP

Visit the official
The Germany Experience website

Contact me:
info@thegermanyexperience.de


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 2020-12-07  36m
 
 
00:00  Cassie
I've had scenarios where
00:00
I, I've accidentally bumped
00:03
someone I'm like, Oh, sorry. And
00:03
they're like, what? Four.
00:08  Unknown
I'm just like, Oh look,
00:11  Shaun B
sorry for sorry.
00:18
It's the Germany experience the
00:18
podcast about life in Germany as
00:22
seen through the eyes of
00:22
outsiders. I'm your host, Shaun,
00:25
and visit
00:25
theGermanyexperience.de for
00:28
episodes, information about the
00:28
show and a lot more. Now, this
00:32
week's guest is someone who
00:32
arrived in Germany from
00:35
Australia, in the middle of a
00:35
global pandemic. And we'll get
00:40
to her story in a second. But
00:40
before we do that, I want to
00:42
talk about the charity challenge
00:42
that is happening with Nicole of
00:45
the expect cost and me right
00:45
now. It's the Advent challenge.
00:49
We call it segi pedco, which is
00:49
the second ever Germany expect
00:54
podcasts Advent donations face
00:54
off. And basically what it is,
00:59
is we go head to head to see who
00:59
can raise the most money for
01:02
charity. And I have to say this
01:02
at the moment right now. Nicole
01:07
is winning. Now it's, it's early
01:07
days. So we're we just had the
01:12
second advent, which means we've
01:12
got to advance left, I'm not
01:16
that far behind Nicole. So this
01:16
time to catch up. So what I need
01:19
you to do, as listeners of the
01:19
Germany experience is go to
01:23
theGermanyexperience.de/charity2020.
01:23
Follow the link there and
01:28
donate. And when you donate, be
01:28
sure to write "the Germany
01:32
experience" in the public
01:32
comments field. And if you want
01:36
to know what you're donating to
01:36
this year, we've chosen Uber den
01:41
elegant as our charity of
01:41
choice. And specifically, we're
01:45
promoting a project of theirs in
01:45
Freiburg, where the money will
01:50
go to the construction of a
01:50
portable kitchen, which will
01:54
help the Freiburg branch, expand
01:54
and improve their events. And if
01:59
you want to hear more about the
01:59
charity, and about the project
02:02
that we're supporting, take a
02:02
listen to this clip from an
02:05
interview that Nicole did with
02:05
Tara from Ubud intelligent. And
02:10
you can hear the full interview
02:10
over at the expert cost. So go
02:13
and listen to it there if you
02:13
want. But here's just a clip of
02:16
what the charity is about and
02:16
what project we're supporting.
02:18  Tara from Ueber den Tellerrand
And
02:18
we didn't turn up and we create
02:20
opportunities for people from
02:20
different cultural backgrounds
02:24
to come together to get to know
02:24
each other and, and hopefully
02:29
build friendships or learn from
02:29
one another. Through bringing
02:33
people together, we would like
02:33
to get rid of the stereotypes
02:37
that we have from each other and
02:37
the judgments. I mean, everybody
02:41
has them based on the things
02:41
that we read the here we watch
02:47
for one way or another all bias
02:47
so what we're trying to do is to
02:51
bring people together, so that
02:51
we can learn from each other and
02:55
we can see that we have much
02:55
more in common than those
03:00
differences that we were always
03:00
thinking of. so evident
03:04
telephone usually has culinary
03:04
events. So we usually get
03:08
together to cook through
03:08
building a mobile slash portable
03:14
handcart kitchen, which is
03:14
called boiler. So very creative
03:20
person called Buta pepper sack
03:20
designed this boiler this
03:24
portable kitchen as a part of
03:24
her Bachelor thesis and gave the
03:29
design to evident telecon as an
03:29
organization. How it works is
03:33
that it's, it's a kitchen that
03:33
you could basically take
03:37
everywhere. And we can invite
03:37
people to get together and have
03:41
an interactive cooking session
03:41
and experience outside.
03:47  Shaun B
So go over to
03:47
theGermanyexperience.de/charity2020
03:53
or click the link in the show
03:53
notes and get donating. Now,
03:56
we've also decided that we're
03:56
doing a bunch of challenges
03:59
along the way. And last week, if
03:59
you remember, Nicole challenged
04:02
me to come up with a jingle for
04:02
SEGEPADFO. By this week, now I
04:07
be honest, that jingle is
04:07
written it exists, but I haven't
04:11
recorded it yet. We I'm getting
04:11
to that. But I decided to
04:15
counter challenge, Nicole. And
04:15
what I've asked her to do is to
04:20
provide some backing vocals for
04:20
the ciggy pedo jingle. So that
04:24
is going to happen this week.
04:24
She's going to provide her
04:28
buttery smooth singing vocals to
04:28
the segi pedo jingle that I'm
04:34
putting together. And we'll
04:34
you'll hear the result of that
04:37
hopefully very soon. So I'm
04:37
looking forward to that. And we
04:40
also put together a video promo
04:40
which you can find on my
04:44
Facebook page. And while we were
04:44
doing that, we actually ended up
04:48
with a lot of bloopers. So what
04:48
we decided is if we get a
04:51
combined donation total of 200
04:51
years, we'll release the
04:56
bloopers from that promo and
04:56
believe it or not for two
04:59
podcasters There are a lot of
04:59
bloopers for a two minute promo,
05:04
it is quite surprising actually.
05:04
So if you want to hear that,
05:07
make sure you get to donating
05:07
and hopefully we can hit the 200
05:11
euro combined mark and then
05:11
we'll then we'll release the
05:13
bloopers video for you to see
05:13
the mistakes that we made. Now
05:17
on to my guest this week, what
05:17
is it like to plan to move to
05:21
Germany and then to move to
05:21
Germany in the middle of a
05:24
global pandemic? I wondered that
05:24
myself. So when Cassie from
05:28
Australia left me a voicemail
05:28
message about arriving in
05:31
Germany during this time, I just
05:31
had to invite her on the show
05:34
and see if you'd be willing to
05:34
tell her story. And she was. So
05:38
Cassie started planning to
05:38
continue her musical studies in
05:41
Germany at the beginning of the
05:41
year. And then of course, the
05:43
pandemic came along it put a
05:43
temporary hold on those plans.
05:47
And in the end, she still
05:47
managed to make the move. So I
05:50
talked to her about her mindset
05:50
during this turbulent year. Why
05:53
she stuck with her plans and the
05:53
first impressions of Germany now
05:57
that she's here. Here's Cassie
05:57
from Australia.
06:06  Cassie
I'm from Australia. I
06:06
grew up on the Gold Coast. So I
06:09
grew up on the beach and then
06:09
studied in Brisbane in
06:13
Queensland and then I moved down
06:13
to Melbourne to do some more
06:15
study. And yeah, now I'm in
06:15
Germany and fine Ma.
06:19  Shaun B
Now you Weimar is not
06:19
as a city that I hear a lot of
06:22
people going to
06:22  Cassie
night it's it's quite
06:22
random. It's very small, but
06:26
really beautiful. Yeah,
06:28  Shaun B
it's actually on my
06:28
list of cities that I really
06:30
desperately want to visit
06:30
because it's it's got a lot of
06:33
history there of course with
06:33
good. And Shiller I think that
06:36
they either were born there, or
06:36
they spent a large time of their
06:39
career there.
06:40  Cassie
Yeah, exactly. It's
06:40
incredible. Like, I would
06:43
definitely recommend, especially
06:43
in summer I imagine it will be
06:46
so beautiful. And it's just
06:46
crazy. like God has houses here.
06:49
It's Yeah, it's fascinating
06:49
coming from Australia and seeing
06:53
all this history here. It's
06:53
Yeah, incredible.
06:55  Shaun B
Did you know Goethe and
06:55
Schiller before you left
06:58
Australia? Is that something
06:58
you've learned recently with
07:00
your move?
07:01  Cassie
I'd obviously heard of
07:01
them. But yeah, being here and
07:04
the Germans are so proud of
07:04
them. You can't help
07:09  Shaun B
but I guess it's like
07:09
us and Shakespeare.
07:11  Cassie
Yeah, exactly. Yeah.
07:12  Shaun B
Yeah. I have like, it's
07:12
very embarrassing to admit, but
07:15
I actually had never heard of
07:15
either Goethe or Schiller before
07:18
I moved to Germany. And it's
07:18
very embarrassing. In fact, I
07:22
heard about them for the first
07:22
time in German courses when I
07:24
was doing some German courses in
07:24
South Africa before I left and
07:27
then our teacher but happened to
07:27
mention good inshallah. My god,
07:29
this seemed like a big deal.
07:33  Cassie
Yeah, just a bit. Yeah.
07:33
You kind of need to get up to
07:35
speed quickly once you get.
07:37  Shaun B
Yeah. So you're in
07:37
Weimar. So yeah, it's not it's
07:40
not that big. As far as I know.
07:40
It's like 60 to 70,000 people if
07:43
I'm really,
07:45  Cassie
yeah, I'm coming from
07:45
Melbourne. Yeah, I'm getting
07:48
used to the small town last
07:48
time.
07:51
Very different.
07:52  Shaun B
Yeah, I can imagine I
07:52
can, I can definitely imagine.
07:55
So we'll get to why you're
07:55
there. In fact, let's do that
07:59
now. So why are you in Germany
07:59
and specifically Weimar?
08:03  Cassie
Yes. So I'm a musician.
08:03
I play the flute. And basically,
08:09
I always wanted to go to Germany
08:09
to do some further study. And I
08:13
was put in touch with a really
08:13
good flute teacher, he teaches
08:16
here in Weimar, and basically,
08:16
that led me to audition here,
08:20
and then I was offered a place
08:20
to do my masters. So yeah,
08:24
that's basically why I'm here in
08:24
this small town.
08:29  Shaun B
It's, um, yeah, that
08:29
was my biggest question. Like,
08:32
what brings someone to vinyl but
08:32
I can imagine with having such a
08:35
big cultural scene that there
08:35
must be a lot of music stuff
08:37
going on
08:38  Cassie
there. Yeah, there's a
08:38
really good Hochschule here. And
08:41
it's really important for
08:41
musicians to learn from really
08:44
good teachers. So that's really
08:44
the main reason. Wow, that's
08:48  Shaun B
very exciting.
08:49  Cassie
Yeah, it is. It's fun.
08:49
It's nice to finally be here
08:52
because it's been in the works
08:52
especially with COVID it's taken
08:56
a lot longer to actually get
08:56
here so I'm just glad to Yeah,
09:00
have made it
09:01  Shaun B
Yeah. So I know a lot
09:01
of people who've had to put
09:05
their plans on hold or it's kind
09:05
of like fallen away their pens
09:09
to come to Germany because of
09:09
the whole Coronavirus thing. So
09:11
tell me how the lead up to this.
09:11
What kind of hoops that you have
09:15
to jump through. And did it look
09:15
at some point like you maybe
09:17
weren't going to be coming?
09:19  Cassie
Yeah, it's it was an
09:19
interesting time. It was
09:23
actually crazy because I came
09:23
here in January to do an
09:27
audition and I flew to China
09:27
Southern and had a massive
09:33
layover in China and was here
09:33
for a week and then went back to
09:36
Australia and it def and Corona
09:36
definitely was around during
09:39
that time but right. But I just
09:39
think it's insane that I
09:42
actually made a trip earlier
09:42
this year. Anyway, so that
09:46
happened and I was offered a
09:46
place. Once I found out once I
09:52
go back to Australia so I packed
09:52
up my place in Melbourne in
09:57
preparation to start In the
09:57
summer semester, which is in
10:01
April, right? And then I stopped
10:01
in Queensland on the way to do
10:07
some work. And I had my suitcase
10:07
and all my summer European gear,
10:12
my suitcase ready to move over.
10:12
And during that time, the
10:17
borders closed by the German
10:17
borders and the Australian
10:21
border. So I was stuck in
10:21
Queensland.
10:24  Shaun B
What was your feeling?
10:24
Then? Did you did you? Were you
10:27
utterly disappointed? Or are you
10:27
just kind of caught up in
10:30
whatever was going on
10:31  Cassie
then? Yeah, I mean, it
10:31
was everything was changing
10:34
daily. It was so hard to know
10:34
what what to do or whether to
10:37
try and then get turned away.
10:37
Once I got got to Germany. I
10:41
really wasn't sure. Anyway, I
10:41
made the decision to stay in
10:44
Australia and just hope that
10:44
hope that it would open up again
10:48
soon, but but it turned out to
10:48
be six months that I was in
10:52
Australia before I could
10:52
actually get here. So yeah,
10:56  Shaun B
yeah. How did you know
10:56
you could How was the time right
10:59
after six months? Well, it was
10:59
it because Germany had eased up
11:02
there lockdowns or what what
11:02
made it that you could get
11:05
finally get to Germany.
11:06  Cassie
Um, it was actually also
11:06
quite difficult to leave
11:09
Australia, they put in a travel
11:09
ban for Australians to leave.
11:14
And you had to apply for an
11:14
exemption and provide and
11:19
provide like, numerous job
11:19
documents approved saying that
11:23
you had a legitimate reason to
11:23
leave the country. And so I
11:27
decided to apply for a student
11:27
visa while still in Australia.
11:31
And just to back up my
11:31
application. And yeah, and so
11:37
once that that all happened, the
11:37
German boat is reopened. And it
11:42
was also I also tried to get
11:42
over here for the start of the
11:46
next semester in September. So
11:46
yeah, that was a few things that
11:51
that I had to get done.
11:52  Shaun B
Would you were
11:52
determined to make it happen?
11:54  Cassie
Oh, yeah. funding the
11:54
student visa was like, was like
11:59
my first taste of jevin.
11:59
bureaucracy. It was insane. It
12:03
was actually during COVID Oh, my
12:03
gosh, I can
12:08  Shaun B
I can I cannot even
12:08
imagine. So to get from
12:13
Australia to Germany is a pretty
12:13
long flight in normal
12:17
circumstances. But of course,
12:17
you've got the whole Coronavirus
12:20
thing happening now, how is that
12:20
flight for you? What did that
12:22
look like? Well, I
12:24  Cassie
actually have my flight
12:24
already booked for April. So
12:27
fortunately, that airline
12:27
actually honored the flight when
12:29
I flew later in the year. So I
12:29
didn't have to pay anything
12:33
extra despite the prices being
12:33
much higher. But It normally
12:38
takes about 25 hours, I think
12:38
over two flights, but I had to
12:44
add an extra flight into state
12:44
within Australia. So took it
12:49
definitely took longer around 30
12:49
hours to get here. I also I
12:54
remember checking into my flight
12:54
and asking the the attendant, I
13:00
asked Can I get a vote myself,
13:00
please? And he and he just
13:05
laughed at me. He's like, oh,
13:05
you'll be fine. And I got on the
13:08
plane. And there was about
13:08
probably about 10 other people
13:12
on one of those massive
13:12
international planes. Both
13:16
flights there was probably under
13:16
20 people, which is so bizarre.
13:22
This bizarre,
13:23  Shaun B
but amazing. You'll
13:23
never have another flight like
13:25
that again.
13:26  Cassie
I know I slept so well.
13:26
I got the rotor myself.
13:29
I've never slept well at a plot.
13:32  Shaun B
That is that is like
13:32
that. That is the dream in some
13:35
crazy way. But do you have to
13:35
wear a mask the whole time?
13:37  Cassie
Yeah to ask. But it's
13:37
bizarre because you take the
13:40
mask off when you ate and the
13:40
attendants were in the full the
13:47
full protective PPA gave me
13:47
Yeah,
13:51  Shaun B
that's crazy.
13:53  Cassie
And the airports were so
13:53
quiet. Yeah. And Abu Dhabi it
13:57
was everything was just closed.
13:57
And I was just walking. It was
13:59
very eerie. It's like a Yeah,
13:59
Thriller movie when you're just
14:03
walking through a dead airport
14:03
by yourself. Yeah,
14:06  Shaun B
it's like, what was
14:06
that? There was 28 days later
14:09
that has an amazing intro
14:09
sequence with with the guy just
14:12
waking up in hospital and then
14:12
walking through London. And I
14:15
think it's a hole of quite a few
14:15
minutes and no one's around.
14:18
That's what Coronavirus makes
14:18
some cities feel like I think
14:20
when
14:21  Cassie
in any of those videos
14:21
what people are doing those
14:23
drone shots and yeah, the cities
14:23
are just dead. It's It's so like
14:28
apocalypse.
14:29  Shaun B
It is it is really
14:29
apocalyptic. It really is. And
14:35
now of course, I get I'm
14:35
assuming that because you grew
14:39
up at the beach, you had pretty
14:39
mild winters. And now we're
14:41
heading into a winter here in
14:41
Germany. How is that for you? Is
14:44
that or have you experienced
14:44
European winters before?
14:48  Cassie
Not really not to this
14:48
extent it's getting extremely
14:50
cold and yeah, and there's frost
14:50
everywhere. It's insane. I'm
14:56
excited this morning I checked
14:56
the weather and there's a little
14:58
snowflake, but anyway Yeah, but
14:58
it's really cold. I need to buy
15:04
some proper winter clothes.
15:04
Yeah. Yeah.
15:09  Shaun B
Yeah. So you're you're
15:09
still looking forward to winter.
15:11  Cassie
Yeah, I think the
15:11
novelty still there for me. I'm
15:14
sure it will wear off soon.
15:14
Yeah,
15:17  Shaun B
I don't know. Because
15:17
for me, like the snow and
15:20
everything that still hasn't
15:20
worn off the novelty of that
15:22
every year, it's exciting. And
15:22
every year it's fun, or makes it
15:26
less fun is I don't know how it
15:26
is in your apartment. But we
15:28
have. We had vintage dienste
15:28
winter service. When we lived in
15:33
a previous apartment where each
15:33
of us living in the apartment
15:36
had to have a week of shoveling
15:36
snow. During winter. It was in
15:40
the contract and then so when it
15:40
would snow an hour when it would
15:44
come to our week, we were just
15:44
like, please no snow this week,
15:46
please. Because we were in
15:46
charge of cleaning it up. So
15:51
that made it less fun. But the
15:51
novelty is still there for me
15:54
after 13 years. Yeah,
15:55  Cassie
I hope it stays the same
15:55
for me. Yeah, I don't have any
15:58
any vintage dates, though.
15:58
That's good. Yeah, good, pretty.
16:04
Lucky.
16:07  Shaun B
Um, how is your German
16:07
by the way?
16:11  Cassie
Uh, it's okay. I mean, I
16:11
had all that time when I was
16:15
stuck in Australia. So I decided
16:15
that it would be a good
16:18
opportunity to do some more
16:18
study. So I was taking lessons.
16:22
And I managed to do an intensive
16:22
course before right before I
16:26
left, which sort of prepped me,
16:26
and I was sort of hearing it
16:30
every day just before I flew. So
16:30
that helped. My course is all in
16:34
German. So I'm really like,
16:34
forced to understand and I'm
16:38
trying to speak more, I have
16:38
lectures and like colleagues
16:41
that I speak to in German, so
16:41
it's okay.
16:46  Shaun B
It's one way to learn
16:46
pretty fast, I guess is if
16:49
you're studying in German.
16:51  Cassie
Yeah. You have to see,
16:51
yeah, it's hot. It's tough
16:54
language, though. Oh, my gosh,
16:54
I'm just, I'm just accepting
16:57
that I just make lots of
16:57
mistakes every day. And most
17:00
most of the time people still
17:00
understand. So it's okay.
17:03
That's,
17:03  Shaun B
that's the most
17:03
important thing. Like I figure
17:05
if people understand me that it
17:05
doesn't have to be perfect that
17:08
that would. That's what got me
17:08
through the early early days.
17:10  Cassie
Yeah, definitely. And I
17:10
was listening to your podcasts a
17:13
lot. And like, a lot of people
17:13
was sort of having a similar
17:17
idea. And I was very stressed,
17:17
because I wanted to be perfect
17:20
all the time. But now it's just
17:20
impossible.
17:23  Shaun B
It's it's really not,
17:23
it's really not. And even I can
17:26
tell you, but But then again,
17:26
I'm a bit lazy with learning
17:28
German, and so on. But even
17:28
after 13 years, I am very far
17:31
from perfect. My grammar is a
17:31
mess. It is a miss. grammar.
17:36  Cassie
Oh my gosh, I feel like
17:36
my brain is just like taking
17:38
over like trying to like work
17:38
out how to just structure a
17:41
normal sentence like?
17:44  Shaun B
Yeah. So do you think
17:44
that gets in the way of your
17:47
learning? Because you said,
17:47
obviously, you've got a really
17:49
good flute, professor or teacher
17:49
or instructor? Do you think
17:55
that's gonna get in the way of
17:55
you learning the flute? Or is
17:57
are you able to do it? Despite
17:57
the language barrier?
18:00  Cassie
I can understand, which
18:00
is the main thing, I think
18:03
that's most important. It's just
18:03
so in that sense, no, I don't
18:08
think so. It's more just like
18:08
when you want to express
18:12
yourself and respond. That's
18:12
what I'm finding most
18:15
frustrating is that I just feel
18:15
like in German, I'm much more
18:20
shy and hesitant to speak, which
18:20
is frustrating, because Yeah, it
18:24
is.
18:25  Shaun B
So but you'd obviously
18:25
studied quite far with the flute
18:29
before you'd left Australia,
18:29
right. This is something that
18:31
you've studied for a while.
18:32  Cassie
Yeah, I've been trying
18:32
since I was like, 10 years old.
18:36
And okay, any five now? So it's
18:36
been? Well,
18:39  Shaun B
it's been, it's been a
18:39
while. And this is obviously the
18:42
career that you want to you
18:42
wanting to make this a career.
18:44  Cassie
Yeah, exactly. I mean,
18:44
it's bit difficult at the
18:46
moment, because odds have been
18:46
so affected by COVID. And
18:49
fortunately, I'm still able to
18:49
study at the moment, but there's
18:52
no concerts or anything, which
18:52
is really bad. Yeah, I believe
18:56
things will open up soon. Yeah.
19:00  Shaun B
I hope so. And there's
19:00
positive signs of things like
19:02
vaccinations that are coming
19:02
soon. And who knows if that's
19:06
gonna end and yeah, so I think
19:06
we're, we're looking at a better
19:09
2021. But who actually knows at
19:09
this point, Cassie,
19:12  Cassie
I know, and I just have
19:12
to accept that everything.
19:17  Shaun B
Do you? What is the
19:17
effect been on Weimar? Have you
19:20
been able to experience the city
19:20
yet? Or do you think that
19:22
there's still a lot more to to
19:22
experience?
19:25  Cassie
Um, I actually feel kind
19:25
of lucky that I'm in a small
19:27
town in that sense, because the
19:27
case numbers are low. There's
19:34
like, I don't think there's been
19:34
many this year at all. So I
19:38
don't feel like I'm at risk as
19:38
much as if I was in a bigger
19:43
city. So I was I've been still
19:43
able to explore Well, I had few
19:50
weeks when before we went back
19:50
into lockdown, where I could go
19:54
to museums and things like that,
19:54
but Okay, um, yeah, I'm a bit
19:58
sad. That cafe And bars. And now
19:58
museums, again, a closed
20:03
because, um, as a student when
20:03
you start your degree, like
20:07
normally you're used to, like,
20:07
big student welcome parties and
20:10
things like that. And the whole
20:10
social aspects been taken away,
20:15
which makes it quite difficult.
20:15
And there, you know, you have
20:18
the idea of like the full expat
20:18
experience when, what when you
20:22
move overseas, but yeah, we just
20:22
have to sort of take a step back
20:26
from that at the moment. Yeah,
20:26
yeah,
20:29  Shaun B
I feel like it's, I
20:29
feel like there's a lot of a lot
20:31
of things that we were losing
20:31
out on, like, if I think of
20:33
across all the across the board,
20:33
like a lot of kids at a certain
20:37
age are missing out on a normal
20:37
teenage life where they would
20:40
just meet up with their friends.
20:40
And now it's been, you know,
20:43
with this lockdown, okay,
20:43
lockdown, light hasn't been that
20:45
long, but it's still a long time
20:45
in terms of teenagers. And then
20:49
also think of people like you
20:49
foreigners coming to a country
20:51
for the first time. You do miss
20:51
out on part of the experience.
20:55
But I think in your case, it's
20:55
just cool that you're here. And
20:59
you just have to, unfortunately,
20:59
wait until things maybe
21:03
hopefully get a bit better.
21:04  Cassie
Yeah, definitely,
21:04
definitely. Not very likely to
21:06
be.
21:07  Shaun B
Yeah, are you? So that
21:07
social aspect Are you do you
21:11
feel isolated at all? Or do you
21:11
still have enough contact for
21:15
you to feel pretty comfortable?
21:18  Cassie
Um, I think and
21:18
initially meeting people is
21:22
quite tough, because you're not
21:22
in those group situations. And
21:25
there's not that many like
21:25
activities to do. I've still
21:29
managed to make friends. And I
21:29
still keep in contact with my
21:33
family and friends back in
21:33
Australia, which is, which is
21:36
really lucky. Yeah, it's hard
21:36
because all those like
21:39
spontaneous encounters which you
21:39
normally get, have sort of been
21:43
taken away. But you sort of make
21:43
do.
21:46  Shaun B
Yeah. Do you do sort of
21:46
make do that is very good. What
21:50
is what is your mindset at the
21:50
moment, though, is it Are you
21:54
feeling feeling any sort of
21:54
homesickness right now? Or is
21:58
still pretty? Like you're in the
21:58
honeymoon phase with Germany?
22:02  Cassie
I'm not so much
22:02
homesickness. I think I'm a I'm
22:07
a bit sad that the Christmas
22:07
markets are not on and I don't
22:10
mean ease on happening. Yeah.
22:10
It's just the Christmas spirit
22:16
that I was looking forward to.
22:16
But yeah, you can still buy
22:19
going on at the same
22:21  Shaun B
time. Not the same
22:21
Cassie?
22:28  Cassie
Yeah, I say pictures
22:28
with my family and friends. And
22:31
they've got the beautiful summer
22:31
in Australia, and the warm
22:36
Christmas. So I think the code
22:36
is a little bit depressing
22:42
sometimes. But I, I really like
22:42
Gemini, and I've, yeah, I think
22:49
it's, it hasn't worn off just
22:49
yet.
22:51  Shaun B
Yeah, I think what the
22:51
problem is, is winter does go on
22:53
for a long time. And Gemini is
22:53
something that I found as a
22:56
South African as well, like in
22:56
the beginning, it's very cool.
22:59
And it's very, it's nice. If it
22:59
snows like, especially if it
23:01
snows then it's a great winter.
23:01
But the thing is, is you
23:04
probably had an environment,
23:04
it's the same as where we are
23:06
now. It's just gray every day
23:06
gray and damp and kind of cold.
23:12
And that is I think that is what
23:12
brings people down is not not
23:15
not necessarily the winter, but
23:15
just this this gray short days
23:19
kind of thing.
23:20  Cassie
short days. That's a big
23:20
thing.
23:22  Shaun B
Yeah,
23:23  Cassie
that's what's annoying
23:23
me at the moment when it's when
23:25
it's the sun setting, like,
23:25
quarter past four, it's just,
23:30
and then and then you're looking
23:30
at a clock and it's still like
23:32
six o'clock and you're like,
23:34  Shaun B
You're like my pajamas
23:34
ready to get into bed or
23:38  Cassie
already had dinner. What
23:38
am I gonna do for the next few
23:40
hours?
23:42
Yes, and it's gonna get worse.
23:45  Shaun B
Yes, it's gonna get
23:45
worse, but not much worse. I
23:47
think we got up until we got
23:47
December to get a little worse.
23:51
And then it starts getting
23:51
better. But I always find and I
23:54
think I may have discussed this
23:54
with a guest recently that
23:56
February is the worst in in
23:56
Germany. Okay. That is that is
24:01
that worst month for my wife and
24:01
I because it's just like, okay,
24:04
winter, we're done. Now. Let's
24:04
move on. Let's go, you know,
24:07
let's let's move to spring but
24:07
doesn't bring. Oh, gosh, okay.
24:13  Cassie
I'm prepared now.
24:16  Shaun B
And what about culture
24:16
shock? Have you had enough
24:18
exposure to German culture to to
24:18
have any culture shock or things
24:23
that are completely different to
24:23
what you're used to?
24:25  Cassie
Well, I think it's a bit
24:25
of a weird scenario at the
24:27
moment, but there's definitely
24:27
been funny moments that I've had
24:30
as an Australian where, where
24:30
things are just, I've just been
24:34
misunderstood.
24:37  Shaun B
Yeah, like,
24:39  Cassie
I think it's, I think
24:39
it's a lot of like, like an
24:42
Australian disposition that
24:42
doesn't always translate into
24:45
German culture very well. Like,
24:45
I think I've had comments that
24:50
like I seem very like open and
24:50
just like up for anything. And
24:54
perhaps Happy is the wrong word.
24:54
It's more like a denial. Open
25:01
energy, I don't know. And people
25:01
are like, Oh, are you okay? You?
25:05
You seem too happy. I'm a little
25:05
bit unnerved by this. And I'm
25:09
like, Oh, sorry.
25:13  Shaun B
Yeah. Oh,
25:14  Cassie
things. I've had
25:14
scenarios where I, I've
25:17
accidentally bumped someone I'm
25:17
like, Oh, sorry. And they're
25:20
like, what? Four?
25:22
I'm just like, Oh, look.
25:25  Shaun B
Sorry for sorry.
25:29  Cassie
Like, I'm just not gonna
25:29
say anything. Yeah, they
25:33  Shaun B
are very, very strange
25:33
about in South Africa. We're
25:36
also very polite and we say
25:36
sorry, a lot. Yeah. And that is
25:39
something that Germans done.
25:39
Don't understand when you just
25:42
apologize for everything. Yes.
25:42
Why use by you? Sorry?
25:48  Cassie
What is the reason for
25:48
this is not very practical.
25:53  Shaun B
Yeah, it's it is it is
25:53
a very difficult mindset when
25:56
you first come into contact with
25:56
it, especially for the open,
26:00
friendly, gregarious cultures
26:00
like we come from. Yeah. Do you
26:07
feel like you need to adjust?
26:07
Like, you have to turn it down a
26:10
bit? Have you started doing
26:10
that? Or are you just being
26:12
yourself?
26:13  Cassie
I'm just like, wary of
26:13
fitting in and also being more
26:18
direct and probably being a
26:18
little bit less apologetic. I
26:23
suppose. I don't need a sorry if
26:23
I lightly bumped someone. Yeah,
26:27
yeah, definitely trying to be
26:27
more direct and that kind of
26:31
thing.
26:32  Shaun B
Which is, which is some
26:32
sometimes rough because, like,
26:36
like you can you can plan to be
26:36
you can you can tell yourself,
26:38
okay, I'm gonna be more direct.
26:38
But when you get into that
26:40
situation, I think your cultural
26:40
instinct just takes over and you
26:44
behave the way that you your
26:44
instinct tells you behave,
26:46
because I can say that some
26:46
things that I've noticed never
26:49
lost, is that apologizing for
26:49
things, or even just if
26:52
someone's mildly uncomfortable?
26:52
They say something like, I don't
26:55
know. I can't think of a good
26:55
example. But I will say oh,
26:59
sorry about that. Yeah. And
26:59
they're like, what, but I'm
27:01
like, I'm not really sorry. I'm
27:01
just trying to express that I
27:04
I'm empathizing with you, like,
27:04
I understand what you're going
27:07
through kind of thing. And I
27:07
still do that, even after all
27:09
this time. So I think it's
27:09
something it's hard to get rid
27:11
of.
27:12  Cassie
Yeah, it's true. I
27:12
definitely made some sarcasm as
27:16
well. And sort of that kind of
27:16
humor. I find that like, making
27:22
fun of yourself and being
27:22
sarcastic doesn't really
27:25
translate super well.
27:27  Shaun B
No. Okay. Can you think
27:27
of an example of how you would
27:31
do that? Or how you would use
27:31
sarcasm like that? Oh, I
27:34  Cassie
definitely use it all
27:34
the time. When? When I'm saying,
27:38
Oh, great. I'm so excited for
27:38
that kind of thing. But it's not
27:43
exciting. Why are you saying
27:43
that?
27:48  Shaun B
No, I mean, the
27:48
opposite?
27:49  Cassie
Yeah, exactly. I need to
27:49
explain those kind of
27:52
situations. Okay.
27:56  Shaun B
An example that another
27:56
guest of mine, Nicole from the
28:00
expert cost actually an example
28:00
that she had was she would she
28:04
will often say when something
28:04
something goes wrong, she go
28:07
like, ah, super. And, and
28:07
they're like, why is the super
28:11
Why? Like, what is the point of
28:11
it? No, no, no, it's not
28:14
actually super
28:16  Cassie
unsanitary. That's what
28:16
happens to me.
28:19  Shaun B
So you think that is
28:19
the that is the biggest culture
28:21
shock that you've noticed so
28:21
far, is just the just the way
28:24
that people experience you? And?
28:24
Yeah, it's always fun talking to
28:29
someone who's so new in Germany,
28:29
I really appreciate it. It's
28:33
always so much fun to me. Yeah.
28:33
Because I've been here for so
28:35
long that I sometimes forget
28:35
those early phases of what it
28:37
felt like, like how you're
28:37
observing the culture for the
28:40
first time. So it's always fun
28:40
to hear.
28:42  Cassie
So do you think that
28:42
you've adjusted now?
28:45  Shaun B
Or? Yes, I have I have
28:45
adjusted a little too Well,
28:49
sometimes, because I can, I can
28:49
see that there are certain
28:52
German qualities to my behavior
28:52
that went, yeah.
28:56  Cassie
So we went back to South
28:56
Africa. You You're more German,
29:01
I suppose.
29:02  Shaun B
Yeah, I've had my
29:02
family telling me that I'm very
29:04
aggressive now, which I'm still
29:04
not, like in terms of Germans, I
29:08
am not aggressive. But that
29:08
comes across as aggressive
29:12
because I'm just saying
29:12
sometimes exactly what I think
29:15
like the Germans do. So I've
29:15
kind of adopted that as well. So
29:17
when I go back, I will just give
29:17
my opinion, where in South
29:21
Africa, we, you know, we don't
29:21
exactly do it directly, we'll
29:24
say, typical South Africans say
29:24
like, you know, it would be
29:28
really nice if you could
29:28
consider doing this and this and
29:30
this. And we're actually asking
29:30
you to do it. But we're asking
29:33
you a really nice way. But
29:33
whereas now, I would just like
29:34
could you do that? Yeah, I think
29:34
like the Germans do. So that is
29:38
that is something is definitely
29:38
changing. I was told by, by my
29:41
family members that I was a bit
29:41
aggressive nowadays. And I'm
29:44
just generally impatient. When I
29:44
go back back to South Africa.
29:47
Like I just expect a waiter at
29:47
my table within, you know, three
29:51
minutes of sitting down if it's
29:51
not happening, which doesn't in
29:54
South Africa. Yeah. I still get
29:54
like, Where's that? Where's the
29:57
service? What's going on? Yeah,
29:57
So I definitely think that's
30:01
that's the things that change.
30:01
But how long is your course for
30:06
two years? And then the plan
30:06
right now is that you would go
30:09
back to Australia?
30:10  Cassie
Um, I don't know yet. I
30:10
really I've been enjoying it
30:13
here so far. So I'm sort of open
30:13
to seeing right guys? Yeah.
30:19  Shaun B
Yeah. And I guess it's
30:19
very early on anyway to be to
30:22
know, things like that. Yeah,
30:22
and how it's gonna be to have
30:27
the holiday holidays away from
30:27
home. I, you, you obviously
30:30
can't plan to go back anytime
30:30
soon.
30:32  Cassie
That's the thing when I
30:32
when I left Australia, because
30:36
there's such strict travel bans,
30:36
it's so hard to get back into
30:40
the country at the moment. So I
30:40
knew once I left, it was going
30:45
to be quite a permanent move. I
30:45
don't know about you when you
30:49
move. But you know how you sort
30:49
of had that idea in the back of
30:51
your mind where you're like, oh,
30:51
if it's if it's really bad, I
30:54
can always go back, I can always
30:54
Christmas or something like
30:56
that. Or I can come and visit
30:56
me. But now it's just not
31:00
possible. So Christmas is going
31:00
to be interesting. I really hope
31:05
that I'll get the chance to see
31:05
some friends. If if the lock
31:11
with the light lockdown stays
31:11
like this. But yeah, who knows
31:14
when I'll be able to get back to
31:14
Australia. It's really weird
31:18
knowing that I suppose.
31:20  Shaun B
Yeah, it's difficult,
31:20
isn't it? Yeah.
31:22  Cassie
I know, a few other
31:22
Australians that are stranded as
31:26
such. So I hope that we can have
31:26
an Australian Christmas
31:29
together. Yeah, it's really just
31:29
dependent on travel and things
31:33
like that.
31:34  Shaun B
Yeah. And what's what's
31:34
your short term view of things?
31:38
Are you just getting through
31:38
this period? Or is there enough
31:42
for you to enjoy right now, with
31:42
everything that's going on? Um,
31:45  Cassie
I think like, my study
31:45
is still really valuable. And
31:49
I'm still really enjoying that.
31:49
So it's sort of keeping me
31:52
going. I really hope
31:52
universities and schools will be
31:56
able to stay open. But yeah, I
31:56
think taking it day by day is
31:59
the best way. At the moment.
31:59
It's hard to know what what will
32:02
happen. Yeah, in a month, or
32:02
longer.
32:05  Shaun B
And and your tuition is
32:05
not something obviously that you
32:08
could do easily by video.
32:10  Cassie
Well, I actually, I did,
32:10
I did take my first semester
32:14
online, the university, I think
32:14
a lot of the German universities
32:19
offered it, it was I could opt
32:19
for a free semester. Basically,
32:26
if the semester wasn't what
32:26
would be equivalent to in person
32:31
semester, I could ask for a free
32:31
semester, which meant that I
32:34
basically got a whole semester
32:34
for, for nothing. And I can
32:38
retake the semester at the end
32:38
of my degree for nothing, which
32:41
was crazy, because I had other
32:41
friends in like other countries,
32:44
and they were paying extreme
32:44
international student fees. And
32:48
I was just getting this whole
32:48
whole semester. I mean, in
32:52
saying that it was incredibly
32:52
reduced and having music lessons
32:56
online is not ideal, but you're
32:56
better than nothing. So yeah.
33:01  Shaun B
So you're still pretty
33:01
new here, Cassie, but is there
33:05
anything that you've learned in
33:05
the time that you've been here
33:08
in making the move during Corona
33:08
times that you could offer
33:12
people who might be in the same
33:12
situation, as you were? Oh,
33:16
gosh, it's
33:17  Cassie
a tricky time moving at
33:17
the moment, I made sure that I
33:21
was really prepared in terms of
33:21
having an idea of what I need to
33:26
organize once I got here,
33:26
because I find like, it's not as
33:30
open to organize things like
33:30
health insurance and find stuff
33:37
in that light and things like
33:37
that, because I'm going to like
33:41
an office, it's so there's
33:41
always like that extra level of
33:45
COVID safe procedure. So someone
33:45
might be working from home or
33:49
they've got different opening
33:49
hours or something like that,
33:52
which just adds that extra level
33:52
of Okay, now I need to make a
33:56
phone call in German and, and
33:56
that layer of difficulty. So I
34:00
made sure that I had researched
34:00
those kind of organizational
34:06
things before I got there. So an
34:06
idea of what I needed to do and
34:09
where I needed to go. Because I
34:09
find like that kind of things a
34:12
little bit harder at the moment.
34:12
Yeah, yeah. I think being
34:17
organized and having an idea.
34:17
Yeah, of information. And things
34:22
like that helped me.
34:25  Shaun B
Yeah. So you did all
34:25
that before. Do you have any
34:27
tips of resources that you use
34:27
quite often that get you by?
34:32  Cassie
I listen to the podcast.
34:38  Shaun B
Good on sir Cassie.
34:38
Very well played well.
34:45  Cassie
There's heaps of
34:45
information on online and I
34:47
joined heaps of Facebook groups
34:47
for expats and stuff like that.
34:50
Just getting advice from people
34:50
that are already here as well. I
34:53
had friends that were here. So I
34:53
was constantly messaging and
34:56
asking for advice.
34:58  Shaun B
Yeah, yeah. So just try
34:58
and create As much as possible
35:00
before getting here Yeah. Okay,
35:00
cool. Well, Jesse I really
35:05
appreciate first of all you
35:05
leaving a voicemail way back
35:08
when for the for the podcast I
35:08
really enjoyed that voicemail
35:12
and and thank you for joining me
35:12
to talk about your experiences
35:16
and getting to Germany and and
35:16
your thoughts so far.
35:20  Cassie
Thanks for having me. So
35:20
nice to chat.
35:23  Shaun B
And do you want people
35:23
to find you online? Are you on
35:26
Instagram or anywhere that you
35:26
want people to go and visit?
35:29  Cassie
Um, yeah, I mean, I have
35:29
Facebook and Instagram. My name
35:33
is Kathy slide. So if anyone has
35:33
like any questions or anything,
35:37
feel free to contact me. Yeah.
35:40  Shaun B
I'll put the links in
35:40
the show notes. Thank you so
35:42
much, Cassie. Thank you. All
35:42
right. That's it for this week.
35:45
remember segi Bedford go to the
35:45
Germany experienced D Ford slash
35:49
charity 2020 and get donating
35:49
their music in this episode this
35:53
week by my bed hints and Jains
35:53
and additional music by Ryan
35:57
Anderson until the end. Thank
35:57
you for listening.